Category: Mindfulness & ACT

Reaching out in the new ‘Normal’

Are you struggling with the new ‘normal’? This is a challenging time for many people, and the effects of the situation we find ourselves in are not always easy to handle. There is no sure fire way to deal with everything smoothly and easily, each and every time, but there is a way for you to get the help that you might need.

The first step is to acknowledge what is going on and admit that this situation is overwhelming. Mental health is real, and given what we are all going through, there are options available to reach out to others to get the assistance you might need. Let’s focus on moving “beyond the label,” and ensuring that we come through this as best we can.

There are many ways to access this help. The National CARE Hotline : 6202-6868 is available 24 hours a day.

Other options include:

Mental Well-being
– Fei Yue’s Online Counselling Service (eC2.sg)
– Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline (6389-2222)
– Samaritans of Singapore (1800-221-4444)
– Silver Ribbon Singapore (6385-3714)

Marital and parenting issues
– Community Psychology Hub’s Online Counselling platform (CPHOnlineCounselling.sg)

Violence or abuse
– Big Love Child Protection Specialist Centre (6445-0400)
– HEART @ Fei Yue Child Protection Specialist Centre (6819-9170)
– PAVE Integrated Services for Individual and Family Protection (6555-0390)
– Project StART (6476-1482)
– TRANS SAFE Centre (6449-9088)

Counselling
– TOUCHline (Counselling) – 1800 377 2252

For all other helplines
– Visit go.gov.sg/hotlines

Other strategies to consider include:

“Maintaining a strong social connection, either through social media, texts or calls, is as important as prioritising a healthy diet and sleep pattern,” SOS’ Mr Tan said. “This period is also an opportunity to catch up and engage in meaningful conversations with family members.” (CNA 15th April 2020)

As the Founder of The Conscious Zone, we also believe in strategies drawn from disciplines such as Mindfulness, and Acceptance and Commitment Training, to help bolster your mental wellbeing.

There is no shame in getting help when you need it. Remember the airline analogy, you need to put your own oxygen mask on first before you help others. Do reach out to some of the avenues listed above if you need to! Take care and stay safe.

Posted by The Conscious Zone

92% of working Singaporeans are stressed (2019)

92% of working Singaporeans are stressed Workplace stress is on the rise. More needs to be done by employers in Singapore to address these issues. Full report in the link.  Cigna 2019 Well-being survey Excerpt: Lack of support at work More than half of Singaporean women surveyed feel that senior management do not support workplace wellness programs enough, while 59 per cent of them feel that workplace wellness programmes need to better address the needs of each gender. Furthermore, only 33 per cent of all respondents, both male and female, say they have a formal workplace wellness program – and only half of them participate in these. “This highlights the need to reassess how beneficial and/or accessible these programs are to employees,” the study said. Additionally, 44 per cent of respondents feel that these programmes are not focused enough on mental well-being.  
Posted by The Conscious Zone

Self-Care

The last few weeks, months and years have been filled with a multitude of challenges. There have been times when I have felt like I’m drowning under the weight of it all. In an attempt to be there for others, I started to take my own health and well-being for granted. I was meditating regularly which helped immensely but was neglecting some other parts of myself. I started eating foods which I know do not agree with me, and that triggered a series of health complaints – I was in pain and had headaches. Do I know better? Of course! We probably all know what we should be doing, but sometimes we choose to ignore our inner awareness. So, a couple of weeks ago, I decided that I really did know better and engaged in my own “Self-Care Plan”. I implemented some exercise, became mindful about what I was eating, re-started my yoga practice and introduced more frequent mindful breaks in the day. Has that helped? Absolutely. But it took prioritizing myself to do that. In our society, we think that prioritizing self-care is selfish. That we should constantly be giving – whether it’s to our jobs, friends, family or even Netflix! We need to constantly remind ourselves that without taking care of our own well-being, there will come a time when we can’t give to others. When we are so depleted that it takes a health emergency to wake us up. Don’t wait till then. As flight crew always tell you: Put your oxygen mask on first, because if you run out of oxygen, you can’t help anyone else. When you run low, stress, fatigue, overwhelm, depressive thoughts, anxiety and other mental health issues all become exacerbated. Schedule time to recharge and regroup everyday. Some suggestions include: Mindful pauses and meditationExerciseGo for a walk in natureSchedule time for a catch up with a friendWrite in a journalThink of 3 things you are grateful for each day (more if you can!) What other things do you do to take care of yourself?
Posted by The Conscious Zone

Mental wellbeing at work needs to be prioritised

‘A recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year in lost productivity….’

(Source: WHO Mental health in the workplace, September 2017)

Companies which promote mental health and have psychological safety programmes in the workplace, are likely to see a drop in absenteeism, an uptick in productivity and benefit financially from improved employee performance and outcomes.

Programmes could cover areas such as:

Resilience

Mindfulness

ProSocial Matrix training

Values based goal setting for individuals and teams

Acceptance and Commitment training for staff

to name a few.

Practical strategies to start with can include:

Listening with intent – really pay attention to what employees and co-workers are saying without thinking ahead to what you want to say
Appreciate your employees for their successes. Too often the focus is on what’s going wrong.
Develop a culture of care and trust by engaging in deeper conversations
Encourage ownership and partnership in the decision-making process

Poor wellbeing can account for employees losing up to a third of their potential productivity.* Companies like Unilever, American Express and Prudential have implemented mental health programmes and are seeing the benefits positively affecting their bottom line.

The list of programmes available is extensive, but even small incremental changes can make inroads into ensuring that employees feel valued and supported at work, which can only benefit the organization and lead to greater productivity. *()  

Posted by The Conscious Zone