Youth Spring

Nurturing Youth Well-Being

Today’s fast-paced world poses ever-increasing demands on our time and productivity where finding time for things that make for daily happiness seems to become a distant luxury. With articles on ‘boosting productivity’, ‘habits of highly successful people’ and the like abounding the internet, the pressure to perform and maximise our abilities has never been higher. Life is busy. It will always be and we are likely to be left with an incessant ‘to-do’ list.

Looking after oneself is just as important if not more, to living a satisfying and healthy life. In trying to accomplish all the tasks set out for the day, self-care is often the first thing that we tend to sacrifice. It could appear indulgent to spend time on oneself when there are other things that require our immediate attention. Yet, it is important to remind oneself that well-being needs looking after too, in order to maintain or increase productivity in the long run.

Incorporating activities and practices that we deliberately choose to engage in and that make us happy every now and then could not only enhance health and well-being but help act as a buffer against burn out. In essence, making time for oneself, providing the body the nutrition, activity, rest and recuperation that it needs goes a long way in ensuring that one has sufficient energy to meet the demands of daily life consistently. However, self-care need not come at the cost of meeting daily responsibilities, developing an optimum balance is key and takes practice.

Starting small but being consistent could help. It could be minor changes such as finding a way to de-stress throughout the day rather than at the end of a heavy day’s work for instance by taking brief breaks to stretch, taking a quick walk, drinking enough water or talking to a friend for a few minutes. It could even involve something as simple as looking forward to eating a dish you like, reading a book at night or a phone call with a friend. Self-care would also mean identifying and making a sustained effort at integrating something important that you have been delaying doing like spending time with a loved one, taking a short vacation, pursuing a hobby or

So, for the next one month make the time to do something for yourself now and then. Pause and re-evaluate your existing habits and what you would like to change about it. If you find that you often resort to unhealthy coping strategies to deal with a stressful situation like reaching out for alcohol or a cigarette all too often rather than taking a deep breath and refocusing, it may be time to re-work on your go-to coping strategies. Start small and incorporate something you like doing or something you’ve been putting off doing. It could be exercising more often, dinner with a friend, spending time with family or even making the time to start using a self-help app to work on yourself. For, “our bodies are gardens, to which our wills are gardeners”!