5 Tips for Maintaining Good Mental Health in Singapore

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We discuss why mental health is important, why we shouldn’t neglect it, and how we can work on improving it.

Blocks spelling out Mental Health, image for the article.
Always take your mental health seriously. PHOTO: totalshape/Unsplash

Singapore is known for its fast-paced and glamorous lifestyle. But what people don’t tend to discuss is our high levels of stress. Amidst all the hustle and bustle, maintaining good mental health in Singapore can be a challenge for many residents.

In this blog, we will be discussing why mental health is important, why we shouldn’t neglect it, and how we can work on improving it.

Singapore’s Growing Mental Health Concern

Photo of the Singapore University of Technology and Design
Singaporean youths are increasingly susceptible to mental health issues. PHOTO: Hufton+Crow

In 2010 and 2016, the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) launched a study on Singaporean’s mental health to identify specific issues, challenges and common psychological problems that affect young people in Singapore.

Through this study, they found out that approximately 21.6% of youths, approximately 1 in 5, have experienced at least one mental health condition. So, if you’re going through something, we want you to know that you’re not alone.

If you’re struggling with mental health concerns, we’ll also provide a list of resources below that can help.

Why is Mental Health Important?

It’s important to prioritize mental health and take steps to maintain good mental wellness, not just for ourselves but also for those around us.

Good mental health helps us to lead fulfilling and productive lives, allowing us to form meaningful relationships, manage stress, and this ultimately helps us achieve our goals in life, and to stay happy.

Poor mental health, on the other hand, can have a significant impact on our daily lives. It can result in decreased productivity and happiness, and can also increase your levels of stress and anxiety. All these will then spiral into a variety of other complications down the line.

So, let’s dive into the world of mental wellness and find out how you can start taking control of your mental well-being today.

1. Make Time for Yourself

Photo of 3 men playing football
Always find time to do the things you enjoy. PHOTO: Yogendra Singh/Pexels

Singapore is a very busy and competitive place, but you shouldn’t let that deprive you of the ability to take time for yourself. You should always make time to do things that you enjoy doing.

Whether it is playing football on the weekends with your friends, reading a book, or perhaps even playing some games online. Always make time to unwind and get away from that hustle and bustle.

Don’t fall into the FOMO trap as well. If you are invited to an event you do not wish to participate in, it’s perfectly fine to say no.

2. Seek Support

Photo of a hand holding another hand.
Seeking support is especially important when facing challenges in life. PHOTO: Anna Shvets/Pexels

Reaching out for help can be difficult, but it is one of the most important steps in maintaining good mental health. We go through many different challenges in life, and seeking support from friends and family that you can trust will go a long way in helping you cope with that stress and anxiety.

We understand that not everyone has someone they can talk to and be vulnerable with, but nevertheless, everyone needs just that little bit of support in their lives.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can reach out to organizations such as the Institute of Mental Health or the Samaritans of Singapore, who offer confidential counselling services, as well as a listening ear if needed.

3. Get Active and Stay Active

Picture of an Asian lady jogging
Staying active is a great way to reduce stress levels and help improve mental health. PHOTO: Ketut Subiyanto/Pexels

Physical activity is a great way to improve mental wellness and reduce stress levels. Whether it’s going for a walk, joining a sports team, or hitting the gym, staying active has a host of benefits for both the mind and body.

Regular exercise has been shown to:

  • Reduce depression and anxiety
  • Improve mood and self-esteem
  • Improve happiness and well-being
  • Boost cognitive function and reduce stress levels
  • Improve your sleep quality

Studies have found that physical activity activates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood-boosting chemicals. Exercising can also help regulate cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress and anxiety.

Yes, it can be hard to motivate yourself to be active sometimes, but why not give it a shot? Try to take that first little step. Whether it’s heading for a jog at your local park/garden or gymming at an ActiveSG gym, find an activity that you enjoy and make it a regular part of your routine.

4. Connect With Others

Group photo with their arms around each other
Fostering strong relationships with others can help build a great foundation for support. PHOTO: Duy Pham/Unsplash

One of the most important things you can do for your mental well-being is to connect with others. Building strong relationships with friends, family, and loved ones can provide support, reduce stress levels, and improve your mental health significantly.

Build on existing relationships

Connecting with existing friends can be a great way to improve your mental well-being and strengthen existing relationships. Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Make time for each other: Yes, it can be hard to make plans sometimes given our busy schedules but taking the time to catch up with a friend, whether in-person or online, will do wonders in building your relationship with them.
  • Doing an Activity Together: Doing something you both enjoy, such as playing a sport together, going to karaoke, or perhaps even doing a little cafe-hopping, can be a great way to bond. This can improve your mood, relieve stress and have fun!
  • Be there for each other: Being a supportive friend, and offering help when needed has been shown to reduce feelings of loneliness. You are showing to the friend that you have their back, and perhaps they’ll have yours as well when you need it.
  • Have honest conversations: Sometimes, it’s good to open up and have an open-hearted conversation with your friends. Share a bit about your life, and what you’re going through. Maybe they can give a little bit of advice, or just be that listening ear that you need

Making New Friends

If you’re looking for a great platform to meet new people, volunteering can help you connect with others who share the same values. Singapore Cares has built a convenient volunteering website, where you can filter out the many volunteering opportunities by their relevant skills and causes.

With the many different social media platforms available now, you can also reconnect with old friends and peers, even those from your Primary and Secondary school days. Take that first step and slide into their DMs.

For those that are more introverted, joining a Discord group with people of similar interests and making new friends is also an option.

5. Taking Care of Your Physical Health

Photo of an assortment of Singaporean food.
Eating healthy is also an important part of maintaining good physical and mental health. PHOTO: DanielFoodDiary

In Singapore, there are many facilities available to help you take care of your physical health, such as gyms, parks and nature reserves in your local neighbourhoods. But exercising is not the only thing that you need to focus on to stay healthy.

We’ll be looking at one of our country’s greatest commodities – Food!

A balanced and nutritious diet can help improve your mood, boost energy levels, and support good mental health.

There are many options for healthy eating, including local and international cuisine, and fresh food! There is no need to sacrifice good-tasting food for healthier alternatives because you can get the best of both worlds right here at your doorstep.

When deciding what to eat, try adding more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein into your diet. Also, mind what you drink, and limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and sugary drinks. Yes, we mean your bubble tea as well. Try fruit juices to sate your sweet tooth if water doesn’t work for you.

So, why not make a commitment to eating well and taking care of your physical and mental health through nutrition whilst having some good-tasting food?

Note

Remember that everyone’s mental health journey is unique, and that what works for one person may not work for another. It is extremely subjective. So we ask that you be patient and kind to yourself, and to not hesitate to seek help if needed.

In Singapore, there are many resources available to help individuals improve their mental well-being, including support groups, mental health clinics, and other resources. Reach out and make use of these resources if you require the help and support you need to lead a happier, healthier life.

Let’s take that first step together.

Resources for Help:

Samaritans of Singapore Hotline: 1 767 

Institute of Mental Health Helpline: 6389 2222

CHAT: www.chat.mentalhealth.sg/

Singapore Association of Mental Health Helpline: 1800 283 7019

SAMH SAY-IT:  9179 4087 / 9179 4085 or [email protected]

Club HEAL: 6899 3463

TOUCHLINE: 1800-377-2252 or @doyoumindsg

Mindline: www.mindline.sg

Other mental health mobile apps: CARA Unmask, Safe Space, Intellect, MindFi, Myloh 


For more tips on personal growth and professional development, please visit our blog!


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