Self-care Means Making the Most of Life’s Lemons
Sea salt, pepper and a citrusy-sweet smoke rising from the coals. Bopping music played by a swingin’ live band. The atmosphere charged with the buzz and excitement of foodies and beach-goers. I was at the Sentosa GrillFest 2019 last month and it was a blast. What better way to rest and relax than with good food, friends and fun by the sea?
Life is a lemon
I work full-time and study part-time. I’m an after-school care facilitator at Morning Star’s Bedok Primavera centre, so every day I take the after-school care kids under my wing from noon till after six. Twice a week, I ride an hour’s bus journey to Tiong Bahru for classes and reach home by 11.30pm on those days. It can get pretty tiring. Every day’s work requires me to give my full attention to the children, as I strive to ensure that they are safe and cooperating with each other, so that they can get the most out of learning together. However, maintaining order and harmony in the centre isn’t always easy. The children may misbehave sometimes.
Especially during the formative years, children are trying to find their place in society and tend to test the boundaries set in place for their wellbeing. It is difficult when a child decides not to do his or her homework and wanders around the centre to play with the other children. Despite having heard the instruction to focus on the homework at hand, the child may wonder if this rule will be enforced.
As a facilitator, I would have to step in and follow through with the rule that has been set. This means taking the child aside, assigning a consequence for his or her actions and making sure that the kid understand the reason behind it. This can take a toll on my emotions, as it brings me no joy to see the child having to sit out during playtime. As you can imagine, after a full week of giving my attention to the children and my studies, I need to find balance and give some attention to myself as well. That’s where the Sentosa GrillFest comes in.
So you squeeze it on kebabs
Going for the GrillFest was my way of winding down after a long week and recharging with friends. I set aside time to spend with friends and family on my free days. We explore Singapore and hop from restaurant to café for dinners, watch movies, go bowling and sing our hearts out at karaoke places. I truly enjoy their company and appreciate the time they commit in their busy schedules to do these simple activities together. Life isn’t going to be a breeze, but I am grateful that we have our loved ones and community to fall back on. When life is a lemon, squeeze it on kebabs.
Ways to self-care so you don’t burn out
Self-care is becoming increasingly important in today’s language. It means taking care of our physical, mental and emotional health. These aspects of our life are intangible and often overlooked— but that doesn’t make them any less essential. In caring for my personal wellbeing, I like to do the following:
- Set aside a special time to spend with my family on the weekends
- Go out to new food and recreational places with friends
- Explore Singapore and look out for interesting events
You can cultivate a habit of looking after yourself too— especially if you feel run-down on the weekends and weary when returning to work on Mondays. Work shouldn’t drag you down and leave you feeling sour. It should complement your capabilities and bring out the best in you.
Here are a few meaningful upcoming events to help you get recharged and back on your feet:
- Art After Dark @ Gillman Barracks (20 Sep)
- Watch Art Grand Exhibition (Sep-Oct)
- Festival of Lights @ Little India (Oct)
- Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay (Dec)
- EatBox 2020 by ArtBox SG (Jan)
- Or have your own picnic all year round at Marina Barrage!
Facilitator, After-School Care Services
Learn more about MSCS After-School Care Services for primary-school aged children.