S'poreans tend to put self-care on back burner

Nearly nine in 10 (88 per cent) of employees in Singapore felt they deserved more annual leave last year, up from 76 per cent in 2017.
Nearly nine in 10 (88 per cent) of employees in Singapore felt they deserved more annual leave last year, up from 76 per cent in 2017.PHOTO: ST FILE

How sad is it that Singaporeans are the sixth most vacation-deprived in the world (Singaporeans 6th most vacation-deprived in the world, will take pay cut for holiday: Poll, ST Online, July 25)? Should we not be concerned?

It is not unusual to hear of employees in both the private and public sectors being unable to take sufficient breaks to refresh themselves.

There is a tendency in Singapore to put self-care on the back burner. And this tendency to overwork can extend to the home environment as well, affecting spousal, parent-child and adult child-elder parent relationships. I have observed cases of this in my work as a counsellor.

This may explain why mindfulness is gaining popularity in Singapore, and why more people are turning to psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors to address their stress, anxieties, depression and relationship problems.

I hope the panel on work-life harmony will help to bring some balance into this damaging environment.

Kuharajahsingam Karalasingam