Hi, nice to e-meet you
Entrepreneur / 'always a student' mindset /
introvert+empath / loves a good bulletproof coffee.
Born and raised in Singapore,
the one thing that I bought into while growing up was the cookie-cutter definition of success (perhaps this sounds familiar to some of you) – the busyness that comes with going about the daily grind, seeing a good-sized month-end pay-check in my bank account, a weekend comprising mostly of sleep catch-up sessions that then led to the repeat of this cycle in the week that followed.
I thought that every workin' gal had to go through this process in order to truly 'make it'. I held this outlook throughout my twenties across a number of jobs. One of these jobs, however, truly stands out. It’s the job that shaped who I am today; it was also the job that broke my spirit.
In the immediate aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, I was lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to work based in tsunami-struck Nias Island (off the Western coast of Indonesia) for a year. Working there as a photojournalist allowed me to engage in both writing and photography – two endeavours close to my heart. I felt very fulfilled as it was a role that allowed me to express my inner voice and augment my existing skill-set. Despite the growth, adventure and novel experiences the job offered, what I was doing to myself (or not doing) was simply not sustainable.
I returned to Singapore eventually and I continued living my life in an 'unsustainable' way. I was on auto-pilot practically every day in any job I was in, and didn't feel the need to take breaks or listen to my mind and body. I spiralled into depression and experienced constant panic attacks, which then led me to seek professional medical advice. I was subsequently diagnosed with anxiety disorder.
It was truly a crippling period that, on hindsight, planted a single seed of change in me. I learned the hard way that while you can love your job and give it everything you’ve got (and more) – if you don’t take care of your personal wellness, literally no one else will.
Four years have passed since I was diagnosed. I have made a conscious effort to always chose to focus on the positive, no matter how dark the days are. It hasn’t been a walk in the park and I certainly wouldn't say that the anxiety has gone away completely – what I can say, however, is that I have learned to put my well-being first, every single day.
Through this platform that I and my tiny-mighty team have created, it is our hope that you, dear reader, can do the same for your own well-being and begin (or continue) the journey of discovering your inner-self.
We at PAUSE will strive to ensure that this online platform becomes:
- your go-to place to be informed and inspired about all-things-wellness;
- a place of calm where you can comfortably find your own bearings and
- an easy-to-reach reminder that the power to take control of your well-bring has always been within you.
What we promise not to be is the ‘wellness police’ or an annoying know-it-all; we also pledge not to advocate for quick fixes (e.g. 'lose weight in 10 days!', ‘Look like Wonder Woman in 2 weeks!’, ‘Master Meditation in 28 days’, etc.) which propagates the idea that one can achieve aspirational wellness (whether it's physical or mental) within an impossibly short duration of time.
With focused care and support, a sapling has the vital conditions to grow into a healthy young plant, which in turn has the potential to develop, flourish and nurture those around it.
I humbly invite you to join me in nurturing PAUSE, so that we can continue to grow and thrive alongside you.
Best Intentions and Be Well,
Ferina Natasya Aziz
Founder, PAUSE Magazine