The PUN Explorer – Year of the PIG!

I’ve been hanging out with one of the greatest pun masters in history- so let me put my learning to the test. It’s the year of the pig, so get ready for some porking puns to use when you visit your loved ones!

Safe greetings: Happy Chinese New Year everybody! May you get all the supPORK in the world and be in the PINK of health, hapPIGness and huat ah!

When you are closer: Don’t HOG the lines ah!

To your best friend: You don’t have the face of a Babi doll so don’t be 猪sy (zhu-sy) la.

To your crush: I 猪se (zhu-se) you ❤

To everyone: I’m obviously boared.


(All of them are original. I’m not swinedling. )


Coping Strategies

Coping Strategies: This is such an important thing to have. I often emphasise on the necessity of it to my clients, yet somehow I fall short of doing what I preach at times.

However, these two words are very general. Let’s break it down. Coping strategies to what? Stress? Boredom? Loneliness? In this article, we will be looking at coping strategies to manage stress.

Experiencing stress is inevitable. It’s part and parcel of life. Making friends, taking exams, going for interviews, public speaking, going on your first date, starting a family, taking care of your dependants, etc. It never ends. The way we respond though, can be changed.

Make no mistake, coping strategies aren’t long-term solutions- they shouldn’t be. It is simply something you do immediately to cope with situations you can’t handle at that point in time.

Sometimes, we can get so emotional it’s hard to tell ourselves to “just calm down and smile.” In the heat of a situation, you’re probably feeling such intense emotions (e.g. anger, sadness, fear) you can’t properly engage your brain and think properly (Healthy Thinking). What you might have energy to do though, is to use one of your coping strategies to get you away from that state you are in (tired, stressed, drained).

A good coping strategy is something that becomes intuitive. It’s like getting your hand burnt when you touch a hot stove – lifting your hand away immediately from the hot stove is very innate. When you see something you fear, such as a ghost, or a cockroach, you instinctively run away from it. All these are very easy to execute- it’s so natural.

However, even though all these seems natural- you actually had a lot of practice. You probably ran away from a cockroach or other fears more than a couple of times. It only seems innate to you because you have already mastered the art of it through practice and made it a habit.

Similarly, coping strategies can be practised, and it can become intuitive to you over time. I used to react to stress by eating junk food. Chips, chocolates, fries. Yum yum. Buying a McDonald’s meal was the default choice for dinner when I felt stressed. It was an easy decision to make- I had no more energy to think healthily, and the accessibility of it made it very tempting. It was such a relief- I felt good, happy, worry-free in that moment. Of course, I also grew horizontally- I remember gaining a couple of kilograms in just one month.

How can we then form good coping strategies? That can only be answered by YOU. There are a thousand coping strategies, but only you can know if it is a good one for you, by trying it out yourself.

Back to that McDonald’s situation- If I was feeling very tired and stressed, reminding myself that I have a goal of 51kg to aim for could help me- but if you’re already less than that, using this strategy would probably not work. Coping strategies could also change over time. Running may be your go-to in the past, but today you might be slowly turning towards meditation. It really depends on you.

The fact remains though: We all need coping strategies- because if we don’t cope, we can’t get to the next level: the root problem aka stress and conflict, will never be resolved.


[Part 1 of 2: To be continued…]








The 90/10 Principle.

I’m beginning to like my job more, because I often end up applying the principles in my own life and this gives me cheap thrills sometimes.

One of it is called the 90/10 principle. 90+10=100. We cannot control the 10% that happens to us (e.g. people scolding you, leaving you, or you failing a test) but we can always manage how we react to it.

Of course, it’s easier said than done. When you really can’t take it anymore, I believe that it’s ok to let loose sometimes and give yourself a break- if the best scenario is to breathe in and out to calm yourself down, but you just don’t have the patience to do that, punching a wall is still a good alternative (compared to punching someone). The key is to try something different, and it doesn’t need to be the ‘best’ option. It’s important to remember that sometimes we lose battles- but that doesn’t mean we lost the war.

That IS a way of managing how we react to it- we acknowledge our feelings, and we allow ourselves a break and perhaps this will aid in preparing us for something like this the next time it happens.

Magic happens outside of our comfort zones.

It’s close to the end of September- I guess it’s finally time to wake up and get shit done.

I was looking at my previous post, and I’m in awe of how much things have changed since then, within the span of 3 weeks. I feel much happier recently. Perhaps it is because of the ClassPass + random weekly exercises that fed me ‘natural highs’, or perhaps the empty feeling that has been lingering in me for the past year seems to be gone- being replaced with positive, energised vibes. Even when I felt sad, it wasn’t the empty kind- it was the kind that I knew I could handle- I’m not sure how to put it into words.

I find that songs really do play a huge part in motivating me as well- listening to ‘We Are One’ (Lion King 2 soundtrack) and ‘This is Me’ (The Greatest Showman soundtrack) really perks me up and keeps me going.

I expect October to be a tough month, and that it won’t be easy, but I believe that I am more than capable to handle it 🙂

Most importantly, I realise that learning is a lifelong journey and it’s always so cool how we’re always learning new things and even better when we can apply it successfully 🙂

Drifting apart

I’ve about 15 minutes before I reach my MRT stop, so I’m gonna pen down some thoughts.

I realise I don’t really have that constant BFF, or even good friends, from when I was young till now. I’ve always wondered, is it because

  1. As we go to the next phase of life, we change and thus outgrow the friendship (since we’re on different paths) and drift apart OR
  2. Our friendship was solely based on convenience and not compatible values OR
  3. We were never true to ourselves, and attracted the people to our “fake” selves.

It sucks when you don’t connect with your friends anymore- especially when they’ve been your friends for a long time. However, I don’t think you need to “cut ties” as per say immediately. Is this friendship worth saving? How does the other person feel? It takes two to clap. You could move them into a ‘lower’ priority of friendship- instead of meeting them once every week, meet once a month, or even once a year.

Hmmm, at least for me, my friendships have been constantly changing and sometimes I do wonder if it’s me or if it’s just life, because I really do envy those whose friends’ values align with theirs and are still best buds since young. But love cannot be forced, including friendship. Sometimes your friend outgrows you and move on, and sometimes it’s the other way round. When friendships become an obligation, it’s a big warning sign. I’ve learn to not take it personal, and I hope others won’t too. After all, like what the Adventure Time finale song “Time Adventure” said- you and I will always be back then.


Seasons do not change when time passes. They change, when a relationship changes.

A friend shared this with me, and I guess it’s really relevant currently.

Transitioning was never really hard for me, up until last year. I always looked forward to changes, because I guess with every change comes new opportunities, and somehow things always worked out for me.

Yet, recently I find myself struggling to adapt so much- and it scares me. The recent year(s) has been full of change- most of them unexpected- death, loss of a great friendship, loss of social circles, loss of wanderlust, loss of support, loss of structure, loss of meaning. I never felt so empty in my life before.

Just two years ago, I pride myself in being a free bird. A close friend told me that I had some commitment issues, while he was the one that remain rooted to the ground. Is it a limitation? A restriction? A choice?

Never did I expect that I would feel what I feel today.

As August came a few days ago, it acted as a reminder that one year ago was the starting point where I felt so lost and empty. However, I am beginning to see that this will only make me stronger, as did all other obstacles in the past- and things really do get better.

While I mourn the loss of some very close relationships, I also admit that sometimes, I am the one who cut off people. I ask myself, would I rather be alone, or struggle in a friendship that no longer works? And luckily for me, the answer is clear.

I am also very thankful for the lucky stars in my life right now- I don’t even need both hands to count them. For when I was depressed, stressed, and in a mess, they could still make me feel blessed #itrhymes. At my most vulnerable points, I know that I can count on them to listen to me, to calm me down, to help me see from a different perspective. And I hope that when they need me, they will not hesitate to look for me because they know I will be there for them.

Learning points
And I actually learnt a lot, the past year. I learnt that when you reach out for help, you do receive it. Of course, it is also important to know that not everyone will help you- but I am confident that at least someone will try. I learnt the importance of seeing the good in the bad. I also learnt how having suicidal ideation is not weak, but rather a consequence of a series of events that translated to such thoughts. I realise how narcissistic I can be (sigh the ME ME ME generation syndrome?) and I hope to channel that into self-confidence instead. I learnt that change can be good or bad, but we must always keep an open mind to adapt. At the same time, I learnt what values are important to me. Courage, optimism, open-mindedness. I am still learning- and trying to preach and do what is important to me. I also appreciate it so much more when people come up to me with their kind words. I learnt that relationships are easy to start, but the difficult part is maintaining it- which requires effort from all parties. I learnt that sometimes it is not only important to attract positives, but also erase the negatives. I learnt that it is never too late to start and seek new opportunities- friends, hobbies, passions. I also realise that when others come up to me and tell me that I made a difference and inspired them, it gives me a high that drugs can never give in the long run. I learnt that it is important to remind myself that I am not alone. I am never alone. And all these experiences really help to shape what I want to achieve in this lifetime. Not money, not fame, but fulfilling relationships and a meaningful purpose.