Sunday March 3, 2013
Struys to share de-stressing tips at The Star Health Fair 2013
By FIONA HO
In our relentless pursuit of success, many of us forget how to take a step back and relax. Popular television personality and producer Jojo Struys will be sharing de-stressing tips and techniques at The Star Health Fair 2013 next month.
THE mounting demands of modern living routinely drive us up the stressed lane.
You wake up in the morning and hit the ground running. You brave early traffic, only to wrestle your way through a jam-packed work day.
You regularly skip breakfast, work through lunch, and sometimes, even dinner, and don’t stop thinking about your job even when your head hits the pillow.
You curse your fate as you brace yourself for yet another diabolical cycle as the new day dawns.
In our relentless pursuit of success, many of us forget how to take a step back and relax.
While some experts say that having some degree of stress can actually help sharpen your senses and your mind, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that too much stress can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health.
Prolonged bouts of stress can lead to a condition called distress – a negative stress reaction that can lead to adverse physical symptoms such as headaches, tummy upsets, elevated blood pressure and chest pain.
Stress has also been known to disrupt sleep and cause severe mood swings.
It becomes harmful when people use alcohol, tobacco or drugs to try to relieve their stress. Unfortunately, instead of relieving these symptoms and returning the body to a relaxed state, these substances often aggravate the symptoms and are likely to cause more problems.
Instead, taking a step back to contemplate and take in life’s unchartered course can do wonders in helping to restore balance in your life, and may even reduce some of the adverse health effects associated with stress.
Taking these concerns in stride, popular television personality and producer Jojo Struys will share de-stressing tips and techniques at The Star Health Fair 2013 next month.
The bubbly 36-year-old, who began her career as a model, is increasingly known for her various involvement in the health and wellness spectrum.
Also an accredited master of Reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation, the nimble and youthful-looking Struys clearly embraces a positive approach towards life.
Having studied units of psychology in varsity, she shares that she has always been fascinated with wellness and the power of the mind.
With that, Struys hopes to provide some mental and physical relief for highly-strung individuals by conducting a slew of wellness workshops at The Star Health Fair.
Struys shares that stress management ranks at the top of the topics she will be sharing, as it is a prime concern for many Malaysians.
“I spoke about ways to de-stress last year and I will definitely be talking about it again because it affects everybody – from the exhausted mother, to those working in corporate, to someone with a broken heart, or even students who are cramming for their exams,” she explains.
“Everybody, from any walk of life, has some form of stress that they are dealing with. Being able to cope with stress more effectively can make you feel so much more empowered.”
Instead of succumbing to the various debilitating effects of stress, Struys believes in tackling its symptoms head-on.
“Instead of letting stress get the better of you, why not take charge of your life and empower yourself with the right tools and breathing exercises to be calmer?” she reasons, adding it is vital to stay positive and be in control of your life.
Relaxation and meditation can do wonders to help restore balance in your life, and may even reduce some of the adverse health effects associated with stress, the doe-eyed beauty points out.
She shares that breathing exercises are an effective method to help one unwind after a long day.
“I do them regularly, and they are very powerful in calming down your heart rate and clearing your mind.”
When she is not busy acting, creating content or running through scripts, Struys, who has appeared on Malaysian TV shows such as Kopitiam and Pillow Talk, as well as the film Chicken Rice War, enjoys a blissful respite in nature. “I like nature-trekking. When we are in nature, a lot of our stresses just melt away effortlessly,” she tells this writer.
As uncontrolled stress levels can often lead to disturbed sleep patterns, Struys will also be introducing a workshop to assist those with insomnia.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterised by difficulty in falling and/or staying asleep. People who have experienced insomnia are often reported to suffer mental disruptions, such as a lack of concentration, which can be very dangerous, especially if you are driving or operating machinery.
Insomnia is also known to affect memory, sometimes leading to distressing confusion that could affect your health, social and work life. Often, sufferers of insomnia will experience extreme moments of fatigue, as well as some signs of depression and ongoing irritability throughout the day.
Worse, it can result in some serious health consequences as the body becomes chronically fatigued, stressed and is no longer able to fight off diseases due to low immunity resulting from the lack of sleep.
Struys says she choose to focus on the subjet of insomnia due to the sizable feedback she has received from people who have trouble sleeping.
Beyond that, Struys continues her crusades towards healthy and stress-free living with her upcoming guided relaxation CD, Letting Go with Jojo Struys Volume 2.
The CD’s predecessor, Letting Go With JoJo Struys, was released mid last year. It featured six audio tracks that were specially designed to help listeners de-stress, relax and unwind.
Struys’ sultry voice, appropriately accompanied by an ambience of soothing sounds, took listeners through a series of visualisation exercises designed to take the pressures off one’s daily life.
Despite its encouraging reception, Struys notes: “My first album had no tracks dedicated to sleep in it, as it was more about de-stressing and relaxation.
“This time around, I dedicated a track to sleep specifically in the hope of helping people sleep better.”
Letting Go With Jojo Struys Volume 2 is scheduled for a late March release and will feature 12 tracks. It will retail at Starbucks outlets nationwide at RM27, but customers with a Starbucks card can purchase it at only RM19.90.
In response to the recent health survey that revealed Malaysians to be the fattest folks in South East Asia, Struys reckons that many Malaysians could use a little help in the fitness department as well.
“I think Malaysians need to be aware of the rising obesity figures in the country and watch their diets because to a large extent, you are what you eat,” she opines.
At that, she hints at plans that she might also be sharing tips on how to eat right, as well as to stay in shape in the workshops.
The petite Struys shares that she maintains her slender figure by having several small meals throughout the day. “Also, eat in moderation and never skip breakfast. And drink lots of water throughout the day,” she advises.
On top of a healthy diet, the health enthusiast divides her fitness routine between tennis, tap-dancing and hiking.
She emphasises the importance of good health: “It’s something you cannot buy, so it is priceless. Ultimately, it is all about feeling physically and mentally fit, and being happy within yourself.”
She adds: “The Star Health Fair is an incredible melting pot of so many different types of health vendors all under one roof. It will inspire you to want to change your life for the better and become healthier.
“I’m sure people will find something that will work for them from the plethora of knowledge, techniques and different ways to keep fit and healthy from the diverse range of health experts and vendors at the fair.”
By playing her role, Struys hopes to inspire others to live better. “I hope that through my workshops, people will find useful tips to deal with their day-to-day stresses, along with practical exercises that can help them stay mentally positive.
“If doing a workshop can help make a difference in even one person’s life, that would make me happy.”
The Star Health Fair 2013 with it’s tagline ‘Let’s Live Great!’ is organised by The Star, with Great Eastern Life as the event’s partner. It will be held in Halls 1 to 3 of the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre from April 12 to 14. It is open from 10am to 7pm and admission is free. For enquiries or to participate, call 03-79671388 (ext 1243/1529) or visit www.facebook.com/thestarhealthfair