WellNUS Festival 2022

Wednesday, November 16, 2022
WellNUS Festival 2022

WellNUS Festival returned with a bang this October!

Held annually in conjunction with World Mental Health Day, the Festival aims to celebrate and promote wellness among NUS staff and students through rejuvenating activities inspired by the seven PitStop Principles, which were introduced by the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) to spur the NUS community towards caring for their mental wellbeing.


The University Health Centre (UHC), in partnership with Health & Wellbeing (HWB), Office of the President, curated a line-up of exciting and meaningful programmes for NUS’ staff community, which ranged from introspective talks and workshops for self-development to unplugged activities which provided staff the opportunity to interact with colleagues across different faculties and offices, as well as to take time out to get active and reconnect with the environment.

 1. 10 Oct Wired to Wonder - Four Paths to Deep Happiness (17b)

The Festival kicked off with the webinar Wired to Wonder, where Dr Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology at UC Berkeley and faculty director of the Greater Good Science Centre, detailed four paths to deep happiness through the virtues – gratitude, compassion, kindness, and awe, which have been scientifically found to benefit one’s physical health and reduce stress. They provide a sense of purpose and serve as an antidote to stressful, self-focused norms of the 21st century.

 11 Oct - Dont Worry Be Happy (2)

Recognising the prevalence of worry and anxiety in today’s society, the session entitled Don’t Worry, Be Happy gave participants insights into how worry takes one in a loop of wasted energy and highlighted the benefits of four key tips – prioritise and simplify, get active, get perspective, and recharge – which serve as practical options as compared to worrying.

Other sharing sessions delved into the myths and impacts of perfectionism and how we can move towards healthy striving; as well as mental relaxation techniques that can help strengthen one’s coping skills and put the mind and body at rest.


Staying fit does not mean one can’t have fun! Coupling fitness and dance, the Absolute Move Workout brought fellow NUS colleagues together for a time of fun and upbeat exercise.

S Muhammad Abdul Malik (first row, third from left), from the Faculty of Dentistry Dean’s Office, shared, “It is the first time I have taken part in this genre of workout on campus. It reminded me of "The Great Singapore Workout" that used to take place! It was memorable working up a sweat together with my colleagues from the Faculty of Dentistry as well as other NUS colleagues as a team!”

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In this era where many of us are constantly connected to technology, the Tech Detox programme, held at Ground-Up Initiative (GUI), brought NUS staff participants to Balik Kampung, where they could unplug from technologies and be involved in down-to-earth tasks such as weeding, mulching, composting and woodwork, to help sustain the GUI’s nature-inspired community campus.

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Yeo Wei Wei (pictured, bottom left image, in the centre), from Central Procurement Office, recalled, “The experience from Tech Detox @ GUI really opened my eyes to how we can love our earth and fully utilise the things around us. Getting our hands (and shoes) in the mud was a therapeutic experience for me. I would love to re-visit the farm to see the harvests from the garden plot we have prep-ed together!”


Emeritus Professor Lee Jim Yang (first from left), from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the College of Design and Engineering, reminisced, “The programme appealed to me as I like to revisit the “kampong” environment of yester years. The activities though somewhat exhausting for the ageing body, were also mentally uplifting. It gave me one of the most memorable days in retirement. In addition, I got to interact with people of different backgrounds at NUS.”

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Prabashini Bava (pictured, leftmost), from the Office of Human Resources, enthused, “I’m an avid believer in work-life balance, and had to sign up when I saw the title “Tech Detox”! I appreciate the effort taken by NUS to organise such rejuvenating activities, and the particular activity I had chosen on wood crafting was very new to me. Thanks to this event, I actually used a hand drill for the very first time and saw how composting is done.”

Lee Poi Leng (pictured, rightmost), from the Department of Geography at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, shared, “There are many benefits in nature-based activities. The sun and hard work keep our body and minds healthy, while learning about interesting things that we normally don’t experience in our daily life – these help in coping with the stressors of today’s society.”

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NUS staff also took time out to craft personalised scents and engage in a workshop on thoughtful eating, where they learnt the benefits of being present in their experience with food.

The Festival, which saw over 1,700 in staff attendance throughout the month-long event, also featured the Eat a Rainbow - Fruits Day distributions, Active Zen workout, as well as a 20-day Self-Care Challenge where staff incorporated various fun and invigorating self-care activities into their daily routines.

Yeo Wei Wei, Central Procurement Office, shared, “As an advocate for active and healthy lifestyle, I am appreciative of the WellNUS Festival, and how the University places emphasis on the nourishment of our body, mind and soul.”

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