The Importance of Leisure in Adult Life

by Redwan Hamzah  •   October 08, 2020

They say the rhythm of a city reflects its pace of life. I find that in Singapore, people walk faster, traffic feels more frantic and space is at a premium. The link between time, money and walking could be drawn on the basis of economizing time, resulting in a life that is more hurried and harried.

It is a necessary truth towards living in a constantly growing city, that wage rate and cost of living is always on the up and up, with that same incremental pace applied to a resident’s time.

For many of us, adult life represents a world of constant daily activity, from meetings to daily work responsibilities. Add on actual Living Life stuff like household chores, relationships and kids and suddenly there seems to not be enough hours in a day.

I do know I felt a certain sense of accomplishment and movement from feeling this way, though my thoughts on this changed as I reached some kind of physical and mental burnout. Your body manifests tiredness in various ways: less resources to be kind, a sort of apathy to most everything, a propensity to get stressed and anxious, a lack of presentness in being.

While I do not pretend to be the foremost authority on living a balanced life, I have recognised the importance of leisure and recreational activity to the brain and overall well-being. 

What could be defined as leisure? I think a core understanding of leisure comes from the idea of activities done during free time – not during work or when you are taking care of routine household chords and running errands. If an activity feels like it is being done out of pure enjoyment and is not present on your list of things ‘to-do’, it probably qualifies as leisure.

Having said that, leisure is often an afterthought – something extra that is not a necessary part of our lives and a reward for the things that we have to do. In a society that places a supreme value on productivity, leisure is not always viewed as a required component of a balanced life. 

I think it is healthy to embrace a definition of health that is not simply ‘the absence of illness’, but also a state of enhanced physical, cognitive, emotional and social well-being that presents an optimal start point in creative and independent life pursuits. It enables happiness and a sense of being fully participant in every given moment, exploration and encounter.

Time to drop some terminology:

Physical Health

Many recreational activities done for leisure are physical in nature, with elements of exercise playing its role in helping to improve general body health.

Psychosocial Health

This can be defined as mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. When you make time for an activity you enjoy, be it reading or taking a stroll in the park, you reap the benefits of not only having a break from doing other work but also a break from worrying or thinking about them.

Cognitive Health

Keeping your mind active is an essential part towards establishing lifelong brain health, and keeping your brain sharp by learning new things constantly will play an important role towards mental well-being well into your old age.

Let’s Jam Lah!

In Insyncsg’s search for curating an activity that was physical in nature, non-stressful and one that resulted in a tangible sense of achievement and well-being, we eventually arrived at our ‘Let’s Jam Lah!’ programme.

An activity grounded in the idea of making music fun and accessible, participants will get to learn a song of their choice, on instruments of their choice, and perform as a band all within the span of an hour.

Who should come for a Jamlah session?

To break it down, it would be:

… anyone who has never played a musical instrument before and thought it impossible.

… anyone who wants to pick up music but is undecided on which instrument speaks to them.

… friends who would like to engage in a short but super-fun activity, learning a song they all love.

… anyone who is seeking a unique weekend activity that is wonderfully complex and enjoyable.

anyone and everyone really!

What will you be doing during a Jamlah session?

Each session begins with learning rhythms through our bodies, rhythms that are specific to the song that you will be learning. You will be performing these rhythms in conjunction with our recorded track, preparing you for the next step… which is:

To choose your instrument! Think of the modern band format and all the instruments to go along with it – drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, vocals. They are all there for the picking.

Once you have decided, the journey towards playing the song as a band begins! A trainer will be there guiding you in translating the initial rhythms you have learnt, to actual song parts. 

As music fills the air and confidence starts brewing, the newly-minted band will come together to play through the song together under the guidance of the lead musical trainer.

What can you do beyond a Jamlah session?

Insyncsg offers a bunch of continuation pathways beyond a Jamlah session:

Songwriting and Music Production Lessons

Songwriting and music production lessons are available for students of all levels; learn how to use music recording software in tandem with learning how to write a song. 

In this 12-week course, we will cover everything from recording 101 to how-tos on creating interesting chord progressions, lyric-writing strategies and more.

Music Lessons

We offer music lessons on various instruments from guitar, bass, drums to keyboards. Our educators are well-qualified and seasoned music industry practitioners who have decades worth of teaching experience between them!

In closing, I hope this article brought some light to your life, and that it has ignited some dormant musical excitement in you. I believe it exists in everyone, the potential to feel joy and euphoria through music and I look forward to seeing you at one of our programmes soon!