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Millennial problems

Singapore Millennials Dish What It’s Like To Hit 30 & Suddenly Feel Old, Like Body Aches & Sleeping Early

Common millennial problems

They say 30 is the new 20, and it’s easy to see why. We’re enjoying financial freedom, we’re free from the shackles of our parents’ rule, and our careers have taken off. But there’s one nagging feeling we can’t seem to shake: we’re getting old. And we literally feel it in our aching backs and inability to use TikTok. Such common millennial problems.

In a bid to get to the bottom of my own signs of ageing, I rallied the 30-year-olds of TheSmartLocal (TSL) to get the conversation going on what it’s really like to hit 30. 

1. Injuries don’t recover as quickly as they used to 

Random body aches!– this was something the 30-year-olds of TSL practically chorused when asked what it was like to hit 30. Whether it’s three decades worth of bad posture, old injuries or just pure deterioration catching up to us, many of us can agree that mysterious body aches are a part of our everyday lives. 

Millennial problems - man with painful legs

Likewise, working out is no longer a walk in the park. It now takes two weeks to recover from a session at the gym, instead of just a day. “I now see the doctor for sprains and muscle pulls more than I did in my 20s,said my teammate Jessica Lai. “And if you don’t cool down properly, you’ll surely feel achy.

2. You involuntarily fall asleep early 

Staying up late to surf the internet, hang out with friends, or study used to come as second nature for many of us in our 20s. Now, you’ll rarely find a 30-year-old awake past midnight. Our circadian rhythm has betrayed us, and we rise with the sun while being able to function on less hours of sleep – just like our parents

Millennial problems - sleeping early
With responsibilities piling up, it has also become a privilege to be able to sleep in.

I went from sleeping at 4AM to becoming a morning person,” my other teammate Ra shared. “I’m at a point in my life where I wake up at 9.30AM on a Saturday but already feel like I’m wasting my day.

3. Hangovers now last an entire weekend 

Remember those days partying at Zouk till the wee hours of the morning? And then being able to function perfectly normally the next day? Yeah, that’s a distant memory for us 30-year-olds. 

I don’t know how I could club till closing time, then go for supper/breakfast, go home and shower, and then go to work straight last time,” Steph of our project management team shared.

Millennial problems - supplements to combat hangovers
The 30-year-olds in the company chat discussing how to survive a night of drinking
Image adapted from: Jessica Fang

Following this revelation, other colleagues enthusiastically chimed in with recommendations of supplements to boost liver health and digestion, plus detox pills to survive boozy nights. I felt like I’d aged about 10 years older just having this conversation with them. 

4. “Old people” food has become more appealing

There was a time when things like porridge and stout would turn us off, simply because these are things that only older people consumed. Now it’s something we actually crave.

Millennial problems - eating porrige
We’d even be willing to queue for good porridge
Image credit: Eatbook

I myself have found I lost the ability to eat things like candy and crisps in bulk without feeling sick. My fellow 30-year-olds added that they now forego sweet Bubble Tea, in favour of wholesome sugarless Oolong tea – hot

We’re also more conscious about what we eat, seeing that our metabolic rate has slowed down. “The horrible metabolic rate is real,” Amanda from our YouTube team mused. “I used to be able to eat whatever I want but now I avoid breathing too hard when passing a KFC, or else I’ll gain weight.” 

Dealing with millennial problems

Turning 30 is great, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that you definitely feel the signs of ageing more prominently than before. The scary part is, these signs may be pointing to more serious health issues, and it’s high time we start paying a little more attention to them. 

One Wellness Medical reception

I myself feel that my aching 32-year-old back is thoroughly battered. And it doesn’t help that I’ve done little to find a long-term solution for it. So when I was offered the chance to get an assessment at Eu Yan Sang’s latest concept clinic, One Wellness Medical at SBF Centre, I took it with zero hesitation. 

Finding the root of my back problems

As someone who’s lived with upper back problems for over five years, I’ve gone for my fair share of Chinese and aromatherapy massages to ease the pain. That, plus slap a load of medicated plasters and heating balms onto my neck and shoulders. 

Millennial problems - back pain

That said, my visit to One Wellness Medical was my first time going the “Western medicine” route by seeing an actual GP to assess the damage of my back. My doctor for the day was Dr. Tan Ee Chong, who started off by asking me questions about where the pain was, what my lifestyle was like, and whether I had any previous injuries. 

Doctor checking back pain

With the pain originating from the centre of my shoulders, right smack in the middle of the spine, he said that this could be a culmination of several problems:

  • An injury that went unnoticed, possibly due to lifting heavy objects during my time as a flight stewardess.
  • Poor posture from sitting in an office chair, plus lack of muscles to support the spine. 
  • Some form of early ageing or deterioration at that part of the spine.

Doctor showing spine diagram to patient
Dr. Tan explained in detail how injuries may occur on various parts of the spine and back

Thankfully, due to the nature and character of my symptoms, Dr. Tan concluded that it was likely to be a soft tissue injury – not a serious issue. To be safe, he recommended that I undergo an X-ray to rule out degeneration or ageing issues and to see what further treatment can be done. In the meantime, temporary relief in the form of acupuncture was literally just a few steps away. 

Trying acupuncture for the first time

So, the unique thing about One Wellness Medical is that there’s a GP and TCM clinic under the same roof. That made it rather easy for me to seek out instant treatment before proceeding with the longer process of X-rays and follow-up consultations. Also, I have to admit that I was really excited to pop my acupuncture cherry. 

TCM taking pulse

The TCM physician, Tan Ngee Wah, did a separate assessment on me, examining my pulse and tongue to check on the condition of my body.  

Then, it was time for the needles. Although I admit I was quite terrified at the idea of having some 15 needles inserted all over my body, the actual treatment was no more painful than an ant bite or two.

Acupuncture needles in back
Acupuncture needles help to stimulate blood flow at nerve points and promote natural healing at problem areas. Photo for illustration only.
Image credit: One Wellness Medical

Physician Tan Ngee Wah targeted pressure points on my wrists, upper back, and behind my knees, and the experience felt sort of ethereal. My body, especially my arms, went numb, and there was a tingling sensation on my wrists. She left me to rest for about 30 minutes but I tapped out around the 20-minute mark as I started to get a little lightheaded. 

Acupuncture treatment
Photo for illustration only
Image credit: One Wellness Medical

She then said I could carry on with my day as per usual, but advised me to do some shoulder stretches and get some rest to let the treatment take effect. 

Seeking treatments at One Wellness Medical

Whether you’re feeling the brunt of turning 30 or have long-standing ailments, you’ve likely tried various forms of treatments from both Western and Eastern sources. These practices may originate from opposite ends of the globe, but if it helps to effectively address the problem, I’m all for it. 

One Wellness Medical reception

For me, I was glad to find out that my back problems weren’t as serious as my paranoid self thought it was. I was also given the option for further follow-ups to nip this problem in the bud once and for all. Plus, it helped tremendously that I managed to get some pain relief in the form of acupuncture right there and then. 

If you too are worried that your aches, pains and tiredness is getting the better of you, you may want to seek out some solutions at the likes of One Wellness Medical

Scanning QR code with phone app
The clinic utilises digital registrations as well

Their health and wellness solutions are tailored around primary care, so you can get started on targeting recurring health problems as you feel the signs of ageing. Whether you prefer opting for a GP or TCM physician, One Wellness Medical offers both under one roof so you can easily find the right treatment for you. 

Schedule an appointment at One Wellness Medical

160 Robinson Road, #03-14, Singapore 068914
Opening hours: Mon – Thu 8.30AM-6PM | Fri 8.30AM-5.30PM (Closed on Saturdays and Sundays)
Telephone: 6904 1671

This post was brought to you by One Wellness Medical by Eu Yan Sang.
Photography by Clement Sim.