Pictured above: Woman staring into space
The coronavirus has brought Singapore and the world to an unprecedented state of global slowdown. Social distancing and lockdowns are now dominating news headlines and social media feeds. Singapore's 'Circuit Breaker' (CB) has been in place since 7 April 2020 in order to pre-empt escalating Covid-19 infections. Residents are advised to stay at home as much as possible.
While it sounds like we are being cooped up at home, it doesn't mean we have to give up our lifestyles totally. Here are ways to survive the CB lifestyle and how we can continue to make plans in our re-orientated life during this period.
Avoid Excessive Snacking
It’s easy to get tempted with snacks and junk foods like chips, cakes, biscuits, chocolate and even your sugary drinks. Those are highly processed and low in nutrients. I, for one, had swapped my apple for three pieces of Tim Tams on the first day of the CB.
You may not know this but looking for snacks when it’s a want more than a need is part of emotional eating. Yes, emotional eating doesn’t just occur only during breakups. When we are trapped in a house with a cupboard full of food, we tend to ease our anxiety with our favourite comfort foods and sometimes when we’re just plain bored.
Awww, how cute.
However, emotional eating can hurt you physically and mentally, and the last thing you would want after the CB ends is to cultivate a bad snacking habit instead of maintaining a healthy diet - with regular exercise – like you used to.
Why not substitute your dry pantry with healthy grains and nuts! We would even encourage getting a variety of cereal and granola instead of chips to satisfy your nibbling temptations.
Local social enterprise, Boxgreen Singapore, packs a box full of delicious and nutritious snacks, catered to your liking! From berries to nuts, crunchies and gluten-free items, this is a much better way of making snacking fun for you and your family. In addition, for every snack sold, a portion of the proceeds goes towards providing meals for the needy. Do good and eat healthy, that’s a win-win!
In addition, for every snack sold, a portion of the proceeds goes towards providing meals for the needy. Do good and eat healthy, that’s a win-win!
Pictured above: Portioned ground beef | Credit: The Kitchn
While you can’t physically meet up with your BFs and BFFs, you certainly can ‘meat up’ by storing your non-processed ingredients such as meat and vegetables in the freezer! They can be stored up to 3 – 4 months. We are not encouraging you to panic-buy and hoard the produce at NTUC, but you can definitely save a little bit when put them in the freezer.
A tip my mom practices which our family swears by: divide your meat into small portions before putting them in the freezer. This way, when you need to add ingredients like minced meat or chicken slices, you can thaw just the right amount and saving the rest for later.
Drink, Drank, Drunk
Set an alarm to drink water every hour, because water is the miracle cure to everything according to Asian moms. No, kopi (coffee), teh (tea) or fruit juice is not considered.
Get active! There are many home workouts that you can do at the comfort of your room. Just a yoga mat or a small area for you to stretch and jump will be enough! You can check out local fitness trainers like Tyen Rasif, Lucas Lim and Georgina Poh who are sharing videos on how to keep fit using items found at home.
Alternatively, invest in a VR or movement-enabled console game so you can play and get active with your family!
Pictured above: Climbing up a flight of stairs | Credit: Sunrise Odyssey
If you don’t feel like jogging in the park, try climbing the stairs of your HDB or condo building instead! Opting for the stairs when you need to make a short trip for essential services is a good way to get those muscles moving, otherwise #stayhome! If you’re out, don’t forget mask up and adhere to the 1m rule!
This is a fun way to get your creative juices flowing, as well as staying in touch with your friends through trendy challenges on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. You’ve seen food trends like Dalgona Coffee, why not try the #plankchallenge, #youknowillgoget challenge or those easy dance challenges on TikTok? If you are game for something more adventurous, rope in your family members and create fun videos like the #BlindingLightsChallenge and #fliptheswitch!
Think of one thing that makes you grateful for the day, because it is easy to get depressed and feel rather down and lonely with the type of news showing these days. Not to mention how cooped up we can feel when we are staying at home all day every day! It’s simple and proven effective. Thank the simplest thing like the sun, or your Netflix subscription, your partner, or purely for the fact that you have a mobile phone or computer where you can read our awesome articles!
Catch The Zzs
Get adequate sleep! 6-8 hours is the recommended duration so stop bingeing on Korean dramas if you got to WFH (Work-From-Home) or HBL (Home-Based Learning) the next day!
You may have noticed that your normal sleep pattern has changed since the circuit breaker. This is because our usual daily routine – including commutes, meal times, and the amount of time we spend outside – being altered because of self-isolation. For some of us, we may have been sleeping longer than usual, catching up on the lost hours. This ‘sleep debt’ is normal, plus knowing that we don’t have to wake up at a certain time for school or work makes us a little lazier that normal.
Therefore, it’s important to maintain a regular sleep schedule. Exposure to natural light and having regular meal times will help in aligning our ‘biological clock’. Another way is to avoid napping and reduce the amount of screen time – and that includes your phones and tablets – at least an hour earlier to allow us to relax and calm.
Start a blog, bring back the forgotten aunt of social media! Journaling your thoughts and emotions is a good way to keep your thoughts organised and a time for self-reflection. Who knows, you may be releasing a book in the future, becoming the next diarist like Anne Frank!
What are some lifestyle hacks will you recommend during this circuit breaker period? Share with us your stories, we want to hear from you!