Mental Exercises to Help You Fight Against Distractions

Whether we’re working in an office or studying at school, we all know how important it is to stay focused on what we’re doing. Having good focus and concentration is essential to stay productive regardless of where you work or study in Singapore. Of course, you may have tried to get your focus back, but all the distractions just seem overwhelming. Don’t fret! Here are the things you need to remember.

Do it slowly but surely

Let’s use a classic example. If you go to a gym as a complete beginner and try to lift heavy weights without any prior training, your body will explode anytime soon. That’s just a vague example but that’s how it usually works when it comes to teaching yourself to focus. Being easily distracted is a habit that we’ve developed throughout the years. Just like many other habits, it will be hard to get rid of. If you force yourself to stay focused, you’re just going to tire yourself out. So, it’s important to do it slowly but surely. The following points will help you further with this.

Write those distractions down on paper

The most common type of distraction comes in the form of an idea that suddenly pops up in our mind. “Who was that actress in the new movie again?”, “I wonder what’s trending on Twitter right now”, “What’s the second Harry Potter book?” We toggle away from our work just to feed our curiosity about these ideas and we don’t even notice that we’ve wasted a lot of time already. The solution to this is actually really simple! Every time a distracting idea comes up, just write it down in a piece of paper and continue your work.

Meditate

Meditation helps relieve stress, keep you calm, and help you make well-organized thoughts. But aside from those, it’s also been found to have profound positive effects on focus and attention span. Just dedicating at least 10 minutes of your time every day can help you reap these wonderful benefits of meditation. It would be best to do it in the morning though, so you can start your day off with your focus already in tip-top shape.

Try your best to avoid reading summaries

Reading summaries when you actually have the time to read the whole thing only fuels the desire for instant gratification. For the most part, instant gratification is a big factor as to why we get distracted so easily. We do work, then go read a short summary of something completely unrelated to the thing we’re doing, then go back to our work again. Put things into perspective and realize that you’re missing out on a world of knowledge if you read something so short compared to the original piece.

Things to Remember When Writing Fiction

Whether you’re required to make a story for school or you aspire to be a well-known author, you will almost always experience writing fiction. Some excel at it while some take a bit more time and practice getting used to it. Just like any other form of writing, fiction does take a good amount of imagination and creativity. And though it can be quite overwhelming at first, it’s also really enjoyable once you start getting better. So, here are some handy tips for you!

Read and read and read

I can’t even describe how important it is to read as many as much as you can. Reading and writing come hand in hand! For one, you can get inspiration simply by reading others’ work. And two, you can get a lot of ideas and enhance your own creativity and imagination as well. Also, even if you’re aiming to write fiction, it doesn’t mean you’ll also have to read only fiction too. Reading news articles, poems, maybe even screenplays, can also be beneficial to your work.

Have an exclusive writing space

Everybody has their own preferred places to write. If you find it most comforting to write in your room, then stay there. If you feel like you get a lot of ideas when you’re in a coffee shop, value your time there. When you start writing though, make sure to go to a place where you can actually focus on your work. If you need to stand up and act out a scene to get a feel for it before putting it on paper, you wouldn’t want to do it in public. You won’t want people to have a weird impression of you!

Create realistic characters

The most important aspect of creating characters is making them relatable. This may sound simple but it’s actually quite difficult to do, especially because as an author you tend to have biases. Characters should have raw emotions, they should make mistakes and have flaws, basically make them as human as possible. That way it will be easier to reach out to your audience since you allow them to feel like the character in some way. Of course, it’s not just the protagonist you should focus on but also all other characters in your story.

Always remember to revise

Here’s something you should always remember: never be satisfied with the first draft. No matter how perfect you think the story is in the first writing, that’s never the case. After you’re done writing, leave it for one or two days. Then go back and read it again slowly. You’re sure to find grammatical mistakes and scenes that could use some improving. It would also be helpful to ask for others’ opinions. Bottom line is, always remember to revise!

Terms Used in Insurance You Should Remember

Are you planning to get an insurance for yourself or for your possessions? It is important to understand what you are getting into and what you are investing your money in before signing any documents.

While you do not have to be an expert in insurance, it would not hurt to know the most common terms you might hear or read in order to make an informed decision.

  • Insurer – This refers to the company that will accept the risks after the pays claims and premiums are received.
  • Insured – It means that the party or person has an insurance against risks and is the one paying the insurance.
  • Beneficiaries – The person/s to whom the policy will be paid in case something happens to you.
  • Broker – A professional who advises people who want to get insured. The broker can act as your agent.
  • Premium – It refers to the amount you pay regularly in installments to the company based on the agreed amount in the insurance policy.

  • Commission – The money that is paid to the brokers who are selling the insurance. The commission is paid by the insurer.
  • Excess – It refers to the amount you must pay if you want to claim your policy. The amount will depend on what is specified in the policy.
  • Liability – It refers to your responsibility of the adverse actions you might have taken or the lack thereof.
  • Third Party – Another person, company, or group of people that may be affected by your actions. The other parties are you and the company.
  • Sum Insured – Premiums are calculated based on this factor. It is the value of the goods at risk or the goods you want to insure.

  • Indemnity – This is the sum of money paid as a compensation in case of loss or other financial burden.
  • Damages – This refers to the monetary compensation for a breach of contract or a civil wrong. The compensation is given to the party affected.
  • Reinsurance – The act of transferring all or part only of the risk to another company. This is usually done to reduce the amount commensurate with the financial resources in case of loss.
  • Double Insurance – If a subject is insured in two or more companies, the total sum insured exceeds its value. You can have a person or item insured twice but with different insurers.

  • Deductible – This refers to the amount you have to pay for damages sustained from your own pockets before the insurance can start to pay.
  • Co-Payment – Half or some of the fee that you pay for medical visits while half of it is paid by the insurance provider.
  • Face Amount – This is the amount of money the insurance policy will pay if the insured dies.
  • Coverage – This can be term or whole life coverage in most insurance companies. Coverage specifies the period of time or term with a defined end date.

6 Common Cancer Myths You Should Stop Believing

Nowadays, it seems like everything in our day-to-day lives can cause cancer. Cancer stories are never too faraway from headlines, but that is mostly because people can easily make claims on the internet without providing justification or any proof. Unfortunately, this news spread like wildfire and pass among friends and acquaintances through social media. Here, we expose some of the common myths and why you should stop believing them.

Cancer is one disease

No, it’s not. In fact, there are hundreds of cancer types. Each cancer has unique molecular signature and distinctive clinical explanation. For instance, in neuro-oncology alone, there are 120 identified subtypes.

Cancer just happens and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it

About 50 percent of all sorts of cancers can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle—proper diet, regular exercise and avoidance from toxins. Even just a 30-minute walk every day to keep you physically active. For your diet, avoid excessive sugar intake and processed foods, and include a lot of fruits and vegetables in your meal.

When a family member has/had cancer, you are doomed to get it, too

While it is true that cancer can be genetic, it doesn’t mean that you are bound to get it, too. There are many intricate pathways in our cells and metabolism that can turn our genes on or off. It is a field called epigenetics, where external influences can alter your genes behavior. If you’re living a healthy lifestyle, you encourage your cells to be healthy, too.

Getting surgery only spreads the cancer

Cancer cells spread through the lymphatic system or the bloodstream. Surgery is done for the purpose of the removal of the cancer. Doing it does not increase the disease’s potential to spread.

Having cancer means having fragile health

Exercise almost always have positive effects versus other scientific treatments. It is a type of physical therapy that can benefit multiple systems in the body, and may even permanently alter the environment of the tumor. But of course, it is still best to check with your healthcare professionals for the ideal exercises you can perform.

People with darker skin don’t get skin cancer

Fair skin may boost your odds of developing melanoma and other types of skin cancer. However, no skin color grants an immunity from the disease, especially if you fail to take preventive measures. Dark-skinned individuals and sometimes even doctors can miss early warning signs of skin cancer, which can appear in commonly overlooked areas of the body, such as on the palms, under the nails, soles of the feet, genitals and eyelids, As a result, they are diagnosed at a later stage.

There’s nothing wrong with being careful, but believing the wrong things that hinder you from doing the right decisions for your health may not be beneficial in the long run.

Things to Remember When Giving a Best Man Speech

It can be quite a great feeling if a friend or relative asks you to be their best man. This will happen at some point in your life and it can sometimes be a once in a lifetime opportunity too! And one of your most meaningful duties will, of course, be the best man speech. Though this sounds simple, it’s not something you should underestimate, especially on such a special day for a person close to you! So, here are some handy tips to help you give a great best man speech.

Don’t get drunk (at least until after your speech)

There have been so many cases where the best man gave his speech drunk and just kept rambling on and on. Save yourself—and everybody else for this matter—from the embarrassment and stay sober before you go up front. Of course, it’s okay to have a few drinks just to shake off the nerves. But remember that even if it is a day for celebration, you should still avoid going all-out with the booze. You wouldn’t want to ruin the couple’s day just because you’ve had too much alcohol!

Make sure to prepare your speech

When you think about the best man’s speech, it all seems very light-hearted. You share a story about the couple, crack a few jokes, propose a toast, and etc. But this really doesn’t mean that you can go in there unprepared. If you think you can go impromptu and nail the speech on the spot, you’re not doing yourself a favor at all. You will have weeks to prepare so use that time to think of things you can say for the speech. Stories, jokes, and quotes will be better presented if you already plan them out beforehand.

Avoid saying anything controversial, insulting, or too embarrassing

A lot of times, when you’re already in front of the mic you get tempted to say a really embarrassing story in an attempt to invite laughter from the audience. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with telling some weird story, but just don’t do it at the expense of your friend and his wife. In addition, never say anything that insults anyone in the room or something controversial like past relationships. Obviously, this should all be common sense but there really are dudes out there who need a bit of reminding.

Keep it short

The best man’s speech always goes last. That means by the time you make your speech, everybody’s ready for a little fun (or the food if the speeches happen before the meal). Plus, because the best man’s speech is expected to invite a lot of laughs, it won’t be necessary to drag it out for too long. Share a short story, crack some jokes, read out messages from those who couldn’t make it, and finish with the final toast.

Common High Blood Pressure Disorders During Pregnancy

It is true what they say about putting your life on the line when you are carrying a child. Anything can go wrong during the nine-month journey that will endanger both the mother and the baby despite the better healthcare practices and diagnostic tools we have today. One such common problem that is on the rise are the cases of high blood pressure disorders during pregnancy. Let’s examine each type below.

Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia not only manifests as the elevation of blood pressure, but it can also affect multiple organs in the body. This is notable in the presence of protein in the urine or proteinuria during the 20th week of gestation. Preeclampsia is prominent in first-time mothers or those who have hypertension, kidney issues, immune system disorders, and those older than 40 years.

The blood pressure level must be at least 140/90 mm Hg and there should be a presence of protein in the urine of at least 300 mg to be diagnosed with preeclampsia. Other symptoms include edema, visual disturbances, cyanosis, impaired liver function, fetal growth restriction, and epigastric pain or right-upper quadrant pain.

Gestational Hypertension

This was previously named pregnancy-induced hypertension because it happens after 20 weeks of gestation. A pregnant woman will be diagnosed with this condition if the elevated blood pressure is at least 140/po mm Hg and there are no signs of preeclampsia. This also means that the doctors must first rule out preeclampsia if there is elevated blood pressure but there are no other symptoms after the 12th week of postpartum.

Unlike preeclampsia. Gestational hypertension means that there is no protein in the urine, organ damage, and other symptoms. However, there are still a lot of women who develop preeclampsia between the 24th and 35th weeks of gestation after having been diagnosed with gestational hypertension.

Chronic Hypertension

This condition is characterized by elevated high blood pressure even before the pregnancy. However, it can also start at the 20th week of pregnancy or the 12th postpartum week. A blood pressure of 179/109 mm Hg or less is considered mild hypertension, while a blood pressure of 180/110 mm HG or more is considered severe.

Most of the women who suffer from this are in their late childbearing stage. Although this is less severe than preeclampsia, chronic hypertension can still cause intrauterine growth restriction. The current medication might be changed especially if you are using a beta-blocker to avoid small birth weight for the baby, while ACE inhibitors may cause congenital defects in babies.

Chronic Hypertension with Superimposed Preeclampsia

Women who have hypertension before pregnancy are at risk of suffering from preeclampsia. The high blood pressure gets worse and there are signs of damage to the other organs. These cases are treated the same way patients with preeclampsia are treated to avoid complications.

Tips for Redecorating the Kitchen

While the kitchen is primarily valued for its function, that does not mean it can’t be stylish. Because you and your family spend a lot of time in it, a redecoration or even a complete renovation is worth the investment.

Here are some kitchen redecorating ideas to consider.

Red and white combo. Stark white kitchen walls look clean and elegant, but they’re boring. Add a splash of red to make the kitchen look more lived in. You could go for checkered patterns or have the walls painted red at the bottom half and white at the top half.

Visual flow. You could have the floors changed to match the color or texture of the countertops. For example, rustic wooden counters can be matched with wooden floors or wood-patterned tiles.

Add more life. Adding house plants in your kitchen will give it a more natural look. You can even line your herbs and spices on a window sill or counter.

Neutral colors. If you are not a fan of bright colors, adding neutral counters, cupboards, chairs, and shelving will make the kitchen look sophisticated and industrial. Neutral accents also go well with metal decor.

Color pop. If you like the clean look of white or neutral colored walls, you need to add colorful details to make your kitchen “pop.” But don’t just pick random colors because you need to coordinate the design, so just pick one or two bright colors when choosing decorations like jars, bottles, containers, etc.

Show off your china. For homes that have a large collection of beautiful china, now is a perfect to show them off to guests. Decorative plates can be lined on a rack or even framed to hang on a wall.

Rustic kitchen. If you like to add a bit of historical look to the kitchen, it is a good opportunity to show off antique pieces like baskets, pots, and bowls. Have the shelves, cupboards, and countertops changed into wood or wood-patterned alternatives to complete the look. You could also hang your copper pans and pots for display.

Go vertical. For small kitchen spaces especially in apartments, you need to add more wall shelves. You could alternate closed cupboards with open shelves if you want to display some knickknacks to maximize the space. To create the illusion of space, have the walls and shelves painted a light color and the flooring changed to neutral color.

Jade, copper, and white. If you want to wow your guests every time they see your kitchen, show off your copper utensils and equipment by displaying them against a jade green kitchen wall. Alternate this beautiful color with stark white counters and appliances and a display of live herbs.

Bold colors. If you find neutral colors boring, how about going for appliances in bold and contrasting colors. However, just make sure you don’t pick more than three colors for your walls, appliances, floor, and counters. The colors still have to be balanced.

Bicycle Maintenance Tips

Whether you regularly go out on trails every week or you use your bike to go around the city, you need to keep it in good condition to avoid mishaps. Fortunately, maintaining a bicycle is not as complicated as maintaining a car or a motorcycle.

Here are bike maintenance tips you should know.

Gather cleaning materials. Make sure that you have the cleaning materials for your bike such as degreaser, brushes, bike wash cleaner, and chain lubricant. It’s also a good idea to invest in a bike stand to make it easier for working on it.

Clean the bike before making adjustments. If you use your bike daily, you need to set aside some time before or after using it for cleaning. It will be easier to make adjustments and do replacements if it is clean.

Clean and lubricate the drivetrain. If you hear squeaking noises from your bike while going to work, it’s probably from the chain and sprockets. Over time, grime and dirt can accumulate and wear off the metal. Instead of having to replace them often, you should clean it regularly (daily if you use it often) and then lubricate it before using.

Check the tires regularly. Before using your bike, make sure that the tires have enough high pressure. All you need for this is a pump with gauge to determine the pressure. Compare it with the recommended tire pressure for your bike (check the manual). You should also check the pressure even if you have not used the bike for months. You should also be able to fix flat tires in case of an emergency while you’re on the road.

Secure the screws and bolts. Check if there are any loose screws, bolts, and nuts in your bike. You will usually notice something if there are squeaks and creaks from the bike. Just make sure to not overtighten them. You should also store some spare bolts and nuts.

Adjust the brakes before using. You need to check if the brakes are working properly before using the bike. Tighten the barrel or replace the pads if they are worn out.

Index the gears. Check for signs of wear on the gears. The cable will probably need to be tightened. Moreover, you also need to check if the cables are damaged.

Replace the chain. If you use the bike regularly, you will need to change the chain if you have traveled 4,000 miles or less if you always travel on rough terrain. You can invest in a chain checker if you have doubts. When replacing a chain, you might also need a new cassette.

Lubricate. There are specific formulas made for this so avoid using just any product on your bike. Lubricate areas where metal touches metal. However, before lubricating, you need to clean the metal surfaces first.

Common Causes of Lower Back Pain You Should Look Out For

Working a desk job in Singapore, it might be common to feel a bit of pain in your lower back. Of course, this will come from sitting all day. But there are also other causes of lower back pain and some might be more serious than others. Here are some you’ll want to look out for.

Having poor posture

Probably the most common cause of lower back pain in today’s time is poor posture. When you spend a long time sitting in front of the computer at your office or just lounging around at home scrolling on your phone, you usually won’t notice that you’re slouching. If you do slouch for long periods, it will negatively affect not only your lower back but your whole spine in general.

Sprains

Sprains and similar injuries are actually the most common cause of lower back pain. This is because they can happen as a result of many different things. You can get a sprain simply from lifting heavy furniture or while playing a sport. You can get a sprain if you overtrain or do some unnatural movements with your spine. While you can recover from these injuries there’s already a chance that lower back pain will still nag on you in the future.

If you have muscular imbalances

One cause of lower back pain that’s fairly hard to detect is if you have muscular imbalances. Simply put, if you’re using certain muscles more than others. Barbell squats, for example, is a compound exercise that targets the legs but also engages the core and upper back. If you have weak abdominal muscles, you’re lower back will end up taking all the strain. This goes for many other exercises that involve the core as well.

It may come with age

Lower back pain can also come as we get older. Disc degeneration comes with the process of aging and with it can be chronic back pain. This is probably one the trickiest to deal with because it’s natural. But there are many things we can do to at least delay the first instances of pain. It can be anything from maintaining proper posture, to having a healthy diet, even to having physical therapy! As long as you take care of your body as you age, you can delay the effects of disc degeneration.

Scoliosis

Some spinal conditions can also cause lower back pain and scoliosis is a more common one. Scoliosis is basically when the spine curves sideways or in an unnatural shape, like an S or a C. This will lead to unnecessary pressure in some areas in the back. Normally, one will need to go to a physical therapist for correction and to alleviate the effects of scoliosis. With that, the pain in the lower back might also be reduced.