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.

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.

Diet Guide for Diabetics

One of the most difficult experiences of a diabetic is choosing the right food to eat. There are so many restrictions to the diet that some patients feel deprived of the good stuff. However, once you understand what you are getting from your food, it will be easier to choose the ingredients and to prepare the food.

Healthy Eating Tips

  • Consult your team of doctors if you’re planning to start a new diet or if you need a new diet plan
  • Don’t skip meals if you’re trying to lose weight, instead, eat regular meals evenly spaced out everyday
  • You might need snacks in between meals if you are taking insulin
  • Generally, you are advised to eat avoid meals that are high in fats and sodium
  • No single diet plan will work for everyone, and even children and adults with diabetes have different needs
  • Remember these three nutrients that will impact your blood glucose levels: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates
  • Always choose non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean meat, poultry, and fish

Counting Carbohydrates

One of the most important considerations to keep in mind is the amount of energy that you will burn and the matching amount of food taken daily. The effect of carbohydrates on your body will depend on the type and the amount of carbohydrates.

That doesn’t mean, however, that you should avoid carbohydrates completely, but you should maintain your energy levels with the right amount of carbohydrates. Doctors will usually advise you to pick food that have low glycemic index (or the duration of the digestion of carbohydrates to glucose), but are high in fiber content.

Fats

You will be advised to limit your fat intake, because it increases the chances of gaining weight even if it will not directly affect your blood sugar level. You’re not supposed to go for a fat-free diet either, because fats can help you to control the feeling of hunger. You will be advised to avoid animal fat, and pick monounsaturated fats instead.

Protein

Your body needs protein to repair itself, so don’t worry about avoiding your favorite cheese or meat, because proteins can’t break down into glucose and affect your blood sugar level. As long as you don’t have allergies and food intolerances, you can still eat eggs, fish, tofu, seeds and nuts, milk, lentils, legumes, and yoghurt.

Sugar

You don’t necessarily need to avoid sugar, but you need to be careful about its sources, such as added sugars and alternative sweeteners. You can occasionally have high-sugar food, but you should limit these snacks to not more than 3 times a week.

Alcohol and Sweet Drinks

You can still drink alcoholic beverages and sweet drinks as long as your doctor permits it. Limit alcohol to not more than 2 glasses per day and your sweet drinks to low joule or diet types. Beverages such as coffee, tea, herbal tea, and soda water are okay as long as you don’t use artificial sweeteners.

Encouraging Healthy Lifestyle among Kids  

Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB) is bringing healthy lifestyle awareness to secondary school children. It is better to introduce healthy lifestyle early so kids can incorporate it and understand its importance when they grow up. HPB knows that students spend most of their time in school. In line with this, HPB developed a school program that helped hundreds to lose weight and stop smoking.

Happy family preparing a healthy dinner at home.

The programme is called Student Health Adviser Programme. It started way back 2010. The initial program only covered 8 secondary schools but it will be expanded through time. HPB will make sure to bring the awareness to additional 50 secondary schools, 5 Polytechnics and 3 Institutes of Technical Education by the end of 2018. The health programmes are spearheaded by HPB in the hopes of reducing the rate of obesity and other chronic illnesses in Singapore.

The initial program helped 30% of more than five hundred overweight students. Overweight students attended the Weight Management Programme. The Weight Management Programme for example covers three sessions which will give students tips on how to promote healthy eating habits and staying active.

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Teenagers should be constantly reminded of healthy food choices and exercise. Food choices and exercise can affect your life in the later years. It is better to start young. If you are a parent, you should encourage healthy living to your kids by being a role model. Remember that your kids follow your lead. If you live an unhealthy life, they will surely tread the same path.

Healthy lifestyle is fun if it is done together with friends. Teenagers will surely like the program of HPB.

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What to Do and Where to Go In Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands is probably the most famous spot in Singapore City, and the infinity pool is probably every person’s dream. Nonetheless, there is far more than the infinity pool once we talk about Marina Bay Sands. There are more activities to do after hanging out and relaxing to the pool that overlooks the cityscape. Let’s start from the infinity pool, though.

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The infinity pool is located at the Marina Bay Sands Skypark. Expect breathtaking view in this place; therefore prepare your cameras to capture the moment because in the Marina Bay Sands Skypark, one gets to see a 360 degrees view of Singapore. It is exciting to play “find that landmark” in this area because most landmarks can be seen and pinpointed. The Merlion, the Singapore Flyer and the River—you can see it all from this spot. You’ll be relaxed and awed as you walk in this park.

Another way on taking a look to Singapore is having a ride to the Singapore Flyer. Have an exciting 30-minute ride in this Flyer. You can see Singapore at a low point to a panoramic view once you are here. If you want something that can truly show that you are in Singapore, go to the Merlion also located in Marina Bay. Merlion is the official tourism icon of Singapore, so never miss taking picture in this landmark.

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Lifestyle, fine dining and world class shows wait in the Esplanade –Theatres on the Bay. Dive into the luxurious place by watching the shows, tasting their good food and choosing Esplanade as your shopping spot. Not to mention this place’s unique architecture. If you are a fan of building designs and figures, you would not stop looking around wondering how amazing Esplanade was built. Arts and culture—these are the two words that best describe Esplanade.

Before ending your tour at Marina Bay, make sure not to leave Gardens By The Bay, and be wowed by their super trees planted in 101 hectares of land. These super trees are not only called “super” because of their size but also because of their environment friendly functions.

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