The disorienting days of the COVID-19 circuit-breaker are thankfully over. But in hindsight, it wasn’t all doom and gloom.
For starters, forgoing the commute to the office was a godsend for those who were fortunate enough to have their own space and privacy at home.
In fact, 8 in 10 local employees would like to continue working from home post-circuit breaker. And for those who’ve always wanted to spend more time with family, the few months of enforced isolation was a blessing in disguise.
If you look on the bright side, this entire episode has helped us to cultivate some new habits that will benefit our health in the long run.
If there’s something we’d want to hang onto from the circuit-breaker, these habits would be it.
Good Habit 1: Sleeping more
And yet, most of us aren’t quite keen on putting that into practice. Sleep deprivation is a global health issue that cuts across all age cohorts. And Singaporeans are guilty of being the third most sleep-deprived worldwide.
Hopefully, the circuit-breaker has helped our country cultivate some healthier bedtime habits. Now that commuting is work has been put on hold for many companies, we’ve been grateful for the extra hour or two of shut-eye in the morning.
Now, to pay off all those years of sleep debt!
Good Habit 2: Having better work and life balance
Not many people are complaining about the distance from coworkers these days. The new normal of remote work has made employers more respectful of boundaries, probably because they’re in the same boat themselves.
Plus, working from home has also given us more say on how we want to allocate our time. Feeling lethargic after lunch? Instead of ploughing through unproductively, get some household chores out of the way, or get a 20-min power nap. After all, you can catch up on your tasks in evening.
Contrary to what your manager probably thinks, having an occasional breather at work has also been proven to make employees more productive. This is because it dramatically improves your attention span, which sharpens your ability to handle tasks faster and smarter.
Good Habit 3: Getting more me-time
In the past few months, there were certainly moments of heightened negativity. It’s hard to worry about your job, your health and your loved ones all the time. Being trapped indoors is also extremely exhausting.
That said, the pandemic has forced us to stop and smell the roses. Whether it’s a jog, a DIY hobby, or something as frivolous as a bubble bath, we’ve learned how to set aside personal time to get through our anxieties.
Since a study recently published in Nature Neuroscience found that new experiences could make you happier, try varying your route or learning a new hobby to up the serotonin factor.
Even though me-time can seem indulgent, it’s important to remember that you’ll be able to care for others more effectively when your cup runneth over.
Good Habit 4: Staying socially connected
The world can be feel like a desolate place when it is under lockdown. This loneliness can have very real consequences on your mental health.
At the start of the pandemic, social scientists warned that the rates of depression will worsen as people continue to isolate. According to a report on CNA, calls to mental health hotlines saw a surge at the start of the circuit-breaker.
Fortunately, according to recent studies done in over 20 countries, people have reported stable levels of well-being during the pandemic.
These findings suggest that people have adapted to the prolonged periods of social distancing. In spite of the circumstances, we’ve come up with ingenious means to maintain social contact and receive emotional support. (Zoom dinner parties and online board games, anyone?)
Isolation has made us more appreciative of our relationships, and that’s fantastic. Scientists have long known that staying socially connected not only bolsters our mental health, but also lowers risk for disease and death.
Good Habit 5: Cooking at home
The pandemic has caused many shifts in habits. But one of the most prominent has to do with our diets.
According to a Nielsen study, one in two locals have switched to making or eating almost every meal at home. Yep, no more eating out or ordering food all the time. Now that we’ve had a taste of this, we’d love to maintain this routine.
Restaurant food and takeout are often loaded with unavoidable amounts of salt and grease. So it’s no surprise that people who frequently prepare their own meals are healthier, consume more fruits and vegetables, and consume fewer calories as a whole. Cooking also grants you more control in terms of ingredients and portions.
Plus, cooking your own meals is more budget-friendly. This especially true if you’re in the habit of prepping a week’s worth of food in advance.
Good Habit 6: Paying more attention to what we eat
Being bored at home has given many of us the motivation to be more hands-on in the kitchen, if only to pass time. An unexpected positive outcome? Not only have our cooking skills improved, we’ve also become more mindful of what we eat.
In fact, 26% of locals reported putting more effort into eating healthier during the circuit-breaker. Dining out is now also less appealing, especially for those who are still apprehensive about crowds.
Either way, the habit of being attentive to ingredients can ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need for a powerful immune system.
Feeling heavier and sluggish after the pandemic?
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