It has been more than a month since the Circuit Breaker started, and most of us are getting used to working or studying from home. Apart from work and academics, how have you been keeping yourself occupied? Although the end of Circuit Breaker is in sight, do read this article in the meantime to find out how you can remain productive and keep yourself entertained! Staying home doesn’t have to be boring!
1. Play board games with your family
The Circuit Breaker can seem a long and trying period. However, there are many silver linings. During this period, there is now more time to spend with family members and time for you to engage in activities to strengthen your bonds. Such an opportunity is much to be cherished, as ordinarily you would have spent most of the time outside home either working, studying, or hanging out with friends or partners.
If you wish to look forward to a day filled with laughter without incurring too much cost and resources, consider playing board games with your family! Although board game cafés are closed during this period, games can be purchased online and delivered to your doorstep. The Mind Café is offering a special discount of 15% on its board games sold on Shopee! Their catalog boasts over 80 games suitable for families and children! Party games, reaction games, and strategy games are available too! Free delivery is available.
2. Take online courses
When was the last time you took the time to read educational material and acquire new knowledge ever since you bade goodbye to school? Understandably, many of us lack time and energy to pick up a new skill whilst we juggle work and family commitments. Also, other distractions on a regular day causes most of us to put off thoughts of #lifelonglearning. The Circuit Breaker is an opportune period for us to reconsider online education since choices for entertainment are now fewer and limited.
If you are worried about the potential costs you may incur when taking online courses, fret not! Various academies offer online courses for free, especially during the Circuit Breaker period. Harvard University is offering close to 70 online courses for free, with topics including programming, business, humanities, and more! If you have looked up on WSQ courses in the past, you would have heard of Singapore’s renowned education academy, NTUC LearningHub. From now till 15th June 2020, you can access over 100 courses for free. The types of courses include Microsoft Office, accounting, communication skills, personal development, and more. Don’t hesitate to take their courses now, as they are usually chargeable.
3. Exercise and meditate
By now, you would have seen various channels sharing #exercisefromhome hacks, such as using a pail of water to replace weights and setting up a pull-up bar using a mop with two sturdy chairs. Since our lifestyles have become more sedentary than over, having the discipline to exercise regularly is even more crucial. If exercising at a park does not appeal to you, you may try the following workout routines at home:
- Bridge – strengthens your core and posterior chain
- Wall squats – strengthens your thighs, hips, calves, and buttocks
- Wall push-ups - strengthens your upper chest and back, arms, shoulders, and core
- Burpees – good for burning fats
- Butterfly stretch – stretches your hips, glutes, back, and thighs
Staying at home for long durations can make one cranky and moody. If you feel stressed and anxious, consider doing meditation. Meditation has been proven to reduce your blood pressure and heart rate, improve blood circulation, and increase feelings of well-being. If you are new to meditation, you may wish to follow these steps to get started:
- Sit on the floor in a comfortable position.
- Close your eyes.
- Allow yourself to breathe naturally.
- Pay attention to your breath and how your body moves as you inhale and exhale. Focus on how your chest, shoulders, rib cage and belly move. Be sure not to control the intensity of breathing.
- Maintain step 4 for two to three minutes, and extend the duration in subsequent meditation sessions.
4. Marie Kondo your house
Since you are now staying at home for almost 24 hours a day, with the exception of traveling outdoors for necessities, a cluttered household may contribute to restlessness. This is certainly not conducive for working nor studying. Put the extra time you have on your hands to good use by giving your house a thorough clean-up!
If you have kids at home, tidying up your house can be challenging. Your children may have possessions like toys and souvenirs that are dear to them, so clearing these items may inevitably cause them to feel upset. You may wish to adopt the following tips from Marie Kondo to make decluttering less stressful.
- Explain to your children what you are doing, and let them know tidying makes the home more comfortable to live in so that they will regard it positively.
- Show your children that tidying and playing go together! Encourage your child to keep their toys away after playing.
- Allocate designated locations for different sets of toys, and educate your children on where the toys should be kept so that they can learn to keep the toys themselves.
- To prevent your house from becoming cluttered with toys, set aside space that should be used for other purposes or storing other items.
5. Plan for your future
You may be constantly preoccupied with your daily life and challenges that you do not spare time to plan what you would like to accomplish in the future. Before life gets busy again after the Circuit Breaker, take this moment to do some self-reflection and soul searching. Have you accomplished what you have set out to achieve? Are you clear on what you would like to do 10 years from today? How would you define success? Making plans that are set for success is no mean feat. You may wish to set SMART goals using a mind map, as this will help in making sure your goals are achievable.
What are SMART goals?
SMART is an acronym that stands for:
- Specific - Include the 5 ‘W’s and 1 ‘H’ (who, what, where, when, why and how) so that your goals are clearly defined
- Measurable - The goals you set should be measurable e.g. read 5 books in a month, so that you can determine if you have accomplished your goal
- Attainable - Although goals should be challenging, they should be achievable based on your capabilities
- Relevant - Are the goals worthwhile to you? Are they priorities in your life?
- Time-bound - Set a realistic deadline to when you should achieve your goals, so that you can work towards them at a reasonable pace
Now, set your SMART goals via the following steps:
- Write down all your SMART goals in point form or short sentences on a piece of paper.
- Get a piece of drawing paper and start drawing a mind map with ‘Goals’ as the central theme. Branch out from the central theme with categories like ‘Education”, ‘Career’, ‘Finance’, ‘Health’ etc.
- Look at the goals written previously and classify each goal under the categories you’ve drawn on the mind map.
- Now, prioritize the order of importance for achieving each goal. For the goals under each category, you may assign numbers 1 to 5, with 1 being the most important goal to achieve and 5 being the least important goal to achieve. It is not recommended to have too many goals under each category, in order for you to achieve all the goals you have set for yourself.
- Extend the mind map by writing the top 5 goals you would like to achieve under each category. If the goals under a category have similarities, you may organize them under a sub-category. Ensure that goals are arranged from general to specific.
- To achieve your goals gradually, do a weekly planner that details your goals in small, attainable steps. At the end of every week, review the goals you’ve achieved and indicate them on the mind map.
We hope this article has been useful in helping you and your family spend the remaining Circuit Breaker period productively. Meanwhile, stay positive, safe and healthy!
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