Monday, 28 December 2020

Twenty-twenty: This too, shall pass.


With 2020 drawing to an end, I'm reflecting on the things that happened or lack thereof like the number of posts on this blog... I wanted to write about my last adventure but then didn't want to come off as not being able to read the room (。•́︿•̀。) So instead, I shared tips on building mental resiliency through workouts and meditation, 'cuz everyone needs that. Even myself. 


Oddly despite only two posts for the year, my daily readers have increased. You all have too much time now is it? LOL


This month I'm leveling up my workout with these resistance bands and for massage ball just to keep my foot busy while working standing up. 





My right foot hurt terribly the first few times, I wonder if it meant there were something wrong with my body? Several nights in a row after trying this I noticed I sleep better and with more massage, I don't feel much on both legs now. Planning to let my fam try when I balik kampung. The massage ball was RM10 after fifty percent off, still quite pricey. I have read that you can use a tennis ball but this has extra weight to it so I don't know if it makes much of a difference.


Post-workout selfie, wheee~~~ ą­§(*^∀^*)ą­Ø *refreshed* I bought some workout wear sets but recently been lazy of changing into them...



Other stuff I shopped for recently is the fabric kind resistance bands, also from Cotton On Body which was on sale at half the price. Those has became a favorite and more suitable for the kind of workouts I'm doing. Still using the latex ones for some squats and arms exercise but not for lunges because they tend to fold. Overall, still happy that I got these!


~šŸ¤~


Past months I have finally taken up learning to cook and bake partly out of boredom and sick (not really) of instant noodles and must have tried a dozen brands, even two types of ghost chilli instant noodles just to spice up my life. One stings so bad it brings me back to the reality of 2020. Har. Har. Har. Har.


There are even fresh foodstuff in the fridge_ a corn on cob, pumpkin, okra, apples and tofu_ unlocking another adulting achievement *gives self pat on the back* 


This month I finally have the chance to bake the walnut cake with my trusty, somewhat new, favorite toaster oven  (o˘◡˘o ) I also baked another for my fam when I returned to my hometown.




Here's an experimental quiche topped with garlic bread where I discovered roasted garlic isn't the nicest thing. Will just stick to loads of grated cheese.




Not sure if I should try burnt cheesecake that has been trending hmmmm. Having a cute oven motivates me to try out new recipes hahaha!



~šŸ¤~



In the middle of December, I went back to my hometown, the first since the start of the MCO. While it was supposed to be my holiday, I ended working and following up with odd issue that turned up *sigh* It still feels great being home, much cozier and my meal time is much consistent LOL Mom is trying to feed me with everything during the week, its like a CNY feast every meal! #thankfull



Bought several different brands to make drip coffee for fam to try~~ I have a fourth brand of coffee powder but didn't use it because its too fine and not suitable for drip coffee... Thankfully, dad is not fussy and thinks they're all nice LOL




~šŸ¤~


Looking back, it's a funny year. Sometimes time seems to pass slower than usual but yet there are so much things to do. At first it sucked being cooped up in just my rental room but the perks of being an adult is you grow accustom to this soon enough.



Things that went well in 2020:


šŸ¤ Home workout. I almost signed up for a gym membership! Guess I won't be needing one anytime soon.


šŸ¤ Learning to cook and  baking, I prefer the latter! 


šŸ¤ Living more sustainably by composting and cutting down on shopping. Also, WFH meant that I didn't have to worry about changing cloth pads, so I have been using them in every cycle since the start of the lockdown. With exception of one disposable pad (seriously only one!). Other than that, I tried taking care of some plants but they died...


šŸ¤ I have healthier hair now, ironically because I no longer wash them daily. It wasn't possible before since my hair is always oily after spending the day out.


šŸ¤ More time to rest and less advocating the hustle culture


šŸ¤ Health-wise, I took the opportunity to do Radioactive Iodine Treatment back in September. It was something that I have been putting aside with excuse of being too busy. Thinking back that was quite a stupid thing to do _ not prioritizing my health. What was I thinking?! Unfortunately my recent result showed a relapse which meant I need to do another round next year (愒o愒)


šŸ¤ On the same subject, everyone in the fam & close buddies are in good health! °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖° 




There is a quote that I have came across several times that goes, "I thought 2020 would be the year I got everything I want. Now I know 2020 is the year I appreciate everything I have". Not all is lost this year but hoping that next year will see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Sunday, 26 April 2020

a year of using cloth sanitary pads



This is sorta a follow up on my post from a year back. You can read about my first impressions of cloth sanitary pads here. I have been using cloth pads and loving them! In fact, recently I got gal pal on board and she too have good things to say.

Here are how they looked like after a year _the fabric looks much washed but that's normal since I don't iron them.






The minky is not as soft after the number of washes, but they're still comfortable to the skin.



The Pros

1. The pads don't smell as bad as the usual disposable ones. Of course, there are some metallic blood smell but with proper wash, they don't stay.

2. It is super easy to get blood off the minky layer just by scrubbing the fabric together.

3. The pads still look good after so many cycles but this could be because I use each pads once in each cycle until the lock down where I use it for the entire week.

4. They can absorb a lot of blood without leaving a wet feeling or looking totally soaked up.



The Cons

1. Leaks are starting to show at the other side of the pad. I am unsure if the inner waterproof layer has tore but this doesn't happen often. My other guess is that it only happened when I have heavy flow which is infrequent.

2. Yes, design and color matters! Wish there were more prettier options so I'll be looking forward to use these pads more every month LOL

3. Using dryer to dry these may be a no-no because it may damage the PUL aka waterproof layer. So definitely need to dry it out in the hot sun to kill off bacteria. On moodier days, I have to rewash and redry if they still smell. Usually I will let the pads soak for a few hours right after rinsing and again before I dumped them into the washing machine, this helps to get rid of bad odors.

~♡~

I have read reviews saying the cloth pads are still good to use after 4-5 years. However, my friends told me that panties are to be change every year for sanitary reasons so the same should apply to pads. Sure you don't wear these pads as often as you'd change your panties but these are used to absorb menstrual blood. IMO they should be changed every 2-3 years since they are quite affordable.

Totally advocating for the use of these cloth pads because they're much more environmental friendly and better for your health _ it's more breathable and you don't get exposed to harmful chemicals, albeit only small amount. Do give this or a menstrual cup a try before you judge them! You can get them from ByWiWin on Instagram, Minus Zero Waste Store or The Hive BulkFoods.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

#MCOExtended: Self-Care & Resilience amidst the Covid19 lock down


As the Malaysia's Movement Control Operation (MCO), a more optimistic word than "lock down" which we are so looking forward to end on the 14th April has now been extended for yet another two weeks. At this point it should come as no surprises to many of us as this is a mandatory move to curb new clusters.

I had been looking forward mostly because it meant that people who make daily living could revert to opening their businesses. The good news is while the MCO is still in effect, some small business owners can operate again and several e-commerce sites are now available to assist them. Thumbs up for that!

I was initially feeling really restless having to be trapped in my own rented room but this MCO had presented some opportunities in a way I get to finally do things I always told myself to do. Some of the new things I attempted since the start of the MCO on March 18th includes finally working out, meditation and I learn to sign the alphabets last week!

But then there are some who probably feel stressed up with this whole extension _some of us who have so many roles to play and suddenly there are almost zero time out from each and every roles, it can get suffocating. Others are stressed out due to lesser to no income, some the possibility of losing jobs. Others are simply overwhelmed because we feel powerless by this whole situation. By now you've seen a few guides on how to manage stress and keep our body & mind occupied. These below are my tested & preferred ways to keep a positive mind & healthy body throughout the MCO:-


#1 Move your body!

HIIT, tabata, pilates and yoga are the keywords you are looking for. I find them quite similar to one another and equally effective.

The fitness Youtuber I am following religiously is Emi Wong. Her workout videos are short ranging 10-30 minutes long where she switches up poses every minute _ 45-second of exercise or stretch followed by 15-second rest which meant a you only spend 3.25 minute exercise for every 5-minute workout. And seriously, if it's only 3-minute long, you kinda run out of excuses not to do them!






After just several days doing consistently, I definitely feel stronger physically, my posture better, my body less achy or stiff, I can sleep so much sounder at night and feel happier _ anger has been something of a personal issue on weeks leading up to the lock down. Only recently I realized this is because I had to deal with things that I have no control of but they took up so much of my time & mental space and I didn't have outlets to express my anger so it bottled up. So yes, the kicking and punching with alternate lunges are amazing!

Best of all, I think I loose a few centimeters all over and flabby meats are now replaced with leaner muscles. Loosing weight for me hasn't come easy despite occasional diets and my consistent endurance jogging. Like, why haven't I discovered these workouts sooner?? I also thought signing up for the gym would be the only sure fire way to get results but after this MCO, I may just stick to doing my own workouts at home or in the park.

I challenge you to increase the number of videos and perform more reps in a single day! Start with 1-2 videos (10-20 minutes each) split between day and evening in one day and then increase to 2 videos (30 minutes) continuously in a day and then maybe an hour workout twice or more times a week.  By the way, you don't need to work out every parts of your body every single day! My favorite is the legs workout which I try to do up to five times a week. On alternate days or when I am bored of watching the same video, I will challenge the full body fat burn and abs. You can switch up your routine for variety and to focus on other target body parts.

If you prefer something light, consider yoga. Here's a Youtube my newfound workout buddy has shared with me. I have not attempted because I'm super happy with the results from Emi's videos but one thing I discovered was how similar they are, albeit yoga being more slow & relax but enough to make you sweat apparently.




#2 Meditation

Similar to exercise, it took a lock down for me to discover you would not need to spend a long time meditating. The 1-week meditation challenge a friend shared by the same Youtuber "Yoga with Tim". Since it takes only 5-minutes each day, I am totally in! Though after trying this out, I am actually considering to attempt longer meditation sessions.




#3 Deep Breathing

This was something I came across attending the virtual wellness talk held by my company where one recommendation was deep breathing. I find this is somewhat similar to meditation where you are mindful over your breathing.



Point #2 & #3 are simpler exercises and I do notice how I'm calmer after I do these. However, I attribute my feeling happier as a result from the physical workouts. Seriously do the air punches and kicks, they're so good!



#4 Eating healthy

Probably the worst advice I can give because I cannot cook since working from home meant that I am still occupied with work and without much fridge space (selfish housemates issue) I cannot store fresh groceries. In the first few weeks of MCO, I have no choice but to have instant noodles for most meals because most stalls and kopitiams nearby weren't open until recently.

However, I make sure to incorporate sweet potatoes, chickpeas, eggs and fruits and when I can get wet groceries, some simple, hearty & healthy one-pot meals. I also consume daily multi-vits to boost my immune system besides giving me the sufficient daily dose of nutrients. On top of that, I totally skipped out instant coffee throughout MCO and brew my own black with way-y lesser sugar than what I used to include. Still hate it when my coffee is bitter but mildly bitter is fine and when taken with breakfast of flavored biscuits, it's much acceptable.

For those luckier to be at home and can stock up on fresh ingredients, do have a more wholesome meals. They don't need to be extravagant to be healthy!



#5 Keeping in touch 
with people who matter



Us humans are by nature social animals and I can say we do need them now more than ever. That's a perspective from this introvert. Before MCO, it was easier to want to come back and be by myself after spending my limited energy reserve socializing at work, commuting and be part of the whole rat race. But now that I'm stuck at home and not able to do a lot things, I am restless just being in my room! I now have a bunch of kakis I can connect with to keep me company while we motivate one another to stick to our goals. If it wasn't for this #MCO I wouldn't have reconnected and be in touch with my friends as often so I guess there are some silver lining to this crappy situation.

If I'm already complaining, I can imagine how extroverts are having harder time. But whether you're an introvert, extrovert or ambivert, we all need company. Thank goodness these days we have smartphones and social media for that! There are also mental & psychological support lines if you need listening ears from professionals. Don't shy away from them!

Last but not least, a reminder to stick to a weekday-weekend routine, don't forget to maintain a good personal hygiene, take time to do deep breaths, laugh & be in the present. If you're lucky to be with your family, take this opportunity to spend time with them. Let's all stay safe & healthy! #DudukRumahDiamDiam #LOL

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