5 Ways to Ensure You Actually Relax on Your Vacation

Have you ever come back from a holiday feeling tired and stressed? You may have to re-evaluate your approach to having your vacations.

The goal of vacations and holidays is to unplug you from your busy life, make you feel relaxed and refresh your body and mind from the stress of your everyday life.

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind to help you tune out of your hectic office life and plunge into the relaxation of your vacation.

  1. Escape Your Phone Service

Put your phone’s “airplane mode” to good use by using it throughout your vacation, or better yet, turn it off. And if you are going outside Singapore, don’t go out of the way to upgrade your data plan. Do not even call your network service provider to ask about it. Just put your phone in airplane mode and only use it for taking photos.

  • Keep Off the Social Media

Thanks to the online world, we seem to have the fear of missing out on something. Who cares if your ex is getting married or your college classmate is going to Canada for good? Live in your own moment and stop worrying about what’s going on at home. Every time you’re about to check your Facebook or Twitter, ask yourself, “Do I really need to do this?” or “Do I really need to post that now?” Get everyone envious by posting all your vacation photos when you get home.

  • Plan a Vacation Your Bank Account Can Actually Afford

It will be more stressful if you constantly have to worry whether you have enough to support yourself during your holiday. So, travel within your means. At the same time, know that it’s okay to treat yourself once in a while. Make peace with the fact that you will see some of our hard-earned money leaving your wallet and know that you deserve the treat.

  • Let Your Co-Workers Know

If you’re going on a week-long vacation, there will likely be times when your boss or co-worker will have to reach you. But you can minimize the possibility of this and enjoy an uninterrupted holiday by preparing your co-workers to help you pick up the slack. Letting your co-worker know of your scheduled vacation and formulating emergency exits for them will give you a better shot at truly relaxing during your vacation.

  • Remind yourself that you deserve it

People tend to feel guilty for taking a break. But don’t! The fact that you are physically and mentally unable to relax during the week can take a toll on your overall health. We need to occasionally take a break from our work life in order to recharge and comeback in full health.

Ultimately, feeling a bit stress when you come back to work is inevitable. Integrate pleasurable activities into your day-to-day life, so you are not reliant on travel and holidays to de-stress.

Common Bedtime Habits That Could Be Sabotaging Your Life

If you often feel anxious and tired, you’re likely looking forward to getting into bed at the end of your every day. However, what you probably didn’t realize is that some bedtime habits that you think are harmless could be the reason why you feel so crappy and sloppy the entire day.

From the quality of sleep to the food you eat, here are five bedtime practices that could be sabotaging your life.

  1. Trying so hard to resolve conflicts with your partner

The famous saying “never go to bed angry” could not be so good after all. Staying up late trying to resolve an issue will not only cut your sleep time, but also make you feel too hyped up to doze off. Instead of trying to solve an argument, agree to disagree for the meantime and get yourselves some rest for a refreshed feeling in the morning. When you wake up and the frustration doesn’t go away (though in most cases, it does), try talking once again. At least, you’re a lot calmer now and you’ve had enough sleep. 

  • Relying on wine to wind down

While alcohol can make you feel drowsy, it negatively affects your quality of sleep. Specifically, alcohol affects the cycle of your sleep, causing you to wake up more often and experience less deep sleep. Rather than drinking alcohol before bedtime, go for warm milk or green tea to relax.

  • Eating late night snacks

Snacking on something sweet or salty before going to bed means more calories will be stored as fat. That’s a recipe for unwanted weight gain and disrupted sleep. When your body is working to digest food, it won’t be able to rest properly. Late night snacking will not only affect your quality of sleep, but also a problematic digestion the next day.

  • Lighting up a cigarette close to bedtime

We can’t stress enough how smoking is bad for the health. But if you insist on doing it, try to avoid lighting up a stick close to your bedtime. Remember that nicotine is a form of stimulant. Therefore, smoking before bedtime can make it difficult for you to fall asleep, which means irritable and groggy the next day. Give yourself at least two hours cigar-free before hitting the sack.

  • Using your phone, period

The blue light from your phone’s screen contributes to keeping you awake. And if you need more compelling reason to keep your phone away from bed, know that it can also hamper your intimacy with your partner. When you have the habit of answering emails when on bed, you are setting up the vibe that your bed is a place for work and not for resting and lovemaking with your significant other.

We’ve all experienced the consequences of lack of sleep. Since we don’t want to endure these awful situations at work and in school, make sure to keep your sleep at all time high by avoiding the aforementioned habits.

The Rise of eSports and What It Means for Gamers

Following the announcement of eSports being included as a medal sport in the 2022 Asian Games, the industry has been gaining more and more attention. This made possible the launching of the first ever eSports Academy in Singapore through a collaboration between Singapore Cybersports and Online Gaming Association(Scoga) and streaming website, Twitch. 

In addition, a diploma program has also been launched by Informatics Academy. It aims to impart skills on game development and design theories, live-streaming production, eSports knowledge, and coaching/team management. It is also supported by some major developers and companies namely, Riot Games, ESL Asia and Twitch.

It’s true that the eSports scene is definitely flourishing, but what does this really mean for gamers and eSports enthusiasts alike?

“It’s not just a hobby”

Generally, this means that players won’t have to waste money in internet cafés to play/hone their skills anymore because there is now a proper place where they can learn and practice. By being enrolled in an academy, players can showcase their abilities and talents while also learning scholastically. So those who alternate schoolwork and play don’t have to worry too much anymore. This also helps parents to be more accepting of gaming to not be just “a waste of time” but as a legitimate career that their children can pursue. We should then be able to acknowledge eSports as a career path that can be both academic and/or vocational.

Not just for players

eSports is not just about the gamers, it’s involves a lot of different fields in the industry. This is why the academy also includes lessons on live-streaming, shoutcasting (live commentators), and etc. Tournaments are one of the reasons why there are so many gaming enthusiasts around the world. If people can’t make it to the venues (e.g. it’s abroad), they can simply watch broadcasts. And broadcasts would also not be possible without live-streaming production teams. Schoutcasters also contribute to a lot of hype in tournaments. They can be especially important when the game becomes fast-paced and there is a need for analysis and live commentating. Learning to coach teams could also prove to be a worthy career. Even coaches like kKoma of three-time League of Legends world champions SK Telecom T1, has become as popular as his players.

Revenue

Because there is a legitimate demand in the industry itself, sponsors and advertisers have invested in a lot of eSports teams and players. This also isn’t the only way team organizations earn money. In the 7th iteration of the major DotA 2 tournament, The International, the total prize pool was a whopping US$24,787,916. Singaporean DotA 2 superstar, Daryl “iceiceice” Koh Pei Xiang also already has above one million dollars in overall winnings in his pocket. League of Legends developer, Riot Games, has a different approach on the other hand. Riot provides professional players with salaries instead of directly raising the prize pool.   

6 Benefits of Swimming

Whether you’re looking for ways to beat the heat, dream of being an Olympic swimming champion like Joseph Schooling, or just want to have fun at the Choa Chu Kang Swimming Complex, here are some good things you could get from a good dip in the water.

  1. Keeps you safe

Well, the biggest reason people learn to swim is simply not drown. So much so that swimming is considered an essential life-skill. Learning to swim is crucial because bodies of water are all around us, hence it is important for our survival. If you know how to swim, not only will you be able to save yourself from the dangerous situation of drowning, you could also go and help others.  

  • A good stress-reliever

Floating through the water in a slow pace can definitely help us unwind after a long, tiring day. We also relieve stress while swimming because we control our breathing, like inhaling and exhaling in meditation. Because we also focus on our bodies when swimming, it gives a chance for our mind to rest and that can help us think more clearly.

  • Strengthen the immune system

The benefits of swimming to our health is mainly centered around its power to enhance the circulatory system. Through the breathing exercises used for swimming, oxygen is regularly distributed to the cells in the body. Through this, the blood can flow easier and the cells can efficiently remove toxins. Swimming also affects the lymphatic system. When it is functioning well, it distributes more healthy white blood cells which increases overall immunity against diseases, as a result. 

  • Improve your flexibility

Flexibility is an important aspect that not only is involved in, but also is improved through swimming. The joints and ligaments in various parts of the body don’t go through too much stress, even though we do broad ranges of motion when swimming.  Being flexible not only improves our range of motion, it also protects us against possible injuries.

  • Interact with many people

Swimming almost always prompts us to interact with others. Whether you’re a competitive swimmer, or just taking a relaxing swim, you will always have people to talk to. We can meet and talk with other people in fun and relaxed way. Another thing to look at is the many of groups synchronized swimmers that exist, both in the competitive and entertainment scenes. 

  • Have a full-body workout

Even though there are no heavy equipment or weights involved, swimming can engage the whole body. You use your arms, legs, and even you’re back. Also, because you float on the water, the muscular stress in the body is evenly distributed. Unlike, in jogging, where all your weight presses down on your legs and feet.   

A Beginner’s Guide to the Different Types of Flooring for Your Home

Next to the walls, and ceiling, the flooring is one of the largest, and by extension, most important aspects of your home that you need to pay attention to. This not only means looking for a kind of material that is easy to clean, resists staining, and feels good to your feet, but also a kind of material that works best with the rest of your home’s elements.

Whether it’s your home or your commercial property, here are some of the most common types of flooring you will encounter in most buildings in Singapore:

Vinyl

For a family with kids and the elderly, vinyl makes for an excellent type of flooring because of its high resistance to slipping. It’s also waterproof, which makes it quite easy to maintain.

This type of flooring is best placed in areas where heavy traffic is likely to occur, which makes it popular among homes or HDB flats with families of four or more, and in areas of the house such as the kitchen or hallway.

Ceramic Flooring Tiles

This type of flooring comes in two types: reflective, which is easy to clean at the cost of being susceptible to foot marks; and non-reflective (matt), which is more suited for areas that need slip-proof flooring because of its texture.

Hardwood/Solid Wood

Nothing gives you the same level of luxury and beauty for your eyes (and your bare feet) as having a solid wood floor. Though teak is the most commonly used hardwood for flooring in Singapore, other types have recently become more popular, such as cherry, oak, and birch.

Wooden flooring often comes in planks and boards of different properties, from cuts, to sizes, to dimensional stability.

Laminate

The look of wood without the hassle of maintenance can be found in laminated flooring, which is why it has become another popular flooring type. However, laminate should only be installed in dryer areas in the house or property.

While quality laminate flooring is made to resist scratches, staining, and fading, they are still prone to warping when exposed to moisture for extended periods of time.

Stone

Every cut of stone used for flooring is unique, which can make materials such as marble, granite, and slate equally luxurious and highly sought after. They even come in various finishes that you can choose from: honed, polished, or bush-hammered.

However, as much as natural stone is beautiful to have as a flooring for your home, it can also be quite expensive. When choosing to have stone flooring for your home, keep in mind that extra care is needed to take care of it.

The Different Types of House Paints and Finishes

The ultimate medium of any designer is the paint that goes on the surfaces of homes, whether applied on the outside or in. While paints or finishes are effective ways to both protect and decorate surfaces, not all paints are applicable in every surface.

Most paints fall into general categories, and these basic types of paint will usually be enough for all your domestic paint job needs. Here they are for your consideration:

Base Coats

Base coats are what bind the finishing coats to the surface they are painted on. Done well, they keep the other coats from peeling off or from losing their colors because of the nature of the surface.

Primer – The primer, or whitewash, is used on uncoated surfaces in order to protect the material underneath as well as provide a good base for the succeeding coats.

First Coat – To build up the opacity of the decorative finishing coat, one or two more coats are usually applied. This is because the paints applied may not always be spread evenly or a surface may need more paint to be coated evenly.   

Finish Coats

Finish coats are more decorative, applied only after the base coats have dried, or after washing down surfaces that have been previously painted.

There are at least three types of finish coats: flat, eggshell, and gloss and satin. The first one is often used for ceilings and walls, and is best used on siding materials. Eggshell finish is more durable than flat, and gloss and satin goes best with wooden or metal surfaces.

Specialty Paints

While most paints will do well in most domestic purposes as long as the right primer is applied on the surface that they were designed for, there are some paints that are made specifically to fulfill a particular task.

Some of these specialty paints include bathroom/kitchen paint, floor paint, metal paint, and traditional paint. The first two are formulated to resist fungal growth, moisture, and staining, with the exception that newly-painted concrete floors need to cure completely before painting.

Metal paint is exactly what it is: high-gloss paint that is designed specifically to give metal surfaces their sheen, and can even be applied directly over rust. Cleaning the brushes used to apply metal paint will, however, take paint thinner instead of mineral spirit.

The last category of specialty paint is traditional paint, such as distemper, limewash, and other types of traditional colors, which can now be purchased much more easily. (One thing you need to look out for in limewash is that it can be volatile when mixed with water, so be sure to read the instructions carefully.)

4 Reasons Why You Should Hire an Electrician for Your Home

When it comes to keeping your home in good condition, you also need to pay attention to your home’s electrical works and fix them if needed.

The good news is you don’t usually need an electrician services company to fix most problems that come up at home, such as replacing a faulty lightbulb socket, or fixing wires with electrical tape.

But while there are some things you can do yourself, there are also other problems that you should call a commercial electrical contractor for, since they are much more suited to fix them.

In fact, here are the biggest reasons why you need a licensed electrician for your home in Singapore:

1. Electricians can minimize present and future safety concerns.

The expertise of an electrical contractor from Singapore is critical when you need to restore power failure at home. Only a seasoned and licensed electrician has the right knowledge to fix electricity problems safely and efficiently, thus minimizing safety hazards.

If you want to install power point switches for your home, it’s usually best to leave it to someone with expertise, such as a cabling technician, or even with residential linemen.

2. Professional services saves you time and money.

With a certified electrical worker, you can expect quality services and troubleshooting to make sure that any problems with your home’s wiring is approached properly (i.e., the cables and wires are properly connected and insulated, etc.).

With a minimized risk of accidents at home, you also save yourself a lot of time and money. Not only do you have to spend once on electrical service maintenance, but you also save yourself from the stress of messing up your circuitry and making the problem worse.

A professional home electric handyman can perform regular maintenance for your home to prevent other problems from potentially occurring.

3. Professional services protects your home devices.

Poorly-designed or worn circuits can pose a hazard for your home’s appliances, circuitry, and devices. This could even turn your power supply into a potential hazard, and if you’re not careful, you could be at risk of a power failure or a fire.

To avoid this, you will need an electrician to connect electric wires safely and properly, from the circuit breakers, to the switches, and to the light bulbs and power outlets themselves.

4. Professional services offer insurance.

Professional electrician services in Singapore are often both certified and insured which means that it is a guaranteed by the company the electrician works for. In fact, if you experience problems with the service after a certain amount of time, the company can even re-inspect it and repair it free of charge.

24 hour electrician service providers can also send over a licensed electrician to ensure the quality services that your home’s electrical wiring and circuitry needs.