As Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the extension of the circuit breaker, Singaporeans all around the island breathed a collective sigh. After 2 weeks of working from home, going through home-based learning and reducing general movement, we had all been looking forward to May 4 – no, not Star Wars day – when the circuit breaker would be over. With a long month ahead of us, we should view this time at home not as a sad and isolating period, but a good time to explore new things that we wouldn’t otherwise have had the time to try out. Below is a list of 6 things that you can do during the circuit breaker period that range from productive to fun:

1. Make Dalgona Coffee

Mm, cafe style coffee in 20 minutes!

As restaurants and eateries all around Singapore closed, coffee addicts like myself scrambled to find a way to satisfy my cravings. After seeing multiple TikTok and Instagram videos featuring the frothy and cafe-style Dalgona coffee, I decided to give this trendy beverage a try. After spending 20 minutes standing over my kitchen counter with a hand whisk, the final product was a beautiful cup of frothy brown coffee foam on top of fresh milk, much like the photo above.

Dalgona coffee has been the best discovery of my quarantine life so far, and I’ve been making the sweet beverage every other day. All you need to enjoy this delicious coffee at home is hot water, instant coffee (not the 3-in-1 ones), and granulated sugar in 1:1:1 parts. Then just throw it all into a bowl and whisk till the mixture is frothy – or to your heart’s desire. With more free time after WFH / HBL, everyone should try making this trendy drink.

2. Pick up a new hobby / language

Pick up a new skill while creating a beautiful tabletop flower arrangement and gain the experience of being a florist in Singapore.

 This might be the most cliche way to fill up your free time, but the benefits of having a hobby are truly endless. A hobby can allow you to express your emotions, boost self esteem, and promote creativity! There are so many interesting hobbies available online, many of which are even free:

  1. Coding

Not only a hobby that can fill up hours of your time, coding is also a skill that can be helpful to your work. If you are particularly analytical and love problem solving, hop over to codecademy.com or w3schools.com for free coding courses!

  1. Art

It shouldn’t take you many expensive materials for you to start making good art! Pick up a piece of paper and a 2B pencil, and head over to Youtube for thousands of free art tutorial videos! If you enjoy dabbling in different artistic mediums, why not purchase a resin starter kit from resinplay.sg? You’ll be making beautiful resin jewellery and paintings in no time at all!

  1. Language

Gone are the days where the only way to pick up a new language would be to head over to a learning centre and pay (sometimes) exorbitant amount of fees to muster up a few sentences of Japanese. With many free apps and websites like duolingo.com offering free language courses, there’s no excuse not to pick up a new language any more! You may even find your newly learned language handy when you jet off to Korean, France, or Spain after the circuit breaker ends!

  1. Flower arrangement

If the hobbies above do not interest you, why not try something more interesting and hands-on during this circuit breaker period? Flower arrangement is a hobby and skill that does not require expensive equipment to start, and allows your creative juices to flow. On top of that, your final product can serve as a thoughtful gift for your friends, or a table decoration to spice up your living space. If you have no idea where to begin, hop over to 24hrscityflorist.com, and browse through their large collection of beautiful bouquets for flower delivery for inspiration. From simple flower bouquets to quirky arrangements to dried flower arrangements, there’s something for everyone!

These are just some suggestions of fun and interesting hobbies you can pick up in your free time. There are a plethora of other hobbies that you can try out at home for free, all you have to do is set aside some time every day for them! You can check out this blog for more ideas: https://theeverygirl.com/hobbies-at-home/ . Even after the circuit breaker is lifted, you can still continue to work on your newly learned hobby or language as we know that life may not return to pre Covid-19 anytime soon.

3. Improve yourself

Whoever said that learning stops after you leave school?

Working from home doesn’t mean that you can’t stop improving your skills. In fact, the extra time saved from transportation can be invested into learning new things that can be helpful to your career. With the covid-19 outbreak, many universities are now putting their courses online for everyone to access at zero cost! If you ever wanted to study at the prestigious Harvard University, this is your chance to hop over to their website and check out their catalog of over 50+ courses in various different subjects.

If courses aren’t your thing, you can also pick up useful self improvement books that will teach you how to reinvent your mindset and routine. We personally recommend 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. This Wall Street Journal Best Seller will teach you how to transform your life and adopt habits that will help you become a motivated and successful individual! Don’t let working from home hinder you from reaching greater workplace success!

4. Practice self care

It’s okay to take a breather sometimes

While picking up a new hobby or self-improvement are important things to focus on during quarantine, it is also equally important to ensure that you are taking care of yourself. Don’t let productivity be a measure of your self-worth! Instead, take some time everyday to focus on yourself. You could read a good book, put on a clay mask, or take a long and relaxing bath. Practicing self care is a good idea to help you separate work from your free time – a line that can be blurred as we continue working from home, especially for freelancers.

If you have difficulty keeping a proper self care routine, there are many free apps available nowadays that can help remind you to take a breather and focus on yourself! We personally recommend Headspace for its useful daily reminders, as well as the plethora of meditation and wellness tips and articles that come with the free app. Don’t forget to take some time off for yourself!

5. Connect with family and friends

Not just for conferences – zoom call your family and friends

The circuit breaker period can seem isolating and dreary, especially for those of us who live alone. With technology however, physical barriers between us and our friends can now be lifted. While many of us use ZOOM for work purposes or home-based learning, it can also be a platform for us to connect with our friends and family, Ring up a relative you haven’t spoken to since Chinese New Year, or an old friend from your alma mater! With everyone staying at home, this might be an even better time to connect with others.

If you’re looking for a more lighthearted and casual app to socialise with your friends, check out Houseparty. The video calling app allows you to easily jump into calls with friends, play fun games like charades, and even make new friends through mutuals! While this app has been around for a few years, it only recently gained popularity amidst the circuit breaker measures. Don’t miss out on this fun app, get on there now and connect with your friends!

5. Send a thoughtful gift to your loved ones

korean style bouquets

I  love the Korean bouquets by 24 Hour City Florist, and so will the kdrama fanatic in your life!

While we take time to catch up with our friends and family during the circuit breaker, actions can sometimes speak louder than words. Why not send a gift to your loved ones to express your care? For those who prefer a more DIY approach, a care package of snacks and entertainment coupled with a handwritten card is a thoughtful way to show them that you care. Some of us are even using food delivery apps like Foodpanda and Deliveroo to send bubble tea and desserts to our fellow foodies.

You can also send some love over while supporting local businesses by having them directly deliver gifts to your loved ones! A bouquet is a perfect gift to show your love, be it to your significant other, family member, or friend! If you are worried that purchasing a gift lacks sincerity, 24hrscityflorist.com offers customised bouquet options that are sure to make your recipient feel loved. In addition, they also offer a large variety of different gift baskets and hand bouquets for the special people in your life.

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While some might view this circuit breaker period in a negative light, we would like to remind everyone to look at the brighter side of things. The most common excuse people give for not trying something out is the lack of time. Now that everyone working from home has more free time, the choice on whether or not you want to make this a productive period of your life is all up to you. While this is a list of things that you can do during circuit breaker, you can definitely still try out any of the things above after the circuit breaker has been lifted as long as you put in the time and effort to do so!

Writer: Jessica Tay Jing Yun, Singapore

Copyright free pictures from unsplash.com.

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