The Do’s and Don’ts of the COVID-19 Circuit Breaker Measures


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DO: Give your body and mind the due nourishment they deserve. DON’T: Overwork yourself and your kids.

As of April 7th to May 4th this year, the Singapore Government has implemented its most serious safe-distancing measures to date, to pre-empt escalating coronavirus infections. 

Life has changed.

For many of us right now, the abrupt change in pace of life and the fact that most of our lives have shrunk to the confines of our homes can be rather stressful and challenging to adapt to.

On top of that, the influx of news updates on the pandemic can be a little confusing and a lot overwhelming. How do you ensure that you remain sane and healthy all while making sure you are abiding by the government’s latest measures? 

Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you get through this month.

DO: Follow all government guidelines

  1. Stay home. Only go out if necessary:
Image via Gov.sg

2. Be socially responsible. Limit social contact to immediate family members. Those who are unwell, even with mild flu-like symptoms, should see a doctor immediately.

3. Mask up: it is now mandatory for you to wear a mask outside of your home. However, if you are exercising outdoors (in open, uncrowded places), you are allowed to remove your mask. Remember to put your mask back on after your workout! 

*Guidelines as of 14th Apr ’20. For all the latest updates, sign up with Gov.sg WhatsApp here, or visit Gov.sg

DON’T: Overwork yourself or your kids

As the lines between our personal and professional lives become more blurred, it might be harder than ever to untangle yourself from work obligations even after you have put in the hours for the day. The same goes for your child’s daily Home-Based Learning (HBL) sessions.

Instead, when it comes to both you and your little one, keeping it simple makes all the difference in the world! This means ensuring that both your workloads are manageable and easy to follow through on. 

You will know if your schedule is truly effective and adaptable if it allows you to ‘clock out’ and switch from work mode to rest mode after your regular work hours have ended.

If you find yourself working into the wee hours of the night, it would be worthwhile to take a beat to pinpoint exactly what aspects of your work are taking up much of your time and energy.

Similarly, help your children create a routine tailored to their learning needs and speed. Do not be too hard on yourself or on them if they are unable to stick to their HBL routine at first. Remember, learning on their own is a new, challenging process, so give them enough wiggle room to adjust to their new lifestyles!

DO: Practice good self-care habits and encourage your little ones to do so as well.

What does self-care during these uncertain times entail?

  1. Giving our eyes the due protection they deserve 

Other than during work or school (for our children), the confines of our homes have forced many of us to turn to our digital devices for entertainment purposes. Screen time is increasing and the health repercussions of the unhealthy relationships we form with our devices can be significant. 

These risks include: myopia (short-sightedness) and digital eye strain, which may arise due to using digital devices for prolonged periods of time at a close distance, and musculoskeletal disorders, like neck, shoulder and hand pain, which may arise from the unnatural posture experienced during device use.

Adhering to these guidelines is an important way to avoid the aforementioned health risks:

  1. Adequate face-to-screen distance, i.e.  at least 60cm between the face and computer screens and 30cm when using smart devices.
  2. Take at least a 15-minute break after 2 hours of device use
  3. a screen location of 15 – 20 degrees below eye level 

2. Keeping our bodies and minds strong through exercise, meditation and eating right

How do we stay active even amidst the circuit breaker measures put into place?

As per the rules, you can work out alone or with members in your household in open, uncrowded spaces. If you lack the motivation to work out by yourself, this is the perfect opportunity to get yourself a workout and/or meditation buddy in the form of your spouse or child.

Hit the yoga mats, blast your favourite playlist and get your #beastmode on as a family! Do not forget to nourish your body with good home-cooked meals or get your meals delivered to you through services like Foodpanda, Deliveroo and GrabFood.

Your perception is your reality

Navigating the new normal can be hard, especially if you are a parent, just trying to do your best to juggle it all.

In these uncertain times, the greatest tool you have to overcome the challenges is your state of mind. Remember, above all else, remaining positive, hopeful and compassionate is key to our overall well being and that of our loved ones!

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