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Guides and Tips
How to reduce stress in 10 minutes

Stress is inevitable and it can happen both at home and work. If one experiences perpetual stress and does not do anything about it, it may lead to serious physical symptoms such as weight gain, migraine or even depression. When you are having a bad day, where everything doesn’t seem be going right, here’s how you can relieve some stress in less than 10 minutes.1. Take deep breathsAs long as you’re ingesting enough air to keep your body going, you’re breathing right. But taking long deep breaths will do the trick. Breathe in deeply into your stomach such that your diaphragm expands, then breathe out slowly. If the source of your stress is within close proximity to you, discreetly breathe in and out through your nose for a second, and repeat for 10 seconds. If sitting in front of your computer stresses you out, step away for a few minutes. You’ll end up feeling calmer and ready to tackle your next task more efficiently.2. Count to 10Anger is a form of stress too, and one of the easiest way to manage your anger, is to take advice from former US President Thomas Jefferson: “When angry, count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.” By the time you’re done, you’ll probably find that your anger has somewhat lessened, due to the element of time and distraction.3. Take some time outIf you feel like you’ve burned out (or almost there), take a quick break at work by resting your forehead on top of your folded arms that’re placed on the desk. Move your chair back until your spine is fully extended, and place your feet flat on the floor. Take between five and eight deep breaths. If required, head to the washroom and freshen yourself up.4. Plug your headphones inMusic is known as a therapeutic tool, and listening to your favourite music can help dispel and distract you away from stress. So crank it up! Whether it’s a playlist of soothing tunes or upbeat melodies, you’ll feel more relaxed after.Get the best audio accessories from Creative Technology.5. Unplug and take proper breaksAfter you’ve finished all your urgent tasks for the day, leave all your work in the office and head home. Clean up your schedule if you have to as well! When you’re home, if you’re not expecting any emergency calls or emails, turn your phone to silent, do not disturb, or switch it off. Sometimes, all you need is a break from technology, to keep your mind relaxed.6. Go on a weekend staycationYou don’t need to give yourself a reason for a weekend staycation with your family or spend some "me" time. Pamper yourself with the hotel spa or have a great breakfast to recharge yourself before going back to the office, you’ll definitely feel rejuvenated and ready to take on a new week.Read: Best brunch spots in Singapore7. Soothing scentsBefore bed, light up a candle with scents like lavender, mandarin and bergamot or patchouli. All of which contributes to help with anxiety, relaxation, and deal with stress-related issues. But please blow out your candle before dozing out! For on the go, get a moisturiser with similar scents to keep your nerves at bay.Shop candles and moisturiser from Shopee.8. Social supportSeek solace in your friends or families, and have them listen to your feelings. It’s important to hear from an outsider’s perspective, as it may help you see clearer and understand the bigger picture. Do ensure you return the favour when asked for a listening ear. Always be kind to people.9. Be healthyIt’s time to step out of your comfort zone and start leading a healthier lifestyle. Do you know that exercising pumps up your endorphins, which will trigger a positive feeling in the body? After a satisfying workout, try out meditation which helps in improving concentration and reduces anxiety. Even a quick daily 10 minute meditation helps.Start a healthy lifestyle with ClassPass.10. Eat and drink rightWhen you need a quick pick-me-up in the middle of the day, switch from coffee to chamomile or another form of herbal tea, which helps you to stay calm and relaxes your senses. If you have the munchies, have some cashew nuts or almonds, instead of crackers. After a month of eating healthy, you’ll feel and look better about yourself.Shop a range of tea and healthy snacks at iHerb or enjoy exclusive coupon from Nature's Superfoods.

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5 simple ways to improve your food photography Instagram game

You’ve seen them on your Instagram feed and always wondered, how can someone take such impressive food photos? You’re caught in an endless scroll, showcasing drool-worthy pictures that’s making your stomach growl and mouth water. If you’re the type who needs to take a picture of their food before eating it, here are a few simple tips and tricks that will immediately level up your Instagram food photography.1. Tap and holdYour phone camera usually takes better quality photos, and you won’t end up with a potentially unfocused or pixelated shot when you eventually upload it on Instagram. But here’s the secret! Tap and hold your screen, to ensure your camera lens is focused on the object (a plate of pasta for example). This will result in a clearer and brighter image. Use the camera grid to help compose your photo. A good shot means the focus of your photo has to be placed in the middle, upper or lower thirds.2. Never zoom inIf there’s a lot of space or obstruction surrounding the main object, shift them around and see how they can add layers to your photo. If they don’t add value, remove them. Remember to not zoom in and snap, it will decrease the image quality and greatly affect end result.3. Get the perfect cropBefore taking your photo, try shooting the picture in a square format so it’s easier to see how it’ll look like on your Instagram feed. This limits the struggle of having to crop into a square format, after you’ve taken the picture.4. Angles are everythingYou’ve seen how people take photos of their food at cafes and restaurants – directly above, to product a flatlay image. Yes, it looks great! But only if the angle is right. If you don’t have enough dishes or props to create a decent flatlay, try different angles, like shooting from the side instead. The possibilities are endless – get creative!5. Shoot in natural sunlightFinding the right light can elevate the beauty of your photo by tenfold. You already have an appetising dish in front of you, so make sure you don’t ruin it by taking a picture under artificial or fluorescent light – natural sunlight is the answer. When dining at a restaurant or cafe, request for a window seat, which will make for well-lit photos. If the lighting’s just not great, don’t fret. Photo editing apps like VSCO, Snapseed or even Instagram can be used to brighten it up. Think vivid colours and have them colour-coordinated, so your dish looks prettier on the whole.With meREWARDS, you’ll get to earn cashback when you sign up with Circles.Life. If you'd like to take it to the next level, be sure to check out Canon for an array of DSLR cameras for the best image quality. Go ahead and level up your food photography on Instagram!

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Best staycation hotels in Singapore

Be a tourist in your own city and experience our local tourism hospitality like you’ve never before. Refresh yourselves away from work and stay at these five best staycation hotels that we’ve curated just for you. From the Civic District, to Fort Canning Park and Little India, these hotels are the best getaway for a weekend staycation in beautiful Singapore.1. M Hotel SingaporeM Hotel Singapore is located within the Central Business District, making it well connected by public transportation and is of walking distance to many famous attractions such as Marina Bay Sands, The Esplanade, National Gallery and Victoria Museum. If you’re having a staycation with the kids, consider the Family Suite where you’ll have plenty of space for the kids to play and a picturesque city view from the comfort of your room. Did you know that the hotel has a robotic breakfast chef?If you’re a foodie, this is the perfect staycation hotel for you! M Hotel Singapore is just a 10 mins walk to Lau Pa Sat, where you can have a scrumptious dinner or supper – satays and barbecued chicken wings are a must!81 Anson RdS0799082. Lloyd’s InnLocated away from the bustling area of Somerset, lies a minimalistic boutique hotel off Killiney Road. Although it’s located in a prime location, you’ll get to enjoy this sanctuary, where the hotel prides itself in converging nature, space, light, texture, convenience and comfort into its design. With its objective of offering guests a peaceful immersive experience in an oasis of nature, a stay at Llyod’s Inn is the staycation retreat you’ll definitely need.All guests are provided with vouchers to a nearby café, Artisan Boulangerie Co that offers fresh bakes such as pastries and fresh coffee. Alternatively, there’s a bevy of food options within close proximity for you to indulge on. Or be spoilt by our 1-for-1 dining treats!Read: Affordable restaurants to check out when you’re in Orchard Road2 Lloyd RdS2390913. The Great MadrasAlthough The Great Madras is small in size with just 34 rooms, the hotel was awarded with the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Architectural Heritage Award on 9 November 2018. It comes as no surprise as the hotel features tastefully designed rooms with pastel colours, stylish furniture and artistic wallpapers. Opened in early 2018, it has an uncanny resemblance to Wes Anderson’s film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, known for the symmetrical and colour blocking design concepts – making it one of the hotspots for fashion shoots. Every nook and cranny of the room is intricately designed, which will leave you in awe. More images for your Instagram feed! The hotel is of close proximity to numerous attractions such as Mustaffa Centre, City Square Mall and Tekka Centre.28 Madras StS208422Read: Insta-worthy spots to check out in Singapore4. Hotel Fort CanningMany are unaware that there’s a luxurious hotel atop Fort Canning Park. Fittingly named Hotel Fort Canning Park, the hotel is a hidden gem in the heart of Dhoby Ghaut. Surrounded by lush greenery and away from the cacophony of traffic and public, the hotel is where you’ll discover tranquillity at the comfort of your own city. In the evening, take a stroll at Fort Canning Park and discover history which dates back to 14th century Singapore.After a long day exploring the city, unwind yourselves at Chinois Spa where guests enjoy 25% discount on selected treatments. Alternatively, take a dip in the two landscaped swimming pools surrounded by verdant greenery. Did you know the hotel’s swimming pool are filled with mineral water treated by a system from NASA? It helps in eliminating the smell and health problems associated with chlorine.11 Canning WalkS1788815. Quincy Hotel by Far East HospitalityA true testament for its commendable hospitality, Quincy Hotel by Far East Hospitality was the first local boutique hotel to win the Best Hotel Experience Award at Singapore Tourism Awards 2017. Conveniently located about 10 mins walk from Orchard Rd, be transported into a club-like guest experience for its stylish design and upbeat environment. The hotel features 108 modern designed rooms, which includes free WiFi and free beverages and snacks from the rooms’ minibars. After a tiring day of exploring the city, seek respite in their illuminated infinity pool, overlooking the city.22 Mount ElizabethS228517Hotel deals are temporarily paused until further notice, no cashback provided during this period.

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How to reduce stress in 10 minutes

Stress is inevitable and it can happen both at home and work. If one experiences perpetual stress and does not do anything about it, it may lead to serious physical symptoms such as weight gain, migraine or even depression. When you are having a bad day, where everything doesn’t seem be going right, here’s how you can relieve some stress in less than 10 minutes.1. Take deep breathsAs long as you’re ingesting enough air to keep your body going, you’re breathing right. But taking long deep breaths will do the trick. Breathe in deeply into your stomach such that your diaphragm expands, then breathe out slowly. If the source of your stress is within close proximity to you, discreetly breathe in and out through your nose for a second, and repeat for 10 seconds. If sitting in front of your computer stresses you out, step away for a few minutes. You’ll end up feeling calmer and ready to tackle your next task more efficiently.2. Count to 10Anger is a form of stress too, and one of the easiest way to manage your anger, is to take advice from former US President Thomas Jefferson: “When angry, count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.” By the time you’re done, you’ll probably find that your anger has somewhat lessened, due to the element of time and distraction.3. Take some time outIf you feel like you’ve burned out (or almost there), take a quick break at work by resting your forehead on top of your folded arms that’re placed on the desk. Move your chair back until your spine is fully extended, and place your feet flat on the floor. Take between five and eight deep breaths. If required, head to the washroom and freshen yourself up.4. Plug your headphones inMusic is known as a therapeutic tool, and listening to your favourite music can help dispel and distract you away from stress. So crank it up! Whether it’s a playlist of soothing tunes or upbeat melodies, you’ll feel more relaxed after.Get the best audio accessories from Creative Technology.5. Unplug and take proper breaksAfter you’ve finished all your urgent tasks for the day, leave all your work in the office and head home. Clean up your schedule if you have to as well! When you’re home, if you’re not expecting any emergency calls or emails, turn your phone to silent, do not disturb, or switch it off. Sometimes, all you need is a break from technology, to keep your mind relaxed.6. Go on a weekend staycationYou don’t need to give yourself a reason for a weekend staycation with your family or spend some "me" time. Pamper yourself with the hotel spa or have a great breakfast to recharge yourself before going back to the office, you’ll definitely feel rejuvenated and ready to take on a new week.Read: Best brunch spots in Singapore7. Soothing scentsBefore bed, light up a candle with scents like lavender, mandarin and bergamot or patchouli. All of which contributes to help with anxiety, relaxation, and deal with stress-related issues. But please blow out your candle before dozing out! For on the go, get a moisturiser with similar scents to keep your nerves at bay.Shop candles and moisturiser from Shopee.8. Social supportSeek solace in your friends or families, and have them listen to your feelings. It’s important to hear from an outsider’s perspective, as it may help you see clearer and understand the bigger picture. Do ensure you return the favour when asked for a listening ear. Always be kind to people.9. Be healthyIt’s time to step out of your comfort zone and start leading a healthier lifestyle. Do you know that exercising pumps up your endorphins, which will trigger a positive feeling in the body? After a satisfying workout, try out meditation which helps in improving concentration and reduces anxiety. Even a quick daily 10 minute meditation helps.Start a healthy lifestyle with ClassPass.10. Eat and drink rightWhen you need a quick pick-me-up in the middle of the day, switch from coffee to chamomile or another form of herbal tea, which helps you to stay calm and relaxes your senses. If you have the munchies, have some cashew nuts or almonds, instead of crackers. After a month of eating healthy, you’ll feel and look better about yourself.Shop a range of tea and healthy snacks at iHerb or enjoy exclusive coupon from Nature's Superfoods.

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