How To Feel Less Stressed

A million things running through your mind. A million things you need to do. When you feel life is too much to handle, you stress.

When you stress, you worry about everything that’ll go wrong. Fret over how things might not get done in time. Feel over-worked.

The past three months have been rough for me. Juggling a full time office job and being a writer and a blogger hasn’t been easy: clueless as to why I’m doing the job I’m doing, emails waiting to be answered in my inbox, unhappy with articles I’m working on as deadlines loom, five hours of sleep at most each night. Being sick with the winter flu hasn’t helped either.

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Why It’s Okay To Eat Alone

I don’t mind eating alone. I don’t mind asking for a “table for one”.

But what I do mind is getting grief for dining by myself.

Ricotta hotcake with berries (Top Paddock). A great meal for one, but I chose to share it.

Ricotta hotcake with berries (Top Paddock). A great meal for one, but I chose to share it.

My Chinese-Malaysian parents are big on eating meals as a family, which is what many Asian families do. Growing up in Malaysia and Singapore, we ate dinner together almost every night. These days, it’s a different story. When I start putting my dinner on my plate before my brother is home, my mum asks, “Do you want to wait for your brother to come home and then eat?” No. No idea what time he’ll be back.

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Why Asians Are Superstitious

Superstitions. To believe or not to believe them?

I grew up in a traditional-minded Chinese Malaysian household and am no stranger to Asian superstitions. My mum is a big believer in them, believing there are lucky Chinese numbers and that keeping pet turtles slows down fortunes, for instance. I always wonder why.

Sun and shadows. Are we wasting time believing in superstitions? | Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts.

Sun and shadows. Are we wasting time believing in superstitions? | Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts.

As Asians, many of us are respectful. We believe in the spiritual, believe fate controls our destiny: anger ghosts or spirits floating around and they may curse a dose of bad luck upon us. My parents pray at temples for luck at the start of every Chinese New Year. My relatives have small shrines in their homes, and and never fail to put an even number of mandarins – usually lucky eight mandarins – at the front as offerings to the gods.

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Should We Work For Free?

“Does it pay? How much does the job pay?”

That’s the first thing my mum asks when I land a volunteer stint or get a job that pays. Coming from the average traditional-minded Chinese-Malaysian family, I’m expected to be a filial Asian kid, working for the money and supporting the folks in their old age.

The distance between dreams, so near yet so far. Buskers playing, working, for free | Weekly Photo Challenge: Between.

The distance between dreams, so near yet so far. Buskers playing, working, for free | Weekly Photo Challenge: Between.

Why we shouldn’t work for free, shouldn’t take up that internship or volunteer? When we say yes to working for free, we might be naïve. We might get taken advantage of, made to do “slave labour”.

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Why We Travel

Travel. It’s about being on the move.

When we were young, maybe we were forced to travel, travel for a better life and a better education. Growing up, I moved quite a bit: Melbourne to Malaysia to Singapore and back to Melbourne. My parents wanted to work in Asia, and so little me was dragged along with them.

Spot the extra potted plant. Travel and we'll see the most quirky things | Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra, Extra.

Spot the extra potted plant. Travel and we’ll see the most quirky things | Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra, Extra.

As we grow older and get stuck into making a living, travel becomes a choice. A choice that we dream of. A choice that we work and save up for.

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