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Pros (and Cons) of Online Dating

OkCupid, Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, and a whole lot of dating apps and sites are already being used in Singapore. The question is simple, are they really reliable?

1. Quick and convenient
One of the best things about online dating is that it is quick and easy. You can easily disregard people you don’t match with without, for example, having to spend any time or money on a coffee date. You can save some time and maybe save yourself from the embarrassing moment of getting turned down on the first date.

Con: No second chances
The other person might already be doing a hobby that you want to try out, or you just observe certain things about him/her that is mysteriously appealing in person. You can only really see this if you see each other face-to-face.

2. Plenty of choices
‘There’s plenty of fish in the sea’ it is! Dating online means you get exposed to a diverse set of people who may share the same interests with you. You’ll never run out of choices because dating online means you’re not only limited to the people of your place, but also in other places, cities, even other countries.

Con: A little too many choices
It can be a hassle to sift through people who don’t interest you only to find “the one/s” an hour later. Also, there are others who incidentally use multiple dating sites and apps at once for whatever reason – this definitely adds to the stress.

3. It is fun
Somehow, you could say that online dating is meant to be a fun approach to romance. You get to learn about a person’s culture, language, likes and dislikes, all by simply talking to them online. When it comes to dating apps, for some reason, people have a lot of fun swiping left or right (left: not interested & right: interested, although this can change depending on the app).

Con: You might get disappointed
It may be fun before you meet each other in person, but once that happens, prepare for the worst (well not always if you’re lucky). You might get disappointed because the other person isn’t the same as he/she is online. For instance, a guy or girl might be talkative and funny on chat, but plainly the opposite in person.

4. Compatibility
Some dating sites and apps start with a personality test when you sign up. You put down your hobbies, likes and dislikes, and all that information. This is then what the site uses to match you with others whom you might be interested in. Plus, some people also put descriptions on their profile, which can tell more about themselves making it easier for others to see if they can be suitable partners.

Con: People lie
It’s very easy to fool others on the internet. There are people who use fake pictures, lie about their physical appearance, maybe even pull scams. This is why it’s not entirely reliable and safe when meeting someone online.

Owning Less: Advantages of Being Minimalistic

Minimalism is slowly gaining track partly through the Facebook group, Minimalism in Singapore. But what is it exactly?

Being minimalistic allows you to get rid of what things you don’t need and allow you to focus on the more important ones. But, some people may think it stops there – decluttering and getting rid of unessential things. No! There’s more to it than that, more opportunities, and definitely more benefits.

You spend less
It’s very simple: you buy less stuff, you save more money! When you are able to distinguish between your wants and needs, you will spend considerably less money. It’s unnecessary to buy the new model of a smartphone if the one you have is still working properly. Consequently, having that extra money allows for financial freedom. You can use it for learning or gaining new experiences (e.g. traveling) rather than using the money on temporary things.

Lower stress
Decluttering can have a very therapeutic effect. When you have a desk full of documents and files, pens and pencils lying around, and pieces of used papers everywhere around you, this will only add to more stress. Decluttering and organizing your work desk, room, or office will have mirrored effects on your mind. Being in a clean, organized environment invites a calm and peaceful mind that will definitely help reduce stress.

You get to focus on the important things
Again, recognizing your needs from your wants – the essentials vs. mere fancies, is an attribute that comes with minimalism. It guides you to see the value of the things you already have instead of the satisfaction from having more (yet unnecessary) things. This also teaches you to recognize the things that you really need in your life, and avoid the unimportant stuff that may hold you down.

Makes cleaning a lot easier
Because you have less things, it’s also easier to go around and clean. You’ll have an easier time organizing your things and cleaning because, well, you don’t have unnecessary stuff. Plus, having fewer things in your house or office means you spend less time cleaning and more time relaxing or accomplishing the more important things you should be doing for the day.

Also helps you find things easier
In addition to making cleaning easier, you’ll also be able to find stuff faster. You won’t have to dive in heaps of papers to find an important document you’re looking for if you keep things small, clean, and organized. Having less means it is easier to keep things arranged. As a result, you’ll know where things are and save time looking for them.

Helps you improve your health
In summary, being minimalistic is a step towards being better and healthier versions of ourselves. For one, when we have less things to clean or have less to worry about, we’ll have opportunities to exercise, learn new things, and even relax. In general, we have more time to take care of our mental, physical, and emotional health.

5 Signs that Say You’re Shaving Wrong

While it seems that keeping your facial hair to a minimum seems simple enough, shaving is actually more complicated than it seems – and there’s a good chance that you’re doing it wrong. Here are five signs that tell you that you are:

1. You’re rushing your shave.

Shaving should take at least five minutes, and a good shave should take more than that as you make sure that every inch of your face that would sport facial hair is free. Even most professional shaves in barber shops would take between twelve and twenty-five, which includes the time for preparation, shaving, and the after-shave.

2. You’re shaving before showering.

Ideally, your skin’s pores should be opened up and yourfacial hair should already be moist before you start taking the blade to make yourface’s skin as smooth as possible. This makes shaving solutions an importantpart of your kit: they help to moisturize, lubricate, and soften your facialhair and skin. 

3. You’re using a dull blade.

Contrary to what you think, the sharper your blade is, the safer and better your shave will be. What makes dull blades dangerous to use is because of the microscopic burrs that develop on the edge of the blade – while they may be too small to be seen by the naked eye, they can make shaving all the more difficult and painful.

If your razor comes with a cap, don’t throw it away. Having caps on your razors allow the blades to last longer as they will come in contact with the elements less frequently.

4. You’re not sure whether you should shave along or against the grain.

When it comes to shaving, considering the grain is really important – hair grows in all directions, and your facial hair can grow in multiple grains. Get a feel of how your beard/mustache grows by actually taking your fingers and running them down your facial hair.

You will know when you’re going against the grain when you feel a little resistance against your fingers and it feels prickly and weird. Depending on the type of razor and the grain of your face, you may have to go against the grain for a closer shave.

You should also use short strokes when you’re shaving.Not only will this allow you to account for the multiple grains on your face,but using long strokes when shaving could result in cuts that make theexperience more painful. 

5. Your aftershave is really harsh (and it stings).

Alcohol-based aftershaves are not only painful, and you don’t even need an aftershave in the first place. What you do need to do is to keep your facial skin smooth, which a simple moisturizer is suited to quite nicely.

How to Keep Your Shoes Looking Like New All the Ti...

Your shoes can do much more than enhance your look ata party or wherever you go – much like your outward appearance, it’s aninvestment that will stick around for a long time and will keep you from havingto buy new pairs on a regular basis.

Polish leather shoes frequently.

As much as leather shoes can last you forever, they also need to be taken care of a lot. You can get them to do this by investment in a high quality shoe polish for your leather shoes.

When choosing to invest in suede shoes, be sure to invest in a spray that’s capable of resisting both sand, water, and mud. Be sure to test the spray before using it to know that you get what you’re paying for.

Remember to take brushes over sponges when cleaningyour shoes – you’ll never know what could be in them, and they might end updamaging your investment instead. As much as possible, use shoe polish thatdoesn’t use a sponge-tip applicator.

Keep your shoes dry as much as possible.

Even if your shoes are built to withstand getting wet, keeping them dry as long as possible is perhaps one of the best ways to extend their life span. One way to get them to dry as fast as possible after a hard rain is to stuff them with newspaper.

What you shouldn’t do when your shoes get wet is to place them near somewhere really hot or use a blow dryer on them, as it could cause your shoes to become cracked and brittle. This is especially true when it comes to leather.

Investing in a waterproof protector will also go a long way when it comes to keeping your shoes’ surfaces from getting wet in the rain.

Have an added layer of rubber to your shoes.

Dress shoes can benefit a lot from having an addedlayer of rubber soles on the bottom – not only will they protect the actualsole from getting worn, but they are also much cheaper to replace and give youthe extra traction you need with your footing.

Allow your boat shoes to embrace the elements.

There are some exceptions to maintaining your shoes – some types of shoes have to take on the dirt and be salt-washed and faded, such as boat shoes. Sometimes, the best way to keep your shoes in peak condition is by allowing them to embrace the elements.  

You should still avoid introducing the elements to your shoes too much as they can still be worn down. One of the many ways you can start is by not dragging your feet to avoid damaging the soles.

Understanding and Managing Hypertension

Hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure, is a condition wherein there is prolonged high pressure on the walls of the arteries. It is a dangerous condition as it makes the heart work above its capacity, causing the arteries to harden over time (a condition called atherosclerosis).

Hypertension increases one’s risk of other dangerous and potentially fatal conditions such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and heart failure—some of the leading causes of death in modern times.

Risk Factors for Hypertension
Risk factors for high blood pressure are either controllable or uncontrollable.
Its two uncontrollable risk factors are age and genetics. Men above 55 years old are unavoidably at a higher risk of developing the condition; for women, the age is 65. Having a family member with hypertension also increases one’s chance of developing it.

Controllable risk factors of hypertension include the following: a high-cholesterol diet, diabetes, being overweight, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle. Risk factors compound; thus the presence of multiple factors raises one’s chance of having hypertension exponentially.

Blood Pressure Levels in Adults
Blood pressure level is read by combining a person’s systolic and diastolic levels. Normal blood pressure have systolic level lower than 120 and diastolic level lower than 80; persons with a systolic level between 120 and 139, or diastolic level between 80 and 89 are considered prehypertension; while persons with a systolic level above 140 or diastolic level above 90 are considered hypertensive.

Individuals with prehypertension should already take measures to lower their blood pressure, such as by following a healthier diet and becoming more active.

Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Hypertension
While most people will have hypertension in their old age, it can still be prevented or delayed. Luckily, avoiding the condition is the same as simply following a healthy lifestyle. This means doing the following:

• Avoiding eating salty foods
• Limiting alcohol consumption
• Observing a healthy, balanced diet
• Staying within one’s recommended BMI
• Taking medication only as prescribed, and
• Maintaining an active lifestyle

Weight and Hypertension
Weight is perhaps the biggest factor in controlling hypertension, with one’s risk of developing high blood pressure rising along with one’s weight. Furthermore, risk of heart disease (the biggest cause of death in developed countries) are higher for people who are overweight or obese.

Objectively monitoring one’s risk for high blood pressure requires watching one’s body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. Overweight and obese people should immediately take action to reduce the effects of hypertension.

Understanding BMI
BMI compares one’s height and weight, thus giving an approximate total body fat. (Note that it’s fat that actually makes one prone to hypertension, not being heavy per se.) The normal BMI is 18.5 to 24.9; an overweight BMI is 25 to 29.9; and an obese person has a BMI of 30 or higher. However, some people with a high BMI may simply be muscular; therefore it’s also important to measure one’s waist.

What You Need to Know About Acid Reflux

Acid reflux (also known as heartburn) is a medical condition characterized by a burning and/or sensation around the chest area caused by acids in the stomach going back up the esophagus.

One of the most common medical problems in Singapore, it’s estimated that about 60% of the population will experience some form of the condition at some point in their adult lives. The medical term for acid reflux is gastro-esophageal reflux disease or GERD.

Causes
The causes and triggers of acid reflux vary. Most people who have the condition exhibit the following:

• Abnormalities in the lower esophageal sphincter
• Abnormalities in esophageal contractions
• Slow digestion of food in the stomach
• Hiatal hernias

Factors that increase the chances of a person having acid reflux are:

• Eating very large meals
• Obesity or being overweight
• Lying down or bending after a heavy meal
• Eating before going to sleep
• Pregnancy
• Smoking
• Eating certain foods, such as tomatoes, citrus and chocolate
• Taking certain medications like ibuprofen, aspirin and muscle relaxants

Symptoms
The most common symptom of acid reflux is heartburn, the burning sensation in the chest as acids go back up the food pipe. Other symptoms include:

• Nausea
• Laryngitis
• Hoarseness
• Regurgitation
• Ear pain
• Asthma
• Salivating
• Lingering bitter taste
• Teeth corrosion (due to the acids)
• Trouble swallowing
• Chronic cough
• Sore throat

Acid reflux is unusual as, in some people, resting only makes the pain worse

Treatment and Prevention
The most common treatment for acid reflux is taking antacids, an over-the-counter medicine that works by reducing the acidity of the stomach. This is advised for infrequent episodes. However, antacids are not advised for regular use as they inhibit absorption of nutrients.

For persistent or chronic acid reflux, a GP may advise taking specific medications like proton-pump inhibitors or H2-receptor antagonists. In severe cases, surgery may be requires to prevent the acid from leaking into the esophagus.

Self-help measures can also be practiced to treat or prevent acid reflux. These include eating smaller meals, chewing food carefully, avoiding foods that trigger the condition, maintaining a healthy weight/BMI, and raising one’s head when sleeping.

Complications
Occasional acid reflux is normal and may need no further treatment. However chronic episodes may cause serious complications, such as ulcers in the stomach or esophagus, scarring and narrowing of the esophagus (this will make swallowing more difficult), and Barrett’s esophagus (a condition the cell linings change).

Getting the help of a medical professional is advised for people who experience prolonged or repeated acid reflux, severe pain, difficulty swallowing, or for whom OTC medicines provide no relief.

Everything You Need to Know About Aromatherapy and...

Aromatherapy is becoming more widely used in households for anxiety, insomnia, and for tiredness and exhaustion in general. They are also becoming more popular in a lot of clinics and nursing homes as a way to take stress away from patients.

But what exactly is aromatherapy and how can it help you?

What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the process of using natural, or “essential”, oils that are extracted from different kinds of plant material, such as stems, roots, leaves, and even flowers and bark. The “use” often means heating the oil in order to release the smell, but there are also other ways that this can be done.

Different plants have different medicinal properties that can heal certain conditions and help to relax people who are anxious and stressed, which makes aromatherapy a popular practice in various forms of healthcare.

Why You Should Get Started
Aromatherapy is great for treating the following:
• Stress
• Anxiety
• Fatigue
• High blood pressure
• Insomnia
• Headaches
• Asthma
• Congestion
• Coughing

It’s also a great way for feeling good in general, especially after a long day, as the scents themselves are oils from plants that are also used in a lot of perfume, skin care, and even hair products, such as shampoo.

There are also a lot of qualities that the scents from essential oils are known for, such as the following:
• Lavender – Soporific
• Sweet orange – Playful
• Frankincense, tangerine – Calming
• Cinnamon leaf – Amorous

Essential oils have also been used in cleaning products because of their antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.

How to Use Aromatherapy
While aromatherapy has been around for a long time, newer methods, such as a diffuser, make it more efficient and allow you to get the most out of your oils.

You can also skip the diffuser and just inhale it directly by applying a small amount on your palm and rubbing your hands together, after which you can take a few deep breaths of the oil. Keep in mind that when applying oils directly, keep them away from your eyes, nose, ears, and mouth.

On Essential Oils
Essential oils can be used topically aside from aromatherapy, and can have significant effects when applied on certain pressure points in the right amount and in the right dosage.

When it comes to topical applications, carrier oils are often used, such as jojoba, argan, or coconut oil. This is because some essential oils are more potent than others and can cause certain skin irritations and allergies.
Carrier oils dilute the essential oil to make it safe enough that you can apply it to your body, and you can both buy and even make these oils in your own home by chopping up plant material and boiling them for their extracts in a simple, easy to do process.

4 Surprising Things You Need to Know About Your Ai...

When the humid climate in Singapore starts to make you really sweaty, you want to be able to count on your aircon unit at home or at work to make sure that you stay cool and comfortable, and if it’s in your office, keeping cool can keep productivity high.

Every aircon unit needs a little bit of care to keep on running as smoothly as possible. However, there are a few more things you need to know about your air-conditioning units, such as the following:

1. Dirty aircon filters will kill your airflow and efficiency.
Filters don’t just maintain the quality of the cool air you get – they also Aircon filters keep dust, debris, and even tiny mold spores from getting into the unit’s fan, but it can eventually build up over time. When this happens, your A/C unit will have to work harder, which results in potential overworking and reduced overall performance.

Aside from regularly cleaning the filters, you can keep your aircon units cool by installing blinds or awnings to shield them from direct sunlight (which can also decrease their overall performance).

2. You can connect your aircon to a thermostat to keep your room cool.
One of the best parts about having an A/C unit at home is that you can program it to start cooling at any time of the day.

For instance, when you are away, you can program it to start at a certain time, such as when you get out of work. That way, when you get home, you will always be greeted with a cool breeze that serves as a welcome break.

3. Aircon units have a limited life span.
Different types of aircon units have different life spans. While a good HVAC will most likely have a lifespan between fifteen and twenty years, the average AC unit will have a lifespan six to eight, and can last up to ten with good maintenance.

This makes maintaining your aircon units a must if you want to keep them working efficiently well past their shelf life, and especially if you start seeing any signs that could indicate that something is off with your unit, such as smoke and funny noises or smells.

4. Aircon servicing for your units is a must.
Maintaining your aircon unit/s for your home or office is one thing, but regular servicing to make sure they are always in peak condition is another.

You will especially need to call aircon servicing if you experience problems for your unit/s, and because most problems will be electrical, looking for problems such as blown fuses and circuit breakers can save you a lot of problems later on.