Editorial Singapore

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The Dirtiest Places in Your Home – and Why You Shouldn’t Worry

You would probably believe that the dirtiest places in your home, whether you live in an HDB flat or a condo in Singapore, are the kitchen sink and the floor – and for the most part, you would be right.

However, there may be more places harmful germs and bacteria could lurk inside your home without you ever knowing it until now – and here are just some of them:

Living Room
It would make sense that the area in the house that gets the highest traffic would also be one of the dirtiest areas in your home, and surfaces in your living room from chairs, sofas, remotes, etc. would also be touched or used by everyone.

Washing Machine
Leaving wet laundry in the washing machine even for a short amount of time can turn it into a hotbed for all kinds of germs and bacteria. If you have one at home, be sure to transfer clean clothes to the dryer right away.

Not even your room is safe from germs and bacteria – and not even your own body, for that matter. This is because your skin houses millions of microbes that, along with dead skin cells, sweat, and sometimes even saliva, can transfer to your linens and pillowcases.

Why You Shouldn’t Worry
Now that you know that bacteria can lurk in almost any surface wherever you go, there’s a good chance that you might start getting worried. But there’s really no need to.

In fact, most of the microbes that live in your home are harmless, and they aren’t always found on surfaces either. As long as you keep in mind the following tips, you can keep your home clean and sanitary:

• Replace cleaning items regularly. The average kitchen sponge has an unbelievably high bacteria count, and the same can be said about toothbrushes. To minimize any chance of getting sick at home, be sure to replace these regularly.

• Clean out your home. Even common household items, such as soap and water, bleach, or even disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers can do wonders in keeping your home clean and sanitary.

• Put your shoes away. Bringing and wearing outdoor shoes and footwear inside is an easy way to introduce all kinds of microbes into your home. As much as possible, before entering your home, take off your footwear.

• Change your air filter. Air filters capture dust, bacteria, and germs that could make people sick, but they can still clog up over time and perform poorly as a result. To keep your air fresh and clean for longer, be sure to change them regularly.

How to Stop Waiting in Line for Your Doctor’s Appointment

There comes a point in time when you’re not feeling well and go to the doctor or clinic, only to have to wait in a room full of other people who have been sitting there for longer than you.

Add crying children and other people talking loudly on the phone, and you have a terrible experience in general.
However, this doesn’t have to happen. Here’s how you can skip the long wait times and get the medical care you need:

1. Call before your appointment
Once you’ve scheduled an appointment, it doesn’t really take much to call in advance to know if your doctor will be running late.

Doing this will not only prepare you for the longer wait time, but it also gives you an extra window or two to duck out for a quick snack or even an errand, so you don’t have to constantly worry about not being able to do other things because of your appointment.

2. Pick the first appointment available
Clinics are always full of people, especially since they are designated spots for many non-serious illnesses, so don’t be surprised when you get there at noon or in the afternoon only to find the lobby or waiting area full.
So while it may be a little difficult to wake up early in the morning (though many doctors don’t always hold appointments too early), it’s still much better than having to wait along with so many people.

And be sure to come on time! Even if the doctor happens to be running late, getting there first means that you will be seen to before other patients, and you won’t have to wait as long.

3. Bring your medical history and medications
Bringing a list of your medical history and medications only looks like it’ll slow you down, but in reality, it gets you taken care of faster and much better. This means that there’s less time spent finding out what’s wrong with you, and more time spent prescribing what will make you better.

Once the doctor or clinician already has your medical history, it becomes much easier to communicate and smoothens the triage process.

4. Mind the paperwork
Perhaps the easiest way to cut the wait time down in half is to simply fill out the paperwork beforehand, and you can do this by asking for the documents to be emailed to you so you can fill it out before the appointment.
Doing this before actually going to the doctor can give you several advantages: it not only allows you to spend more time completing the questions, but it also lets you actually read and understand the fine print that comes with them.

6 Must-Visit Floating Cities That Aren’t Venice

Pretty much all cities with canals and water ways like to be called “The Little Venice of ,” making them a hit destination among tourists, too. However, there are still some out there that aren’t named in a such cliché way.

So, if you have crashed Venice off your travel bucket list or you simply just want to witness alike places minus the crowd, here are six more floating cities worth visiting.

1. Bangkok, Thailand
With Bangkok’s wide and busy streets, it is easy to forget that the winding canals around the city once served as a major means of transport back in the years. Today, many of these canals look dreary and may no longer be as lively as before. However, they still remain a fascinating remembrance of the past and a fascinating window of the early years of Thailand in the midst of this fast-evolving world.

2. Copenhagen, Denmark
Built in 1600s, Copenhagen’s wide canals have served different purposes over the years. Originally built to be passageways for the navy, these water paths have made the city an international port through its easy access to the Baltic Sea. The lively Nyhavn district became a key destination among locals and are decked with restaurants and entertainment spots.

3. Fenghuang, China
Those who visit Fenghuang never fail to be in awe by the green waters that glisten beneath the stilted houses. You can cross the other side of Tuojiang River by boat or be daring and cross it by food—hopping from stone to stone in a path that stretches to the other side of the the river. Just make sure not to fall.

4. Giethoorn, Netherlands
You will have a hard time looking for a car in Giethoorn, which is a water-logged village in the province of Overijssel. Instead of concrete streets, inhabitants travel by boat, sailing through its idyllic waterways. Those who visit this place are always struck by gorgeous scenery, which includes century-old homes and the calming silence—the loudest sound you’ll probably hear are the quacking sound of the ducks.

5. Annecy, France
A small city in the southeast region of France named Annecy deserves its other name “Pearl of the French Alps.” A two-lined canal, which is initially built as defensive structure, cut-through the city, lending a fairytale look that unsurprisingly attracts tourists around the world.

6. Ernakulam, India
This little city is seated in the southwest of India and relies mainly on it canals as primary means of transportations. Ernakulam is connected to other cities by over 30 boats that operate from over 50 docks in district. Trips that usually take 45 minutes by land only be 10 to 15 minutes by sailing.

There are several more floating cities in the world worth exploring besides Venice. Do not limit your list to the most popular ones; try to witness the beauty of them all, one city at a time.

5 Skincare Tips for Your Summer Travel

Travelling is good for the mind and soul, but can be really hard on the skin, especially in the summer season, when the sun is probably in its hottest and you’re more frequent in the water—super chlorinated water! Your skin has all the reasons to act out—from the airborne bacteria present inside the plane to the changes in routine and climate, not to mention excessive sun exposure.

Here, we share to you some tips on how to keep your skin happy while living the beach life—and yes, it’s more than just slapping on some sunscreen.

1. Improve Your In-Flight Hygiene
Cleanliness is key to keeping your skin free of breakouts when you’re inside a plane. Always carry makeup remover wipes to wipe clean your skin whenever needed. But just as important, wipe down your armrests and seat before sitting on it. People leave bacteria and oil behind on seats, the reason why sometimes you develop body acne the next day of your flight. A quick wipe might be the only thing you need to save you some trouble.

2. Practice Healthy Hotel Habits
During the summer season, our skin is prone to breakouts. We sweat a lot and probably use a lot of new products, including those hotel toiletries, which can aggravate sensitive skin. Even if you are staying somewhere fancy, those designer moisturizers and lotions can still cause trouble on your skin if you have never tried them out.

3. Protect Yourself from the Sun
Any dermatologist would agree that sunscreen is a top skincare necessity during this season, no matter your skin type or skin tone. Those UV rays are cancer-causing. Make sure to re-apply all throughout the day. If you’re swimming or sweating a lot, you definitely need to reapply every few hours. Put on a layer of body sunscreen before heading outside and bring a spray sunscreen with you to reapply later in the day. Accessories help, too. Wear hats, shades and UV-protective clothing.

4. Adjust Your Skincare Routine
knowing your skin type is important to fully protect your skin. Heat can be good for those with dry skin, especially if there is presence of humidity in the air. For those with oily skin, being under the heat can be a challenge. According to dermatologists, try to keep your skin care as simple as possible. Start with cleanser and end with moisturizer suited for your skin type.

5. Treat Sunburns
It is a good idea to bring some skincare remedies in case you end up being under the sun for longer hours. Bring some aloe for wound and sunburn healing. However, know that aloe does not replace the purpose of sunscreen—it cannot protect you from UV damage. It can only soothe redness and peeling of the skin due to sunburn.

It’s not just you who needs a break; your skin, too. Enjoy summer while also giving your skin some TLC and reap the benefits of good skin even after your trip.

5 Ways to Break Bad Habits

All of us have certain habits, both good and bad. Some people, even locals, joke around saying that Singaporeans have different habits like walking in such a fast pace, queueing in line for hours, and even chope-ing seats. Sometimes, though, our bad habits can get pretty overwhelming. When not managed earlier, they may affect our lives negatively. And really, it can be pretty hard to get rid of one.

Share your goals
Sharing your goals to get rid of a bad habit will make you accountable for it. Letting a friend or a family member know about it leads them to expect you to succeed, while you on the other hand, will try to work hard not to let those expectations down. When you share your goals, you are somehow asking others to help you keep track of your improvements.

Replace bad habits with good ones
We have habits, both good and bad, typically because it is a way to relieve stress. Clearly, a bad habit does you more harm than good. Of course, unlike what most people would think, breaking a bad habit is really difficult. A solution to this would be too indulge yourself in a new, and better, habit that can give similar benefits. If you smoke to relieve stress, for example, try to indulge in a new (good) habit that can give you a similar feeling instead.

Find out the causes
Identifying what causes you to do bad habits can mean a lot to be able to address them. It can be anything from stress, anxiety, or maybe everyday things and places like refrigerators and bars. The most ideal way to break a bad habit is to address the feelings that prompt you to do them. So, you can get rid of these habits by simply avoiding what causes them.

Go with people who help you break the habit
The people we surround ourselves with can have a huge impact on our progress. We may have friends or companions who got us into doing the bad habits. And staying with them will not do you any good when you’re trying to eliminate the vices. Obviously, you don’t have to completely cut these people off. Just try to go with those who live the way you want to live.

Have a little competition
If you have a friend who wants to break a habit he/she shares with you, try to quit together. This makes it easier because you can check on each other and hold each other responsible for your actions. You can even make bets with each other. The one who gives in to the temptation of doing the habit first gets to pay the other. Overall, the point is to get better and celebrate your victories together.

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