Lessons I’ve Learnt from the Circuit Breaker

Congratulations, you’ve finally survived many months of being cooped up at home. Good job for being a considerate citizen who abides by the law. Regardless of whichever methods you used to tide through, you made it.

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Indeed, the past few months of this pandemic were not meant to be a productivity competition, but surely there have been lessons learnt from this period of being pushed out of our comfort zones (oh, the irony when we’ve not stepped out of our homes). If you’ve been so caught up with the grind that you didn’t have time to process everything, that’s fine too because I’ve done that for you. Perhaps, after reading this article you’ll realise that you weren’t short-changed at all. Here are some lessons I’ve learnt from this circuit breaker.

# 1: Family is here to stay

For the first time in forever, members under the same roof are forced to stay in close proximity for months. Trust me when I say that no one finds it an easy feat. Be it manifested in the form of arguing over wasted electricity or a lifted toilet bowl lid, we’ve all had our fair share of friction with family during this period. Yet, deep down I know that family always has my back even when I’m not within the 4 walls of my home. From the little moments shared, like binge-watching Crash Landing on You with my mom who’s now in love with Hyun Bin, to chasing rain flies out of my house together with my dad, it is undeniable that family has a special place reserved in my heart. After all, it’s bricks that make the house, but love that makes the home. *cue family hug*

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#2: Love is spelt intentionally

When it’s no longer as convenient to keep in touch with friends, it becomes so easy to wait for that first text or let everything slip by till post-circuit breaker. Regardless of which love language you swear by, intentionality is the mother of them all as it shows, “Hey, I still care!” No one ever complained about feeling too loved, and something I learnt was showing that you care is 100% effective. Hopefully, our article recommending care packages made your friends feel loved, although sometimes all it takes is just a text asking “How have you been?” or a snail mail that does only 30 cents’ worth of damage to your wallet (please remember to use your stamps!). Let’s not take our newly forged and/or deepened friendships for granted now that circuit breaker’s over. Here’s to friendship!

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#3: Comparison is a broken ruler

Did you know? Horses wear blinders to help them focus on what is ahead and not get distracted by their peripheral vision. As a result, they are able to stay on course, which is incredibly important especially for racehorses. Intrigued? Read more at Dallas Equestrian Center.

Likewise, I often hesitate to try new things or even finish what I’ve started, simply because I use others as my benchmark of success and get discouraged. Maybe you are a fellow university student who didn’t get an internship this summer, and you worry whether you’re as productive as your friend interning at one of the big 4. You know what, though? As simply put by Rachel, founder of Drool Stamps and one of our Culturally Ambassadors, “we’ll never be good enough.” Let’s focus on making the best use of our time - no, that does not necessarily mean packing our schedule till we’re exhausted, but numbering our days wisely and prioritising what truly matters. To read more of the lovely interview I had with Rachel, click here [insert hyperlink]. No one does you better than you, sweetie.

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#4: Self-discipline is born out of vision

We’ve all been there, the place where we beat ourselves up over lazing on our sofa instead of learning how to code or completing that home workout (I weep at all these unfulfilled dreams). Instead of lamenting over our lack of self-discipline, very often the root of the issue is not laziness, but the lack of a vision. Without clear and realistic goals set, it’s understandable why one would struggle to overcome the inertia to begin. No, those goals do not have to imitate that overachiever cousin of yours. Remember? Comparison kills. Set aside some time to reprioritise, ask yourself why those things matter and you can start running. This time, it wouldn’t be a sprint that lasts as long as a shooting star, but one that ensures you go far.

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#5: Rest is underrated

No… please do not use this article to justify to your mom why you’ve been sleeping in recently. Jokes aside, the importance of rest is something that many of us know, yet do not give weight to. The fact that someone may read this post in bed at 2 am is living proof. Stress is a common narrative that plagues humanity, so why do people still refuse to cut themselves some slack? Sure, there are special circumstances which demand our undivided attention, but sometimes we desperately need to be reminded that as human beings, we are created not to do, but to be. Resting does not mean we do nothing. It means taking care of our overall well-being so that what is placed in our hands does not overwhelm us. Just because the circuit breaker is over, it doesn’t mean you can’t be restful. It’s time to follow Kit Kat’s tagline and “have a break”.

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Hopefully, after reading this article you’ve identified with at least one or two lessons I’ve learnt! It may have taken us a long time to adjust to all these changes, but none of it has gone to waste - you’ve done way better than you think. Although there is a new normal we have to get used to, let’s do our best to enjoy the days ahead. Ganbatte!

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