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Working Mom Blogger

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Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness
Health & Wellness



Returning to Normalcy

Things are looking up as Malaysia loosens its phases. This brings about other types of changes to our work-life routine. How do we adapt to the endemic while returning to normalcy?

In her recent "Returning to Normalcy" webinar, Clinical Psychologist Nur Arfah Zaini shares tips regarding preparing ourselves as we return to normalcy.

#1 - Going Back into the Rhythm

Change is constant. Whether it's fully WFH (work from home), fully WIO (work in office) or a hybrid arrangement, preparation of our mind and body to go into a different work rhythm is the key.

First, you need to identify a few things.

Number 1, what is changing? 
Number 2, what do I need to do to adapt to the changes?
 Number 3, how do I do it? 
Number 4, who do I need to assist me?

After you have identified the answers to the four questions above, you can then take action by planning your daily and family routine. Perhaps your children are going back to school. Do you need to secure a transporter and daycare spot for your children? Do you need to order food catering?

#2 - Back to the Office

In a poll conducted during the webinar, 70 out of 130 participants indicated that they felt 50/50 in terms of readiness to return to normalcy; 47 people were 100% excited, and 13 people were totally not ready.

Returning to WIO - whether full or hybrid arrangement - is imminent. So it's prudent to start identifying things that need consideration while planning the back to office routine.

These are three main considerations.

Time allocation - what time to wake up, when to commute to office, when to send kids to school, how much time to spend with your family after working hours.
Financial planning - how to manage extra expenses such as petrol, toll, meals, kids' daycare, transporter, elderly care, stay-in or part-time maid arrangement.
Other responsibilities - how to deal with social anxiety, how to build back people connection, how to adhere to workplace SOPs.

#3 - Supporting Yourself

The saying goes, take care of yourself to care for others. Start by being aware of the following four things.

Be aware of stigma

It could be your own stigma or other people's stigma. For example, perhaps you're a post-positive COVID-19 patient, so you are worried about prejudice and discrimination. Or perhaps you have lost loved ones to COVID-19 during the pandemic, so you're still hurting and undermining the grieving process. Or perhaps you have strong views regarding pro or anti-vaccination and you find yourself at odds.

Be aware your own mental capacity

Do a soul searching and ask yourself, do I have enough mind space? What can I do to create more space so I can accommodate others?

Be aware of your own emotions and needs

How am I feeling? What do I need right now before I can help others.

Be aware of your own energy

If I'm taking time to care for my colleagues, will it take away or give me energy? Is there a way for me to help others without draining myself?

#4 - Supporting Colleagues

Everyone is affected by the pandemic in a variation of degrees and challenges. If you feel that you have the capacity to support, empathize and assist your affected colleagues, there are a few things that you can do: Practice active listening, validate, find resources, and empathize.

Active Listening

Look out for any negative changes in these areas in your colleagues - physical, emotion, behavior - because they may signify something is amiss.
Active listening means we encourage conversations to flow with lots of eye contact, nodding, "uh-huh", and rephrasing what they say by repeating it back in your own words. This will help to dissipate any awkwardness and they can be assured that you're listening to what they are saying.


Validation happens when you understand the emotion behind the words people say. "I see that you are upset." Then, you validate by showing acceptance. "What you feel is valid."
Avoid saying "I understand how you're feeling", unless you have gone through what the person is going through. "I understand" is usually overrated and the person who's talking to you might be offended and becomes defensive.

Find Resources

However, if you feel that you're not someone who can help others by listening to them, you can point them to other resources such as reading materials and information or professionals such as counselors, therapists, and psychologists.


In a nutshell, everyone can learn to empathize. It starts with empathizing with yourself and through your words and/or action, you empathize with others.

Here's a short guideline when someone vents to you.
Instead of "You are overreacting", say "What can I do to support you?"
Instead of "You should have done this instead", say "No wonder you did that and feel this way." 
Instead of "Things could be worse", say "I know you feel overwhelmed, I'm here for you."

Adam Grant's Work-Life Rhythm

Work-life balance sets an unrealistic expectation of keeping different roles in steady equilibrium. Instead, strive for work-life rhythm. Each week has a repeating pattern of beats—job, family, friends, health, hobbies—that vary in accent and duration.

The quote above is by organizational psychologist Dr. Adam Grant. He explains that work-life rhythm means some days he has back-to-back events and meetings. Other days he's able to start work after his kids go to school, stop when they return, then catches up with any additional tasks after they've gone to bed. So one day might be weighted more to work, others more to family, creating a rhythm to his life. He's also decided to limit his work travel.

I'd like to end this post with this quote that helps me a lot throughout this pandemic - change is the only constant in life. As soon as we accept this powerful quote, we will be relieved of all the pain that we think life as given us.


Kids Finance Workshop on 13 November 2021

Lack of Financial Literacy

A survey by the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) found that 1 out of 3 Malaysians rated themselves as having a low level of confidence about financial management. Malaysians lack financial literacy but are generally unaware of the fact.

Wealth Coach, Eva Wong says, "The issues of having too much debt and insufficient retirement savings are due to not having enough money, savings problems, and high lifestyle expenses. These stemmed from our childhood environment that shaped our money value, belief, and skill.

If one does not change the deep-rooted cause, whatever quick fix being done will only be a temporary solution for a short period of time. The same financial issue will resurface again."

Start the Right Financial πŸ’°πŸ’Ή Education Since Young

Financial literacy is about developing the right character and right habits for finance. Unfortunately, financial literacy is not being taught in school.

Imagine this, if our kids start managing money since young, how would their financial situation be in the future? Research shows that majority of adults regret not saving enough when they are young.

If our kids can learn about financial skill earlier, they can secure their financial future better, wouldn't you agree?

πŸ’°πŸ’Ή Kids Finance Workshop πŸ’°πŸ’Ή

πŸ“† Date: 13 November 2021

⏱️ Time: 1:00pm – 4:00pm

πŸ“ Venue: Online (ZOOM)

πŸ‘©‍🏫 Language: English

πŸ‘©‍🏫 Teacher: Eva Wong


Suitable for kids aged 7-12

Who is Teacher Eva Wong?

Eva Wong is a holder of Capital Market Services Representative License and Financial Adviser Representative license issued by Securities Commission Malaysia and Bank Negara Malaysia.

She is also a certified and licensed Financial Planner and a mother of two lovely daughters.

Eva is a strong believer that through effective financial management, everyone will be able to take charge of his / her life and be able to pursue the life goals and dreams.

More about Teacher Eva

Facebook | Website

πŸ’°πŸ’Ή Workshop Enquiry & Registration πŸ’°πŸ’Ή

Registration Page -

WhatsApp -


Zoey's Homemade - Preferred Brand for Healthy Homemade Food

First Kid-friendly, One-stop Healthy Frozen Food Supply Company

Zoey's Homemade is proud to be the FIRST kid-friendly, one-stop healthy frozen food supply company in Malaysia! Their food products strictly adhere to their 3 ❌ NO Promises:

❌ NO MSG ❌ NO Additives ❌ NO Preservatives

Zoey's Homemade Story

Jamie Lim, the founder of Zoey's Homemade, is a single mother dedicated to giving the best to her daughter. It all started in 2016 from cooking for her daughter in her kitchen; with her passion and love as a mother, she produces healthy and delicious homemade food with a selection of high-quality ingredients. These ingredients are carefully chosen for their nutritional value, all created with the family especially children in mind.

More than just food, Zoey's Homemade is the result of a mother's love, and the best a mother will give to her child.

Read more about Jamie and Zoey's Homemade story on their Our Story page.

My Experience with Food Products from Zoey's Homemade

For the past one year or so, I have posted about the food products that I purchased from Zoey's Homemade on my Instagram profile. So I'd like to compile them on this blog post for quick reference.

How to Purchase from Zoey's Homemade

You can place order on their website OR contact 016-2089081 for details.

My favorite is their Value Set section. They have these awesome sets such as Marinara & Swedish Meatball Pasta, Japanese Curry, Kid's Choice Combo, Luncheon Meat Combo, Chicken Chop, and many more! You will be spoiled for choices, I promise you.

Exclusive Online Surprises

1. FREE RM5 Cash Voucher for first-time purchase above RM100 in a single receipt
2. Z-Coin Rewards Program up to 3% Rebate

Let's eat safe and stay safe, my friends!
Enjoy your shopping experience with Zoey's Homemade!


The Secret to A Healthy, Happy Brain

Do You Know What Makes You Happy?

Studies show that the human brain πŸ§  recalls bad memories and remembers negative experiences more easily and in greater detail than good ones. Researchers say our brains have developed this way, perhaps for evolutionary reasons. For example, negative threats such as being hunted, had a more immediate effect on our ancestors' survival compared to positive things like food or shelter.

Negative emotions such as fear and sadness trigger increased activity in a part of the brain linked to memories. As a result, you likely know what makes you unhappy, but do you know what makes you happy?

Take a look at the news headlines about COVID-19 and mental health in the image below.

How do you feel when you read these news? Would you agree with me that you will mostly feel overwhelmed, nervous, anxious, stressed, worried, gloomy? I believe it's pretty clear that we inherently know what makes us unhappy. When we "feed" our brain πŸ§  with worries, we get unhappiness.

Recent studies have shown that news avoidance during the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with better mental well-being. So, pandemic news avoidance does seem to provide some happiness. However, do you want to know the secret to a happy brain?

The Secret to A Happy Brain 🧠

#1: Understand Happiness Chemicals

When we feel good, our brain releases one of these happiness chemicals, known as DOSE.
D for Dopamine, O for Oxytocin, S for Serotonin, and E for Endorphin.

What do these happiness chemicals do?

Dopamine, the Reward Chemical 😊 gives us the determination to accomplish goals, desires, and needs.

Oxytocin, the Love Hormone 😍 gives us feeling of trust and motives us to build and sustain relationships.

Serotonin, the Mood Stabilizer 😌 makes us feel significant or important among our peers.

Endorphin, the Pain Killer πŸ˜– responses to pain and stress to alleviate anxiety and depression.

What happens if the happiness chemicals' level goes down?

From the chart above, you can see how deficiency of any of these happiness chemicals can affect us.

How can we increase happiness levels?

There are many ways to increase the levels of our happiness chemicals as seen in the chart above.

#2: Taking Care of Your Brain Health

There's a lot you can do for a healthy brain. Below are 6 tips for good brain health by World Health Organization.

A healthy πŸ‘πŸ» brain is a happy 😁 brain.

πŸƒ‍♂️ Keep physically active (exercise)
🍌 Eat a healthy diet (improve your diet)
😴 Get enough sleep (restful)
🧩 Stimulate your mind (mental stimulation)
πŸ’Ÿ Look after your heart (maintain a healthy weight)
⛑️ Wear a helmet (during physical exercise or dangerous work)

🎭 Emotion management and πŸ‘₯ connecting with people are beneficial for brain health too.

#3: Nutrition for Brain

Regarding nutrition for brain health, I'm a believer in natural food and food supplements.

A Harvard nutritionist and brain expert shares the 5 foods she eats every day to sharpen her memory and focus.

Extra dark chocolate contains antioxidants and cacao flavanols that help preserve the health of brain cells. It also contains fiber to help reduce brain inflammation and prevent cognitive decline.

Eating an assortment of red, blue, and black-colored berries rich in flavonoids may help slow down cognitive decline, prevent oxidative stress, help brain cell health, reduce symptoms of anxiety, and help fend off neurodegenerative diseases like dementia.

By adding a pinch of black pepper in turmeric, piperine—the compound in black pepper—activates curcumin—the compound in turmeric—and increases the bioavailability of anti-inflammatory substances to the brain and the body.

Leafy greens contain folate, which is a B vitamin that supports neurodevelopment and neurotransmitter function.

Fermented foods such as kimchi, miso, yogurt, kefir, kombucha boost our gut health which also improve our cognitive function (gut-brain connection).

The infographic above shows my go-to supplements for brain health.

#4: "Rewire" Your Brain

People who are grateful, mindful, and optimistic are more likely to be happy.

You can "rewire" your brain to be happy by simply recalling 3 things you're grateful for every day for 21 days.

You can practice being mindful by learning to have an open mind, focus, and enjoy the present moment.

Being optimistic means practicing to be hopeful, not fearful about the future, especially post pandemic.

How Vaccinated is Your Child's School?

Minister of Health, Khairy Jamaluddin announced on Twitter on 10 October 2021 about the launch of "School Search" feature on the COVIDNOW website whereby parents can get vaccination coverage info of our children's school.

How Vaccinated is My Child's School?

2. Select your state from the State list.

3. Type the school name (keyword works fine) in the School Name field and click the Search button.

4. The result will be displayed accordingly.

Result example below:

Note: I have censored the school name that I filled in for privacy purposes.

You will be able to view the vaccination rates for staff (including support staff) and students (born 2009 or earlier).

When are My Children Going Back to School?

Too much information to digest. All I remember is that the academic school year has been extended to March 2022. There are also different types of going back to school arrangements based on Fasa.

I'm so confused, for now.

I will just link you to this comprehensive page:

God Bless Us All!