How to fend off nosey relatives this CNY

Click on the links below to jump to any of these stories:

WEIGHT WATCHERS: Some of us have gained weight during the pandemic, and family gatherings mean garnering some unwanted commentary on how we look, disguised as pleasantries. So here’s how to deal with all of it this coming Chinese New Year.

SPONSORED: With Chinese New Year coming up, many of us are going to be binging on all the CNY snacks we can get our hands on. If you want to keep track of how many calories you’re taking in during the CNY period, we recommend you try out MyFitnessPal!

PICTURE OF THE DAY: Chinese New Year is going to look a little different this year — so here’s a rundown on the new government guidelines for CNY celebrations in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

WEIGHT WATCHERS

The Big Idea:
Some of us have gained weight during the pandemic, and family gatherings mean garnering some unwanted commentary on how we look, disguised as pleasantries. So here’s how to deal with all of it this coming Chinese New Year.

That one question no one wants to hear

Chinese New Year is just around the corner, and with that comes the dreaded question. No, not the “So when are you getting married?” (although we hate that one too). Right now, we’re talking about “Hey, did you put on weight?”

Hopefully, these comments will just go in one ear and come out the other. But we also know that these types of comments can linger in our minds and affect our moods quite a bit.

How body image affects mental health

For many people, body image can be a sensitive topic with dire consequences. Research shows that poor body image can lead to more serious issues like anxiety and even suicidal thoughts. In the UK, a 2019 survey showed that 1 in 3 adults had experienced anxiety or depression because of their body image issues.

The truth is, even as body positivity movements (which aren’t perfect either) continue to be on the rise, a lot of us still feel that ever-present societal pressure to be thin.

Okay, we get it — when we have food in our mouths, we don’t have to make too much small talk that we’d rather not have, but these CNY goodies pack a caloric punch! For a quick calorie guide on your CNY snacks, we gotchu! Check out our downloadable PDF here.

Knowing how to respond

If you’re still on your journey to finding peace with the way that you look, here are a couple of tips on how to deal with the upcoming comments on your weight:

  • Kill ’em with kindness. Take the high road and respond with a compliment. (if you’re lucky, you get to annoy the other party by responding so unexpectedly.)
  • Ignore them. Sometimes the best way to deal with these types of comments is to not engage. Walk away and try your best not to let them get to you.

It probably won’t be very fun for anyone if an argument breaks out at a Chinese New Year gathering, so these suggestions really focus on keeping the peace. But remember that your body is your business, and no one else should have a say in it.

SNIPPETS

5 Singaporean stories to catch up on

1️⃣ Recovering from Covid-19: Employment rates for Singaporean residents have been on the rise for the past 2 quarters.

2️⃣ A CNY Whatsapp scam: Rumours of a government hiring exercise to accumulate safe distancing enforcers for Chinese New Year have been put to rest.

3️⃣ Beating the coronavirus: Over 113,000 people in Singapore have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

4️⃣ Becoming self-sufficient: Singapore now has the technology to produce its own surgical mask filters to protect citizens against Covid-19.

5️⃣ A good week: There’s only been 1 reported community Covid-19 case this week! (Hopefully we didn’t just jinx it.)

And 5 facts to spice up your life:

1️⃣ Syncing up with the moon: Research shows that the lunar cycle has an effect on our sleeping patterns.

2️⃣ About our fur babies: Apparently, dogs learn new things the same way human children do.

3️⃣ Coming out of a coma: An experimental ultrasound treatment jump-started the brains of two patients who jad be comatose for years.

4️⃣ Fact-checking needed: Experts raise doubts over the new evidence claiming that Covid-19 affects male fertility.

5️⃣ The future of theatre: An architecture studio in the UK has conceptualised a Vertical Theatre that will allow for safe-distancing during shows.

The Big Idea:
With Chinese New Year coming up, many of us are going to be binging on all the CNY snacks we can get our hands on. If you want to keep track of how many calories you’re taking in during the CNY period, we recommend you try out MyFitnessPal!

Chinese New Year = snack time

From pineapple tarts to bak kwa, and to our families’ home-cooked reunion dinners, there are just so many temptations around us during Chinese New Year. Even though we’ve all promised to eat better this year (as we do every year), it just gets so difficult to keep track of what we put into our bodies.

We aren’t so great at food math

When it comes to counting calories, the consensus is that we’re not very good at it. We try our best to pick healthier choices — but that’s actually part of the problem. When we choose lower-calorie options, we tend to then consume them in larger portions.

Calorie counting in general also has its downsides. If we start to get obsessive about the number of calories we’re putting into our bodies, that can be really detrimental to our mental health.

MyFitnessPal: The right way to count calories

MyFitnessPal, available on both the App Store and Google Play, is a fantastic way to keep track of everything you’re eating. Their food database includes over 11 million entries, so you won’t have any issues finding certain foods, even here in Singapore. With its barcode-scanning functionality, it’s super convenient to input what you’re eating, and you can even get in touch with like-minded folk through the app’s built-in forum pages. They also frequently host challenges aimed at improving your relationship with food.

So if you want to start your calorie-counting journey right, we definitely recommend that you check out MyFitnessPal, which comes in both free and premium versions.

SHOWER THOUGHTS

Weird & Wonderful

  1. A streaming service that has a “I might fall asleep soon” bookmark button would win the streaming wars.
  2. Yeast makes bread fluffy by eating sugar and filling it with fungus farts.
  3. Birth certificates are the first participation trophy we get in life.
  4. The early bird gets sleep deprivation.
  5. Losing your sense of taste is your tongue dissociating.
PICTURE OF THE DAY

An MOH infographic on Covid-19 safeguards for Chinese New Year in Singapore.

The Big Idea:
Chinese New Year is going to look a little different this year — so here’s a rundown on the new government guidelines for CNY celebrations in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A coronavirus new year

Covid-19 is ruining yet another holiday, and this time it’s one celebrated by almost 75% of Singapore’s population. Chinese New Year is coming up, but it’s gonna be a little different this year — okay, it’s going to be a lot different, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the upcoming holiday while still keeping ourselves safe.

The special CNY restrictions

As we’re still in Phase 3, many of the current restrictions will continue to be in place; no going out without a mask, or hanging out in groups of more than 8.

When it comes to Chinese New Year visiting, there are a few more things to take note of:

  • Every household can now only have 8 visitors a day.
  • If you’re doing the visiting, try your best to stick to 2 houses maximum.
  • When it comes to lohei, keep your masks on, and no talking allowed — not for the auspicious sayings, and definitely not to shout “huat ah”.

Keeping the holiday spirit going

Although we might not be able to visit all our relatives this year, we can always stay connected digitally. The Monetary Authority of Singapore is also encouraging the use of e-hongbaos this year — which will also make CNY a little more eco-friendly this year (save the trees!). 

To keep spirits up during lohei and drinks, check out this cool little app developed by DJBeng! It’ll do all the talking (and yelling) for you.

Remember, we all managed a muted Hari Raya, Deepavali, and Christmas last year; so we can deal with a quieter Chinese New Year too. Stay safe, everyone, and have a happy and prosperous new year!

Vanessa

Vanessa is a go-getter and knowledge-seeker with way too many hobbies. On weekends, she can be found enjoying a lie-in and pretending she doesn't have anything else she should be doing.