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While there’s always the classic movie date to stave off awkwardness during the first date, it can get a bit dull after a while. After all, just how many first movie dates can you go on before you start getting restless?

Luckily, this article is here to sort that out for you. If you have no other idea what to do on a first date, you might want to consider one of the following! Especially with Valentine’s Day drawing ever close. You don’t want to bore your potential Valentine now, do you?

So without further ado, here’s the list:

Coffee shop

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If you and your date are the type to keep things low-key, perhaps a date at a coffee shop might be right up your alley. It’s casual enough for conversation, you’ll have something to drink, and if you really want to lengthen the date, you can order another cup of coffee! Or even a snack. Sounds pretty good, right?

Heck, if things get too awkward, it’s easier to end the outing here than from a dinner date.

And if the usual chat-at-a-coffee-shop approach is too dull for you, you and your date can always order cups of coffee to go before going out for a walk.

Amusement park

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With a plethora of activities to choose from at an amusement park, you and your date will hardly ever have a moment of boredom. There are plenty of games and rides to be had, and if either of you are feeling peckish, you can nip on over to one of the food stalls. Which, by the way, come in such a wide variety that you’ll be spoiled for choice.

All in all, a fun, casual day. Do you really need more?

Comedy show

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Not one of the most conventional romantic outings, but it’s one that makes you go, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

The atmosphere is relaxed, and the two of you will (hopefully be) laughing your butts off at the jokes they have to offer. Plus, this is an excellent way to gauge whether you both share the same sense of humour! Not that it’s necessarily a deal breaker if you don’t, but it would certainly help if you do.

Pet shelter

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Bond over your mutual love for animals by visiting a pet shelter. Not only will you have the companionship of an adorable dog (or cat!) to dispel the awkwardness between you and your date, you’d also be contributing to a worthy cause! Talk about a win-win situation.

Conversation won’t be too much of a worry either; you’d have plenty to talk about whilst bathing or walking one of the animals.

Ice-cream

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Sweet and oh-so-satisfying, an ice-cream date is yet another low-key alternative the two of you might enjoy. And just like the coffee shop suggestion, you’ll have the flexibility of lengthening the date by ordering another helping- and you’ll also have the option of taking your ice-cream to go and going for a walk.

Yummy!

Rock-climbing

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Ooh, this one is a doozy. A definite must-try for workout enthusiasts out there, rock-climbing is an activity that will get your blood pumping in no time. Heck, you can even spice things up by having a little competition on your own. Last one to reach the top has to pay for dinner afterwards.

That would certainly make your date a bit more interesting, wouldn’t it?

Go bowling

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Or play darts or pool. You can even try your hand at archery or head to the arcade. You get the picture. Find a fun activity that will keep the both of you occupied and conversation will naturally follow. This will hold even more so true if again, you have a little contest between you and your date.

More free food, anyone?

Concert

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This might be a bit expensive, but having a concert date is just about as foolproof as you can get awkward-wise (unless your date is a total jerk, in which case, you have my condolences). Music is best enjoyed with company, and even if you can’t find anything to talk about beforehand, you’ll definitely have lots to chatter about afterwards.

And hey, if the both of you already like the artist in question, you have very little excuse not to have something to chat about. So have at it.

Zoo

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Ever wished you could visit the local zoo? Here’s your chance. Both a highly interesting and unconventional alternative, going to the zoo is a fantastic way to zap away any potential awkwardness. It’s a great learning experience, and you’ll also have the option to eat at the zoo or somewhere outside afterwards.

Just be sure to remember to wear sunscreen!

Food festival

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It is no secret that we Malaysians are generally foodies. So what better way to spend a date than by going to a food festival? The both of you can choose from a wide variety of food, which means there is no need to debate over what you’d like to eat. I’m sure some of us have had that tug-of-war experience over where and what to have for dinner.

A food festival is a fast and easy way to solve that.

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

TO READ THIS ON THE MAGAZINE, CLICK HERE

Disclaimer: This article is an excerpt from the second issue of our e-magazine, Crunch.

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Photo Credits to our Bloggerati @bobostephanie

“Lose weight”, “eat healthily”, “exercise more” … Ah, aren’t we familiar with most of these come New Year’s Day? With resolutions rolling out like crazy, it’s only natural to get caught up in the hype.

But if you look closely, you’ll notice more specific health-related resolutions, one of the most prominent being the desire to develop abs. Not that many manage to achieve this, and it’s not because they didn’t put any effort in their training (although many fall out of it not long after starting!).

So why does this happen? You’d be surprised to hear that it’s because of their diet. Who knew that food could play such a major role in ab-building?

Let’s take a look at what it takes to have the perfect diet.

Do eat enough protein

It’s going to be a bit tough to build muscle if you exclude protein from your diet. This is because protein helps you to not only build muscle, but to burn fat as well. How does it do this, exactly? It does this by making your body work harder; a ton of calories is burned just to break down this incredible macronutrient!

If that doesn’t sound like a winner in your book, I don’t know what does.

Do cook your own meals

The reason behind this is simple: you can’t control what goes into your meals if someone else prepares it for you. This is especially true if you’re the type of person to eat out.

While this does not necessarily mean you have to avoid eating out forever, it can’t be all of your meals. If you’re not a cook, you can start small. Pack lunch for a couple of days a week- you’d be surprised by the difference this can make.

Eat carbs after your workout

Forget the bad rep carbs have gotten from the press. Yes, you’d definitely gain weight if you eat too much of anything, but carbs have been treated unfairly in this particular aspect. Fact of the matter is, natural grain or starchy carbs such as brown rice and oatmeal are actually important in building abs- and this is even more so true when they’re eaten post-workout.

Not convinced? Carbs have the smallest chance of turning into body fat when you eat them after working out.

Don’t avoid healthy fats

This might sound crazy, but you should include fats in your diet. And when I say this, I mean healthy fats. These are mainly from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in food items such as raw nuts, fish oils and olive oils.

By eating the right amount of lean protein, good carbs and healthy fats, you’ll soon develop a metabolism that is able to burn fat more effectively.

Don’t ignore your diet

As tempting as it might be to take the “easy” way out by skipping out on meals to lose weight, this is actually counterproductive. Not only will you have less energy to perform the necessary workouts, your body will also be unable to effectively build the muscles you so desperately crave.

How can it, when it is deprived of the nutrients it needs? So pile on that lean protein- you need it.

Don’t push yourself

If you find that your current diet plan isn’t working out for you, don’t push yourself. It isn’t that easy to determine exactly how much of anything a person should consume, which is precisely why there should be some flexibility in your diet. This doesn’t mean that you should take this as an excuse to replace your brown rice with fast food, it is just that everyone’s body is different. So if something isn’t working out for you, it might be wiser to lessen, increase or replace the item entirely with another healthy alternative.

There you have it! Six easy tips to bear in mind, and you don’t even have to starve yourself to get results. Just eat healthy and workout, my friends, and your efforts will bear fruit.

For more interesting content like this one, do check out the second issue of “Crunch” here

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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There you have it. The New Year is here, and along with it, the promise of new beginnings, lessons and experiences. All of which are no less valuable than the other, especially towards your growth as a person.

But rather than sitting around and waiting for these changes to happen, why not take the initiative to make them happen? There is no better time to improve yourself than now, when you have fellow resolution-makers to keep you company.

So what are the things you can do to become a better person in a year? Let me count the ways:

Start exercising and eating right

When it comes to investing in yourself, there is nothing more important than your health. Not even your job should take precedence over it. After all, you have to live with yourself once it’s time to clock out of work- so take the time to go out for a morning walk or run before work starts. Your body and self-confidence will thank you for it.

As for eating, if you don’t start eating right, you may have food to eat now, but eventually, medicine will be your food. If that’s not a reality you want for yourself, it’s time to make a change.

Start giving

Be kind and considerate. Devote some time to charity work, donate money, help someone out at the office. Realise there are those outside of your immediate circle who are in need.

But most important of all, don’t expect anything back. Give because you care, but do learn the difference between being kind and being a push-over.

Be productive

Dedicate at least an hour a day to being productive. This can be anything. Maybe your dream is to become skilled at photography, maybe it’s to learn programming, maybe it’s to learn a new language. Point of the matter is, dedicate yourself to your dream. If there is one trait that successful people share, it is productivity.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that we stop learning once college ends. Stay sharp and invest in yourself.

Be more disciplined

This isn’t easy, but once you get the ball rolling, it’ll get easier, and you’ll reap the benefits.

The number one thing to remember when you have something to do that you don’t want to is to just do it. It might be painful, it might be totally joyless, but once you learn to do what you need to in a timely manner, you’ll soon be an efficient worker.

Spend more time with family and friends

Here is a fact that is true for everyone: our time on Earth is limited. No matter how busy you are, or how devoted you are to your career, you should always make time for family and friends. This doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking moment with them, but staying in touch really goes a long way.

Don’t be that person who regrets not spending more time with their loved ones.

Meet new people

Networking is an art that shouldn’t be underestimated, but do bear in mind to network wisely. Surround yourself with positive, high-achieving people. Being around such bright individuals will in turn motivate you to improve yourself, both in terms of personality and your value as an employee.

Meeting new people is also a great way of broadening your mind; you’ll be exposed to different views, backgrounds and opinions. Learning to see the world with a different perspective is an enriching experience on its own.

Be grateful

Complaining is a huge waste of energy. While everyone is allowed to be negative every once in a while, it is a drain on your resources if it’s a constant.

Again, this might be easier said than done, but once you learn to be positive and appreciate the things you do have, you’ll be happier as a person. And that, is more attractive than someone who spews negativity all day long.

Feeling daunted? Fret not, because we’re right here with you. Just take things a day at a time, and you’ll soon be able to look back on 2018 with pride.

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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We all know that one person; that one Negative Nelly in our social network. Chances are, you’ve met more than one negative person in your life, and really, how does it feel after talking to them? Or rather, listening to their complaints, insults and general negativity?

Exhausting, isn’t it?

While it is all too tempting to simply cut ties with the person, sometimes things aren’t that simple. What if they’re family or a friend? Or perhaps they’re a generally positive person who is just going through a rough patch? There are many factors to consider, so before you decide to cut them out of your life, take a breather.

And remember that sometimes, these people are negative because they’re in pain. Should you decide to help them, then you should learn the best way to do it.

Hint: It’s not with more negativity.

Try to understand them

More often than not, negative people are the way they are because of their experiences. Perhaps they had an unhappy upbringing, a terrible breakup or even an awful job. While it doesn’t excuse them from their behaviour, especially if what they’re doing is hurting those around them, it certainly makes it easier to deal with them.

You’d understand better too, what it is they need in order to feel better about themselves.

Empathise with them

Have you ever felt irritated when someone told you to “Relax” just when you were about to release a bit of pent up frustration? Annoying, isn’t it? Dismissing what a person is feeling might serve to aggravate or upset them even further. We’re all human, after all, and there’ll always be times when we need someone to listen to us. That mere act of listening and being there for people can be a healing balm for many.

So the next time that certain someone needs to get something off their chest, it might be beneficial to ask, “What’s wrong?” Just remember not to get sucked into the negativity yourself.

Look for something positive

Instead of focusing on the bad traits the person has, focus on the good. If that’s too difficult for you to pick out, sit down and think about it for a moment. Does that person go above and beyond at work? Are they kind towards those they feel are going through the same struggle they are? Are they good with children? Just about everyone has something good about them; it’s up to us to recognise it.

Really, it’s easy to harbour resentment towards someone if all you can think of is everything that’s bad about them.

Lend a helping hand

Understand that their flow of negativity could be a cry for help. Some people might not realise that they’re in need of it, and that they’re expressing it in what could be seen as off-putting ways. This is especially true if negativity is something that they’re constantly surrounded with on a daily basis.

So it is here that you have to be the bigger person by extending a helping hand.

Remain positive

No matter what they say or do, there is one Golden Rule to bear in mind if you wish to take the kind, big-hearted, mature way of dealing with these Energy Vampires:

Remain positive.

It is not easy, but rather than lashing out or lecturing them (both of which would likely not end well), the most effective way to cultivate change is by leading by example. It especially helps to remember that while misery loves company, people are even more so drawn to those who exude positive energy. Who doesn’t love being around someone who makes them feel good about themselves? That said, changes, if any, will be glacial. Patience is key here.

Know your limits

Despite your best intentions, remember your limits. If the person’s negativity is starting to get to you, it is advisable to take a deep breath and if you need to, walk away. It wouldn’t do for you to lose your temper or start adopting their negativity yourself. That would defeat the purpose of effectively dealing with a Negative Nelly.

So know your limits, and don’t spread yourself thin in your mission to help another human being. It’s important to love yourself too.

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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With online dating gaining more and more popularity in recent years, it is only natural that this question too gain prominence.

Now, without us getting into the sticky debate of which dating style should reign over all, be it dating one person at a time, multiple at once or none at all because to you, arranged marriage is the way to go, let’s take a look at why some people choose to date more than one simultaneously.

Bear in mind, we’re talking about dating, not exclusive relationships. With that cleared up, let’s go!

It’s a good way to build your confidence

Know those pesky last-minute jitters that have a nasty habit of showing up, right till the day of your date? And sometimes even during the date itself?

By dating multiple people at once, you’ll find that these bundles of nerves will eventually ease to a mere murmur, until they one day go away- at least almost completely. As you can imagine, this newfound confidence will help your dates go more smoothly, and hey, you might even start meeting amazing people you are attracted to.

Why? Because by working on your inside, you’ll meet amazing people who’ll do you justice- because by this time, you’d know and demand the respect that you deserve.

It’ll improve your dating skills

Dating is very much like attending a job interview. You meet a potential someone, chat with them, get to know them and by the end of the date (or string of dates), you decide whether you’d like to continue seeing this person. Sounds pretty easy, no?

Unfortunately for some, it is easier said than done. Some of us just aren’t as comfortable with initiating and holding a conversation with someone new. Fortunately, however, this is a skill that can be learned, and with time, you’ll also learn how to navigate your way through the other aspects of dating, as well as be able to pick out the red flags, if any.

It’s a way to expand your network

Who knows. Unsuccessful match ups don’t necessarily have to drop out of your radar. Perhaps you two sound like a perfect match online, but there’s no chemistry when you actually do meet. And that’s okay. If you’re lucky, you might just end up with a shiny new friend, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

It helps to know that you won’t get very far in life if you don’t work on expanding your social network- so get out there and get to know more people! It’ll only do you more good in the end.

You’ll know what you want in a partner

When you have the abundance of choice, you’ll be more aware of the options that are available to you. And this, my friend, is something you wouldn’t realise if you severely limit your dating options from the get go.

It is here that you’ll get a better idea of what you do and do not want in a partner. And if you have some pre-existing notion of what your ideal partner is, meeting new people might make you realise there are better matches out there for you. This, in turn, will also help you avoid settling for someone who isn’t that good a fit for you, all because you are unaware of the choices out there.

You’ll avoid putting all your eggs in one basket

Ever feel devastated that the person you’re seeing just isn’t that into you? The realisation of all the time, energy and emotional investment you put into that one person comes crashing down on you, and you agonise over what you did or didn’t do to cause them to lose interest. It’s exhausting and heartbreaking, to say the least.

By dating multiple people at once, you’ll avoid putting all your eggs in one basket (and potentially scaring them off too early!). It’ll help you be less emotionally attached, and most importantly, allow you to make choices more objectively. And should one person drop out of your dating life, the sting will lessen as well.

What’s more, this style of dating takes the pressure off having to impress that one person you’re meeting. It’ll be easier to relax and just be yourself.

All of this being said, dating multiple people at once isn’t for everyone. Some might find it overwhelming or not their thing altogether, even if it’s something as simple as just getting to know new people, and that’s okay. Just do you and make sure if you do go for this dating style, you’re open and honest about it if questioned.

After all, no one likes being led on!

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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Perfectionism. The word itself doesn’t sound bad- in fact, it sounds downright wonderful. Who wouldn’t want to achieve perfection, right?

We’re humans, after all, and it’s perfectly human to want to win. That sense of achievement we get once we attain a goal is pretty darned hard to replace.

But here’s the thing with perfectionism. While it can be healthy (we call this “adaptive” perfectionism), there is a darker side to the picture. Maladaptive perfectionists want and cannot accept anything but perfection. Failure to do so results in a spiral into depression.

Below, we’re going to highlight the key signs of perfectionism, and how they can be affecting you and your quality of life negatively.

You procrastinate. A lot. 

Normal people would procrastinate by watching an episode of Friends or Game of Thrones before starting on their assignment. You, on the other hand, spend hours, days, even weeks on an assignment, obsessing over every detail you’ve made to the point that you miss your deadline. Nothing you create ever meets the insane standards you’ve set for yourself, and in the end, you never move forward.

You have an all-or-nothing mindset.

If you’re not good at something, why bother doing it at all? Rather than making a fool of yourself, you’d rather miss out on a class. Instead of going for football practice, you’d rather stay at home, but you’re perfectly fine with going to baseball practice. Because guess what, you’re better at baseball than football. This kind of mindset can prevent growth in those less than perfect areas despite knowing there is a learning curve.

You avoid trying new things.

That cool new sport everyone’s raving about and you’d love to try? Or that new dance school that just opened up and you’d love to sign up for? No and no, on both counts. Out of fear that you’ll make a mistake, you bar yourself from trying new things. Which, trust us, you will regret in the long run. What’s life without a bit more colour in it?

You obsess over previous mistakes.

While everyone else can move on, you can’t. You stay fixated on the mistake you made, and you build it all up in your head, until you finally, finally cripple from the stress of it all. No matter how small the mistake, it doesn’t really make a difference to you. Everything is either perfect or not. Anything less than the former is completely unacceptable.

High, unrealistic goals.

It is one thing to set your goals high, it is another matter entirely when you set them out of reach. Because you define yourself by your accomplishments, you have an innate need to be the very best. Which is a good thing in healthy doses, but bear in mind that you are human too. Remember Icarus, the man who flew too close to the sun? Don’t be him.

Difficulty in sharing your thoughts and feelings.

Why? Because by admitting anything of the like is equivalent to revealing that you are a flawed human being. In your mind, it is a sign of weakness, and it is precisely this mentality that can hinder you from forming warm, genuine relationships. Which is a shame, because it can get pretty lonely all on your own. We humans are social creatures at the end of the day.

The thought of socialising leaves you anxious.

Rather than experiencing butterflies before meeting new people, you get the uglier side of the coin: anxiety. There is a constant worry that people will be watching and judging your every move. What if you make a mistake and embarrass yourself in front of them? The thought is too terrifying to even consider.

Having some of these traits doesn’t mean you’re a perfectionist, but if you found yourself nodding to more than a few of these, you might be. All is not lost, though! Realisation is the first step to recovery, and the quality of life you’ll enjoy thereafter will be well worth it. So don’t be afraid to take that step; everything in life is a journey.

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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