TV addiction doesn’t get as much flak as phone or gaming addiction or gambling because most people consider the television a necessity as much as a refrigerator or a cooking stove. But TV addiction afflicts people of all ages and it influences that way we think about various topics and how we deal with other people without even acknowledging it. Is it possible to live without watching your favorite drama?

Keep a daily log of how many hours you spend watching TV. This is the best way to determine how much time you spend in front of a television. Until confronted with the evidence, most people with addiction will not acknowledge that they have a problem.

This will also allow you to find a pattern and perhaps determine the triggers. List down all the shows you’ve been following then group them into categories based on genre. Tally the hours you spend on each show daily then total the number of hours you spend on them weekly.

Find the triggers. Addictions don’t suddenly appear without a reason. There is always a cause and several triggers. This could be anything from chronic pain, another form of addiction, stress, and other factors. Some people are predisposed to addictive behaviors, but this is not set in stone. If you keep a daily log, you should also include a list of other activities you did that day and your general mood.

Cut down the number of shows you watch daily. The first step to tackling the problem is to slowly wean yourself from television. Determine other ways for you to access television shows such as cable subscriptions, streaming, etc. Start by eliminating some of these then picking only a few shows that you like most. By eliminating the easy ways to watch TV shows, you can make them less accessible.

Find substitutes or other activities. You will definitely suffer from withdrawal symptoms, but you can take your mind off of it by keeping yourself busy. Surely you have other interests besides TV shows. Perhaps it is time to pick up on that old hobby you neglected or find a new activity such as working out, reading, walking your dog, etc.

Set a timer and follow your schedule. To avoid idle hours when you are most vulnerable to giving in to temptation, you should fill your day with other activities besides school or work. These activities should help you relax and de-stress.

If you can follow this schedule, you can reward yourself later by watching an episode or two of your favorite show. But remember, you also need to limit how much time you spend watching TV. You can change this target weekly until you achieve your goal.

Think about the benefits. TV shows should just be for fun and learning, but your life shouldn’t revolve around them. It’s not like you will get a reward be religiously following everything on TV. There is so much in life to enjoy so why waste your hours sitting there watching other people live their lives.

Farro is one of the healthy alternatives to rice, but you do not have to limit yourself to salads to enjoy it. Here are some recipe ideas for farro.

Farro and Pea Stir-Fry

Ingredients: 2/3 cup cooked farro, 1 cup peas, 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ sweet onion, 2 beaten eggs, 2 minced garlic cloves, ¼ teaspoon paprika, ¼ cup torn basil, salt, and ground black pepper

Preparation: Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, then cook the eggs by stirring them constantly for 30 seconds. Set aside. Add another teaspoon of olive oil in the same skillet to cook onion for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, salt, and pepper. After 1 minute, add farro, peas, paprika, and basil. Heat through until combined before serving.

Heirloom Squash Farrotto

Ingredients: 2 cups semi-pearled farro, 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, 4 cups butternut squash, 1 cup plain yogurt, 1 minced and 2 sliced garlic cloves, 2 ½ tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons Fresno chile or red jalapeno, ¾ cup red onion with additional ¼ cup, 15 ounces garbanzo beans, ½ cup cilantro leaves, extra-virgin olive oil, and vegetable oil spray

Preparation: Toast the cumin seeds for 4 to 5 minutes, then cool and grind in a spice grinder. Add 1 ½ teaspoons of the ground cumin in a bowl with yogurt, then stir in 1 tbsp lemon juice and the minced garlic. Season then cover and allow to chill. Preheat the oven to 400°F and coat a baking sheet with spray. In a bowl, add squash and 2 tablespoons oil then coat. Season with salt and pepper then roast for 25 minutes.

While waiting, cook farro in a pot of salted water for 18 to 20 minutes. Drain and cool. Heat remaining oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook garlic with 1 tablespoon chile. After 1 minute, add garbanzo beans and onion. Cook for 1 minute and add cooked farro and roasted squash.

Add ground cumin, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  To serve, top farro mixture with yogurt, cilantro, onion, and chile then drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.

Farro Risotto with Squash, Greens, and Truffle Oil

Ingredients: 1 cup farro, 1 onion, 6 cups chicken broth, 2 cups cubed butternut squash, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 4 grated garlic cloves, 1 cup dry white wine, ½ cup grated parmesan, 3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese, 2 teaspoons white truffle oil, salt, ground black pepper, fresh chopped herbs, and baby greens

Preparation: Soak farro in a bowl of water while covered for 20 minutes. While waiting, simmer broth in a saucepan then stir in squash. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes then remove squash to a bowl. Continue simmering the broth over low heat. In another skillet, heat olive oil and butter to saute onion for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Next, stir in drained farro and stir until toasted before adding white wine. Season to taste then add ½ cup of the broth. Stir until most of the broth is absorbed. Repeat process for the next 20 to 25 minutes until you have a thick and creamy mixture. Gradually add salt, pepper, mascarpone, parmesan, squash, and baby greens. When serving, drizzle with truffle oil and a side of fresh herbs.

To some, having a side hustle can mean more work. Although that can be true, there are also a lot of positives. Let’s just jump right into the benefits of having a side hustle!

It’s a great way to spice up your work life

If you feel like your career is getting stagnant and that your main job is getting boring, having a side hustle can be a great way to reintroduce the fun to your work life. For one, your side hustle doesn’t have to be something big. Just as long as it’s fun for you and it doesn’t take your time off your main job, then it should be perfectly fine.

You can have more sources of income

Well, the main reason why we do side hustles is to earn more money in the first place. This is already an obvious benefit of doing a side hustle. If you mean to look for ways to earn more money, then you can consider doing business on the side. Again, what’s great about having a side hustle is that you can earn money from it without necessarily having to take time off your main job. 

You have full accountability

Another great benefit of doing a side hustle is that you are your own boss. You can simply work on your own time! You also have full accountability for your actions. If you make a mistake, you won’t need to worry about getting scolded by anybody. On the other hand, this can also be quite a challenge. If you don’t know what to do at first, you’ll have to figure everything out yourself. But, of course, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

You can do things you’re really passionate about

Your side hustle can also be related to something you’re really passionate about. For example, you enjoy making portraits of people. When you do it as a side hustle, you’re not only earning money for it, you’re also honing your craft with something you’re really interested in. Sometimes you can even discover new things about yourself and start pursuing new interests as well.

Increase your knowledge and improve your skills

Doing a side hustle can also help you sharpen the skills you can use in your main job. Even if you don’t notice it, your side hustle can help you increase your skillset sometimes through indirect ways. For example, if you work in sales and you proofread papers on the side. Sometimes you’ll get ideas from the papers you read that you can also utilize in your sales job.

To have more connections

Lastly, having a side hustle lets you meet more and more people. If you work in a certain industry, chances are you’ll also only meet people who are connected to that industry. If you have a side hustle, you can get to know a variety of people aside from those at your job. You never know, these people might also give you more opportunities for your career to grow.

No matter where you study or work in Singapore, it’s already a given that you’re going to learn something new. Learning is a part of growing up but there are certain things that we intentionally want to learn. These may be our own interests, hobbies, and etc. That being said, you’d usually prefer to learn new things faster so you can also get better at them quickly. So, here are some things you can try.

Write your notes down

These days, many people prefer to take down notes using their laptops because it’s faster. But this will actually lead you to just transcript the notes mindlessly. You’re just typing down what you hear and not processing it in your mind anymore.

Taking notes down by hand, however, makes for more active learning. For one, you’ll have to listen more attentively. It also helps you identify the main points and concepts more carefully because you’ll have to process the information in your head first before writing them in your own words.

Avoid information overload

When you’re learning something, it’s understandable that you want to dedicate long hours, especially if you’re really passionate about it. But if you don’ take breaks, it might actually slow your progress.

This is because when we’re learning something new, our brain takes more time to process the information. If you try to digest too much information at one time, think of it like causing traffic inside your own brain. This is exactly why you zone out during a long lecture at school, for example.

Make small changes to your methods

Growing Plant Sequence in Dirt

To keep the learning process fun, it would be a good idea to make slight changes to your methods so that you don’t keep doing the same thing the whole time. This is usually what makes you less and less motivated, the dull repetitiveness.

For example, if you’re learning a new language and you’re already getting used to just speaking, try to start writing those words while you speak as well. Remember, though, that the changes you should make should only be small adjustments. If you change your methods completely, you’ll only go back to square one.

Use different mediums

If you think about it, there will be more than one way to learn something, especially in our time today. You can read books about the subject, watch videos from YouTube, listen to podcasts, and many more.

By using different mediums to learn, you will also use different regions of your brain to learn. That means you’re learning visually, auditorily, and even in many cases by touch and taste. This can be very effective because you’re stimulating your brain in different ways making it easier to process and store information.

Video games have always had a negative reputation among non-gamers, especially among parents who had to deal with the irregular sleep times and spending habits of their kids. But games have grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry bigger than other forms of entertainment. Talented gamers can earn millions from playing competitively.

If you are lucky to be a parent of a budding esports star, here are some tips that might help.

Know the game. Esports are just like any other competitive event. It is not that different from athletic, performance, musical, and even academic competitions. Most professional gamers specialize in one game. Nowadays the most popular are fighting games, strategy games, shooters, and sports. You will have a better understanding of what your child is doing by researching the game, the different competitions, and the rules.

Young man with child on laptop computer

Understand the risks. Even if your kids are not moving around much like when doing sports, there is still a risk of injuries. If your child wants to compete, of course they will need to practice. It is possible, however, to suffer from strains, back pain, collapsed lungs, and carpal tunnel syndrome from spending too much time in front of a computer. Remind your child to look after themselves so that they can keep playing.

Get quality equipment. For practice, they will need the best equipment. That means you should also be familiar with the hardware and peripherals that will be used. You do not have to get the most expensive items, but you should get the best quality equipment you can provide. Don’t worry about the cost too much because most hobbies are expensive anyway. This is not different to buying expensive running shoes for kids who want to try sports.

Encourage them while they are young. The strange thing about competitive gaming is that age does matter. Researchers are not yet sure about it but perhaps reaction time and micromanagement might slow down as a person becomes older. This is why esports is the haven of a lot of young gamers not yet in their 30s. Sure, older gamers can and still compete, but most of the champions are usually the younger ones.

Managing finances. If your child becomes one of the best players around, he/she could rake in millions from competitions and endorsements. Some players who are part of teams even get monthly salaries.

This can be beneficial if your child wants to invest in his/her future because an esports athlete has a shorter career span than a professional sports athlete. You could even get a college scholarship for esports because a lot of colleges and universities now have their own esports teams.

Get to know the community. The beauty of esports is that it is not an isolated community even if majority of the public still think gaming is a niche. The community is more open and accepting to players no matter the physical attributes and background.

Although there is no for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), it is possible for an infected person to live a normal life for many years with the right treatment. The goal of the treatment is to slow the progress of the virus and to avoid the complications that come with a weakened immune system. After all, HIV-infected person will not die from the virus itself but from other opportunistic illnesses that the body cannot fight off.

Below is an overview of the treatments for HIV you might be able to get if you tested positive for the virus.

What are the types of drugs for treating HIV?

Currently there are five classes of medication to treat HIV. The method is collectively called antiretroviral therapy which indicate the main purpose of the drugs. Since HIV is a retrovirus, it means that the RNA of the HIV inserts it DNA copy into the host cell to replicate. ART will then block the virus from doing this to slow down its progress.

Which medication should you take?

Most doctors will recommend that a person who has tested positive for HIV should start taking medication immediately regardless of the CD4 T cell count. A combination of three medications from two classes is the standard in most hospitals in order to prevent the virus from creating a drug-resistant strain.

What are the classes of ART?

NNRTI or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors prevents copying by turning off a protein; PI or protease inhibitors will inactivate the protease so the virus can’t make copies; NRTI or nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors have incorrect copies of the HIV; integrase inhibitors disable integrase, the protein that is inserted into the CD4 T cells; and entry/fusion inhibitors blocks the entry of the virus into the CD4 T cells.

Do you need to take medications for HIV?

Antiviral medication must be offered regardless of the CD4 T cell count, especially if it is under 350. If you also have complications or other conditions that might be aggravated by a weak immune system, you must get treated right away. Without the medication, you are vulnerable to opportunistic infections.

Are there any side effects?

Because the medication is a lifetime commitment, you have to expect that there will be side effects. Majority of the people getting the treatment suffer only from mild side effects, so correct combinations must be determined.

Regular checkups with the doctor should be observed to monitor the progress of the virus and treat other side effects such as high blood sugar levels, high cholesterol levels, weakened bones, and possible heart diseases. You CD4 T cell count and viral load must also be checked every six months.

Can a pregnant woman get treatment?

To prevent transmission of the virus from mother to child, the mother must be treated as early as possible. The baby will also receive treatment for up to six weeks after birth. Most medication for HIV are safe for pregnant women and studies show that there are no risks for birth defects.