Have you been feeling down, unmotivated, or stuck in a rut lately? It’s not uncommon for women to experience these feelings, especially during times of stress or significant life changes. But the good news is that there are steps you can take to get your groove back and start feeling like yourself again. In this guide, we’ll share some tips and tricks to help you boost your mood and regain your confidence.
Why You Might Be Having a Slump
First, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you might be feeling low. Maybe you’ve been under a lot of stress lately, whether it’s due to work, family, or other responsibilities. Perhaps you’ve recently become a new mum and are struggling to adjust to the changes in your life. Or maybe you’ve just been stuck in a long period of monotony, where every day feels the same and you’re not sure how to break out of the cycle.
Understand Your Needs
The first step to getting your groove back is to understand what you need. Take some time to reflect on what’s been missing in your life and think about how you can change it. A sense of personal accomplishment, a healthy routine, recognition? What made you thrive and what changed? Avoid unhealthy comparisons and thinking about who you used to be. Ask yourself questions like what makes you smile, what makes you feel good, what will make you thrive again. Once you’ve identified your needs, make a plan to address them and put those plans into action.
It can be overwhelming to try to change your whole life at once, so it’s important to start small. Begin by changing up your habits and routine step by step. For example, you might start by incorporating a daily meditation practice or committing to taking a short walk outside each day. Celebrate the small things and small achievements along the way to keep yourself motivated and positive.
Find Your Passions
Revisiting old hobbies or exploring new interests is an excellent way to boost your mood and reignite your spark. Whether it’s taking a dance class, joining a book club, or learning a new language, find something that excites you and commit to pursuing it. Doing something you love can help you feel more fulfilled and energized.
Staying positive is essential to getting your groove back. Try practicing self-affirmations each day to remind yourself of your worth and strengths. Surround yourself with a close-knit circle of friends who have your back and support your growth. Avoid toxic thoughts and people who bring you down, and focus on the positive aspects of your life.
Build Self-Confidence Slowly
Finally, remember that building self-confidence is a journey that takes time and effort. Overcoming self-doubt through positive thinking and taking action towards your goals can help you build confidence bit by bit. Do not be ashamed to occasionally draw confidence from external validation. A cute outfit or some sexy lingerie can help to boost your self-loveand make you feel powerful and confident in your own skin. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small, and keep pushing yourself to try new things and take on new challenges.
Getting your groove back is all about understanding your needs, making small changes, finding your passions, and staying positive. Remember that it’s okay to feel down sometimes, but you have the power to take steps towards feeling better. By following these tips and committing to your growth, you’ll be on your way to feeling like yourself again in no time.
Your bedroom is a haven for rest and relaxation, a place to recharge and prepare for the next day. The things it holds and the activities you do in them affect your health and well-being directly and indirectly. Designing your bedroom to optimise your health have numerous long-term benefits. These are 5 things that you need in your bedroom for good health overall.
Peaceful surroundings can promote better sleep and reduce stress. Use your senses to outfit your bedroom with things that invoke a sense of peace when you stay in it. Consider adding calming colours, plants, essential oil diffusers, and soft blankets to help create a peaceful atmosphere. Your bedroom should be an environment where you retreat to for times when you need to build your inner peace as well.
Your bedroom should also be a space for love, whether it’s for yourself or with your partner. You can create a romantic atmosphere by adding a few special touches, such as mementos of special moments, love letters, or a framed photo of a loved one. For self-love and self-care, consider incorporating meditation, bubble baths, and positive affirmations.
Creating a comfortable bedroom environment is key to good health. Invest in a good quality bed and pillows, and add cosy décor to make your room a place of comfort. You can also add soft lighting, plush rugs, and warm colours to create a cosy atmosphere.
Having a wind-down routine that involves expressing your true self through journaling or gratitude can help promote emotional wellness. Create a space in your bedroom where you can retreat to be yourself. This can be a reading nook, a comfortable chair, or a designated meditation space.
Creating a healthy bedroom environment doesn’t have to happen overnight. Be patient with yourself, your partner, and the process. Cultivate patience by practicing mindfulness, letting go of perfectionism, and embracing the journey.
Your bedroom should be a sanctuary for your mind and body. Incorporating peace, love, comfort, honesty, and patience can help you create a healthy environment that promotes rest, relaxation, and overall well-being. Make your bedroom a priorityand reap the benefits of a restful and rejuvenating space.
One minute it’s October and you think it’s too early to start thinking about gifts for the holiday season; the next, it’s December and you’re frantically scrolling and scrambling, trying to get meaningful gifts for everyone, delivered to you in time for your Christmas parties. Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered! The Rawbought sisters have picked some of their ultimate favourite items that they would gift (and love to receive!) for a comfy, cosy holiday season this year. Here’s the Festive Gift Guide from the Rawbought Sisters!
Amira – For the Homebody
Number 1 on my list is obviously Rawbought PJs! Our signature Je Dors Collection is my absolute favourite, and I have spent many a day lounging around at home in the Short & Full Sets. The rich Burgundy hue is a very special festive launch that will make the best gift for the ones that cheer for cancelled plans.
I’ve been very into skincare lately and local skincare brand Glowfully Skin has been an amazing recent discovery. Their H2O Jelly Masks are ultra-moisturizing and it’s great for a quick pick-me-up for my skin after a day out. It’s a good quick gift for someone looking to up their skincare game!
I’ve also been looking for digital detox activities to give my eyes and brain a rest from screens, and adult colouring books have been a surprisingly great addition to my wind-down routine! It’s a good gift for those looking to improve their attention spans, and reduce their screentime before bed-time.
Soukaina – For the Sophisticated Lady
This year has been about finally getting into ‘adulting’ mode, and nothing says ‘I’m a grown up’ more than enjoying the finer things in life.
My favourite thing to lounge around in has to be the Carezza Lace Collection – whether it’s the Short Set or the Lace Modal Robe. So if your gift list has someone who’s looking to ‘grow up’, the Carezza Lace Collection is one to go for!
Flowers instantly improve my mood, and are a great way to let people know that you’re thinking of them in this festive season. The Bloom Box from The Floral Atelier makes for great fuss-free gifts for acquaintances and loved ones alike to make their day. The Floral Atelier’s new Bonbons are also very cute festive treats for the whole family, with a good mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic lollipop flavours.
Silk products have always been a favourite of mine, and local brand Like Saturdays have an amazing collection of silk sleep accessories that I love! From silk pillowcases to scrunchies, they make for great gifts for those looking to upgrade their night-time routines!
Boutaina – For the Multi-Tasking Maverick
Every day is an adventure when you’re juggling your duties as a business owner and a mum of three under 10! Anything that makes me forget that I’m wearing it and gives me one less thing to think about – I’m a fan.
Our new Daydream Loungewear Collection is a dream gift for me, with pieces that I can dash out of the house for quick errands in, and still make me look and feel comfortable in. My favourite is the Daydream Fitted Henley Top, a truly versatile top that wraps me in absolute comfort all day and night.
A moment to myself during the day can be a luxury, and it’s one that I’m sure parents everywhere crave, especially during the holiday season. Soma Haus, a beautiful wellness space, has non-invasive self-treatments like sound baths and float therapies that help you relax and unwind. One of their sessions would make a for a much-appreciated thoughtful gift for a multi-tasking parent.
I love my gadgets – phone, AirPods, iPad, laptops and watches – but I hate the mess that comes with the individual charging cables. The Apple 3-in-1 charging pad is fantastic gift for those who are not fans of cables and the clutter they cause!
As a society, we have more or less come to a universal agreement on how often our clothes need to be washed between wears. Undergarments like lingerie and socks are washed after every use, streetwear tops can be worn a couple of times consecutively, and jeans can go longer than that between washings. What about pyjamas? They are in their own unique category, worn daily but indoors and for a non-rigorous activity. Not everyone agrees on how often you should wash your pyjamas.
Some people group pyjamas with lingerie and recommend washing after every use, since they are in contact with most of your skin and your intimate regions. Others argue that those people who take a shower before bed are clean enough for their pyjamas to go a few days before needing to be washed. On one hand, we do still secrete natural body oils, shed dead skin, and can even sweat while asleep – making washing your pyjamas after every 1-2 wears more hygienic. On the flip side, it can be impractical and more expensive in the long run, especially when the cost of laundry, replacement and impact to the environment are considered. While most experts recommend washing your pyjamas after every 3-4 wears, we feel it truly depends on your environment and habits. Let’s look at who can get away with washing their pyjamas after every 3-4 wears, and who are better off washing them more regularly.
Wash after 1-2 wears
If you live in a warm climate, are a hot sleeper or prefer to sleep in a warmer environment e.g. non-airconditioned bedroom, you’re more likely to sweat while asleep. Your natural body oil, dead skin, residue from your skin/bodycare products can build up on your pyjamas and attract bacteria if not washed regularly.
If you are the type to wear only one layer to bed i.e. go commando under your pyjamas, we’d recommend you to wear freshly washed pyjamas to bed to protect your intimate regions. If you have a needy pet who likes to snuggle up beside you in bed, you’re better off washing your pyjamas after every wear.
New mums and those who like to stay in their pyjamas all day and night should wash their pyjamas more regularly. You have a higher chance of leaking or dirtying your pyjamas by spilling something on it.
Wash after 3-4 wears
During the colder winter months, or if you regularly sleep in air-conditioned rooms, or during , you’re less likely to sweat through the night. Those who wear their PJs as a second layer i.e. over underwear, can also squeeze in a couple more wears before washing their pyjamas.
If you’re looking to extend the life of your pyjamas by reducing the number of washes, ensure that you are wearing them only at night, after a shower. Invest in pyjamas that are made of good quality fabrics that are both sustainable and resilient.
At the end of the day, you’re safe to wash your pyjamas every 2-4 wears. Consider your personal habits like whether you shower before you sleep, how much you sweat when you sleep and what your pyjamas are made of. General rule of thumb is to not go too long between washes, as your sleep quality can be affected negatively by your sleepwear as well.
Your bedroom is your sanctuary where you retreat to find peace, quiet and sleep after a long day out in the world. It’s important to make sure that your sleep space is outfitted with things that bring you joy and rest that will keep you healthy and refreshed. If you find that your sleep quality has been declining and that you haven’t been feeling your best in a while, a good place to start for a detox would be your bedroom. Here’s how you can go about detoxing your bedroom to make it a healthy and clean space for you.
Mattresses and Pillows
Beds can lose their springs and pillows can go flat after constant use. Upgrade your beds with ergonomic elements that can help complement and fix your sleep posture for a good night’s sleep.
You should invest more effort and money towards maintaining clean and good quality bedlinen as they come into direct contact with most of your skin and sensitive organs. Wash your pillowcases, sheets and other bedlinen every 1-2 weeks on the regular. If your bedlinen is made of synthetic fabrics like nylon, it’s healthy to replace them more often as they tend to get more worn with regular washing and can attract more bacteria. Natural fabrics like bamboo, lyocell and modal retain their softness for a longer time.
If you have sensitive skin, you can avoid negative skin reactions by detoxing your bedsheets and other bedlinen with safer detergents or to replace them with linen that are made of ‘cleaner’ materials e.g. safe dyes, less pesticide etc.
Another very important element of your sleep experience is the lighting in your bedroom. Take stock of your sleep quality for the past few weeks or month to see how the light in your bedroom has been affecting it. If you feel like you’re straining to see in the dark, or there’s too much light seeping from your window, you might need to overhaul and detox your current set up.
There are a host of options out there to help you achieve the ideal lighting for good sleep. From LED lamps that emit sleep-inducing light and light-blocking curtains to soft, modal eyemasks that help to keep your eyes closed throughout the night – you can try them to see which one can fit your sleep habits.
You are spending about 8-10 hours a day in your bedroom so it’s very important to ensure that the quality of air that is flowing through the room is of good quality. If you find yourself regularly sneezing or having difficulty breathing at night, it might be time to detox the air in your room. Clean air also ensures that your sheets, skin and even furniture are well-kept and protected.
Air purifiers and plants that help to clean air are great at removing dust, smoke and pollen in your bedroom – especially helpful for those with asthma and other allergies.
Set reminders to service your air conditioners and fans regularly every 3-4 months, especially if you like to leave your windows open, light candles and/or have pets in your home.
Vacuum robots like the Roomba are all the rage now, because of how convenient and fuss-free they are. They unfortunately are not a replacement for a good-old deep clean of your floors around your furniture. Move your bed, nightstands, lamps and desks around to make sure that every inch of your floors is clean.
Webs, dust and other bacteria thrive in damp, dark and still environments – so get moving! Shift your bedroom furniture like beds, nightstands and desks from their usual places to clean under and around them.
Take this chance to deep clean or replace the rugs in your room and rethink your furniture placement to be more optimal for yourself.
From declaring the bedroom a no-electronic devices zone to carefully considering the feng shui of the room for bed placement, there are many different ways you can ensure that your sleep environment is customised for the best night’s sleep you deserve.
Quality sleep is essential to live a long and healthy life. Melatonin is an often-quoted term in discussions about improving sleep health. What exactly is Melatonin? Melatonin is a natural hormone produced in your brain in response to darkness. This hormone helps to regulate your circadian rhythm (your internal clock) synchronise your sleep-wake cycle with night and day. In short, it lets your body know when its night-time, so you can relax and fall asleep.
We’ve all had those days when we felt more tired in the morning even though we technically slept the night. This was probably due to low levels of melatonin produced in the body. Alcohol or caffeine consumption, smoking, aging and even too much exposure to light before bed can cause us to have low levels of melatonin.
Why is Melatonin Important for Sleep?
The main benefit of having healthy levels of melatonin is that they ensure that your sleep cycle remains regular. Maintaining a consistent internal body clock helps you fall asleep faster, get good quality sleep throughout the night, and wake up feeling well-rested and refreshed the next morning.
Good melatonin levels in your body also impact the rest of your physical and mental health both directly and indirectly. Letting your mind and body get the necessary rest they need to recharge helps to improve cognitive functions. You’re more alert, lively, and sharp throughout the day. Your cardiovascular and metabolic health is also intrinsically linked to your melatonin levels and sleep health.
How to Improve Melatonin Levels in Your Body?
The first step to improving your sleep health is to improve your melatonin levels in your body. Night-time routines like reading, meditation and avoiding electronic devices before bed help in building healthy sleep habits to ensure that your body is ready for sleep. Complementary to those efforts, you can also directly improve your melatonin levels through:
Melatonin Supplements – this is the most direct way to boost your body’s natural supply of melatonin. Since it is generally safe and non-habit forming, it is a popular method to treat short-term sleep disorders like delayed sleep phase syndrome and even jet lag. It helps to reduce the time it takes for you to fall asleep and increase your total sleep time and quality.
Melatonin-rich food – For those who take prescription medication and are more susceptible to the melatonin supplements’ side effects, eating melatonin-rich food can help to raise the level of melatonin in your blood. Food like cherries, goji berries, eggs, milk, salmon, and almonds are great sources of melatonin. They are also rich in other nutrients that are essential for your overall health.
Sleep Therapies – Sleep therapies are a way to complement your other efforts in improving your sleep hygiene, as they help to reduce stress levels while improving melatonin levels.
One such therapy is Soma Haus’s Infrared Sauna therapy. Research has shown that infrared therapy helps with the release of melatonin by influencing the amount of serotonin and dopamine that is produced by your body. The thermoregulation that takes place when your body’s core temperature rises in the sauna and drops after you’ve stepped out, also helps to signal to your body that you are ready for a good night’s sleep.
Another therapy that helps in priming your mind and body for good sleep is their Float Pod Experience. Floating has been shown to alter brain wave activity leading to a deep shift in consciousness akin to light sleep which is where blood pressure and heart rate drops. It’s a deeply restful state.
The Epsom salts used in the float pods to create the weightless environment in the pod are magnesium and sulphate, that help to release muscle tension, calm the nervous system and raise melatonin and serotonin levels.
Studies also show how floating regularly helps reduce the symptoms of insomnia and revealed that people who use float tanks were able to fall asleep more easily, with the benefits of floating lasting for up to 12 weeks.
Get started on your journey to better sleep at Soma Haus, a newly launched holistic wellness brand in Singapore, looking to empower you with the knowledge and body awareness to take charge of your own healing journey.
Enjoy 20% off your Float Pod experience with the code <RBSOMA> when you check out in-store or online at Soma Haus!
Offer available until 15 September 2022, and valid for 1 month after purchase.
We’re at the halfway mark of the year, typically a time of change, whether big or small. Now is a good time to reflect on how the first half of the year has gone for you, health-wise. As adults, we can get stuck into a routine that might not be the healthiest. Even if we’re fully aware that it’s bad for us, but we’re just too tired to change it because there’s just too much going on in our lives. Here’s how you can refresh your daily routines, to prioritise your overall wellness in your everyday.
Take stock of yourself
As with any puzzle or conundrum, it’s important to take stock of what your current status is. Reflect on your habits, your feelings, and your current routines. Work out how they affect each other and how they make you feel. Are your habits affecting your emotions in a good way? Are your current routines making your life easier, or affecting your mood in a negative way? If you have set goals for yourself, you should also think about what you set out to achieve, and whether it is still relevant to your current circumstances. Think about what you want to change to help you on your life-long journey towards becoming the best version of yourself.
With the pandemic easing in most parts of the world, we can now venture out into public spaces freely without much restrictions. As cheesy as it might sound, getting one with nature regularly has many benefits for both your mental and physical health. A simple walk during the day or night is good enough start for you to get started on venturing out of your home and the mind prison that you might have locked yourself into.
Eating well, eating healthy doesn’t mean that you need to deprive yourself of delicious “unhealthy” food, and only stick to no-carb, all-salad diets. Be mindful of every ingredient that you’re putting into your body and make sure that both your mind and body are nourished with good quality food. A well-balanced diet is key to leading a healthier lifestyle.
Log Off when you need to
Whether it’s work or the depressing daily news cycles, it’s important to know when to log off. Set boundaries for yourself and stick to them as much as possible. Take mini breather breaks during your workday, and wind down for the day at an appropriate time. Balance your news consumption with uplifting content to ensure that your mood isn’t too affected by things that are out of your control. Setting a night-time routine of avoiding screen time before bed, and practicing gratitude can help you feel better physically and emotionally.
All in all, your daily routines set the stage for your overall physical, emotional and mental health. Taking consistent actions to develop healthy habits and practices will ensure that you have a great quality of life, for longer.
Things are back to normal, we’re back to work, back to brunch and back to travelling the world like we used to before the pandemic. One thing that we’re collectively not back to – uncomfortable fashion. The pandemic taught us that comfort in any and every form needs to be priority in our daily lives. Our latest collection, The Daydream Loungewear Collection is our way of taking the familiar comfort of sleepwear with us everywhere we go.
Rawbought’s Daydream Collection is a full collection of elevated basics and loungewear that can take you from bed to brunch in a heartbeat. Made of our signature buttery soft modal fabric, the loungewear collection ranges from comfortable tops to relaxing, stylish bottoms in neutral wearable colourways – Classic Black, Bright White and Cool Oatmilk, that pair perfectly with all sorts of fit. These versatile and functional stylish pieces can be worn in a myriad of ways – dressed down or up, perfect for those looking for essentials to start their capsule wardrobe. Staying true to our commitment of inclusivity, the Daydream Collection is available in sizes ranging from XS to 3XL – there’s something for everyone to look good and feel good in! From casual tees to tank dresses in beautiful ribbed modal, the Daydream Collection makes for great foundational pieces if you’re looking to create your very own capsule wardrobe for a more sustainable fashion lifestyle.
Why call it The Daydream Collection?
You open up whole new universes when you dream, but why should that freedom be limited to the night time? Daydreams allow you to drift from your current, boring reality to a more exciting and beautiful plane of limitless potential. Through our Daydream Collection, we want to encourage our customers to build their own comfort zones that they can take with them wherever they are.
What inspired the Daydream Collection?
Spending the better part of 3 years in comfortable sleepwear and loungewear at home is a habit that we couldn’t and frankly, didn’t want to shake off. Our regular streetwear were not giving us the comfort of sleepwear that we had gotten used to. We wanted to come up with new silhouettes for those of us who prefer versatile separates that can serve as both loungewear and streetwear. Our Daydream Collection aims to be the perfect blend of the comfort of home wear and the trendiness of the relaxed street look.
Styling the Daydream Collection
The Daydream Collection allows you to dress up or dress down your day in a heartbeat. From basic tees and joggers for a quick jaunt for brunch in the neighbourhood to beautifully cut dresses for a classy date night out, you can do it all in our Daydream Collection.
Running errands or just want to keep it cosy casual? Pair your Ribbed Joggers with a matching Cropped Tank Top for a casual trendy look. Dress it up with mini bag and heels or stay grounded with some trendy sneakers.
Date night out has never felt this comfortable! Our Fitted Long Dress in Black makes for the perfect casual dress that for a night out with your loved one. Accessorise with your favourite jewellery and heels to add a classy touch of elegance to your comfort. The soft curve and double slits of dress flatter and enhance your natural curves, while giving you the freedom of movement.
Men can stay in their comfort zones and pair their Ribbed Joggers with a dress shirt and some trendy sneakers to dress up their outfit.
If you’re the type that likes to have their legs be free, while needing their upper body snug and warm while sleeping or lounging, pairing our Henley Top with our Shorts will give you the best night’s sleep you’ve had in a while. The ribbed modal fabric used in our Henley Top will keep your covered without feeling too restricted, while our buttery soft modal Shorts will allow you to get in any position you want to in the night freely.
Shop our new Daydream Collection today, and be sure to follow us on Instagram for more styling tips and inspiration!
Mid year is usually the season of change – school’s out, weather is changing, leases are up and many of us are look back on how we’ve fared in the first half of the year. This is the perfect chance (or excuse) to upgrade some elements in your house. One commonly overlooked area in your room is the nightstand. Other than chargers and random bits and bobs, nightstands aren’t utilised to their full potential. They make for great storage, especially of things that can give you a great night’s sleep. Here’s our list of 10 useful things you should have in your nightstand, from the true essentials to frivolous treat-yourself-items that spark joy.
A Flask or Glass of Water
Whether due to the weather or last night’s dinner, some of us might have found ourselves waking up thirsty in the middle of the night. Walking to the kitchen for a glass of water might wake you up “too much” to go back to sleep. Restarting your sleep cycle at an odd timing might also leave you feeling groggy and not refreshed the next morning. Keeping a glass or flask of water on your nightstand right by your bed will help you quench your thirst effortlessly and allow you to get back to sleep much more easily
Sleep soundly with a soft eye mask that will help you block out light and ensure that your eyes are closed throughout the night. If you’re a light sleeper, you might also want to invest in a pair of ear plugs that can block out loud sounds. Storing them in your nightstand gives you easy access for when you’re ready for some shut-eye. Be sure to wash them regularly to keep your skin and eyes protected from germs and dust from your nightstand.
Book or Journal
Making journaling a part of our daily unwind routine before bed has greatly improved our quality of sleep here at Rawbought. Taking 15-30min to reflect on the day you’ve had and clear your mind of the clutter you’ve accumulated helps your mind to quiet down and get in the mood for sleep. Reading in bed can also help you to destimulate your mind before bed. If you’re a vivid dreamer and want to still remember them when you wake up the next morning, your nightstand is a great place to keep your dream journal handy.
Arguably the most important lifestyle accessories in our lives, we are nothing without our chargers. Those grappling with charging multiple things like your phone, watches, earphones etc. can consider investing in a multi-charge device or a charging mat that can keep your nightstand neat and cable-free. While using your phone in bed especially before bedtime isn’t encouraged, keeping it within arm’s length on your nightstand can help keep it safe and handy for emergencies.
You’ve gotten all nice and cosy in bed and you suddenly remember – you have medication to take, and it’s all the way in the other room. You’re somehow never as comfortable as you just were before you had to lug yourself back out of bed to take your medication. Your nightstand is a very convenient place to keep your medication and vitamins, especially if you’re a person that tends to forget to do so.
With bedside lamps, you can say good night to stumbling in the dark or falling asleep with the lights on. Keeping a lamp on your nightstand allows you to see in the dark without having to get up from bed or waking up your bed partner with your bright room lights. Multi-purpose lamps that come with charging ports, plants and even alarm clocks can help you keep your nightstand clutter-free if you’re the minimalist type.
On the nights when you have just enough energy to fall into bed and curl up, having some essential pieces of skincare like the odd moisturizer, hand balm and lip balm in your nightstand can ensure that you’re still caring for your skin, even if it’s not your usual multi-step routine.
Keeping all your senses engaged for sleep is essential for a good night’s sleep. Keeping a few lightly scented items like candles and fabric sprays handy in your nightstand can help you wind down and induce sleep more easily.
Did you know that dedicated alarm clocks are much better for your sleep and overall health than using your phone as one? Using an actual clock allows you to disconnect from your phone and gradually reduce your over-dependence and attachment to your phone. Checking your notifications as soon as your eyes open can also cause your mood to be negatively affected. You can even have some fun with your alarm clock, with ones that need you stand up or chase after to switch off!
We all know that it takes a lot for us ladies to get in the mood and very little to pull us out of it. Keeping your intimate accessories like sex toys, condoms and contraceptives within arm’s length in your nightstand just makes it that much easier for you to look after your sexual health. Though, if you have children and don’t want them to find your accessories, you might want to consider keeping them in a locked drawer instead.
Your nightstand should have essentials that serve to make your life simpler and more convenient. Ensure that your nightstand fits the overall aesthetic of your room, and avoid cluttering it up. Getting ones with drawers and small compartments will allow you to store more away, and keep the top neat and tidy!
Being comfortable in your own skin takes tremendous courage and strength, especially if you do not quite fit into society’s narrow definitions of “normal” or “regular”. This Pride Month, we’re celebrating the courage of people who’ve found the strength to be unapologetically themselves and proudly own their identities.
We’re shining the rainbow-coloured spotlight on Marissa, Antasha, Mary and Badrika, 4 members of the LGBTQ+ community in Singapore, to talk about what Pride means to them in a county like Singapore, the advice they have for the generations to come and much more.
Tell us about yourselves!
Marissa a.k.a Mars: I’m 28 and I used to be a video producer at The Smart Local, but I’ve recently shifted gears my career and I’m now a firefighter!
Antasha: I’m 21 and I am a transgender woman. Apart from my day job, I consider myself a content creator, and I’m going to represent Singapore in Miss Equality World 2022 happening in Bali this year!
Mary: I am a makeup artist, and have done makeup for almost all of Rawbought’s shoots! I’m also a makeup coach and the founder of a body-neutrality movement called ‘thebodywithin”.
Badrika: I’m Badrika, Mary’s partner for the past 6 years. I used to work in the PR industry in Singapore but now I want to pursue my dreams in construction so I’m working on making it to Canada for a course there.
What does Pride mean to you, especially in a society like Singapore’s?
Mars: Pride is love, simply put. To love someone or to love yourself is to have full acceptance.
Antasha: Pride to me, besides freedom to love, as a transgender woman, it means freedom to be who you want to be, regardless of your gender identity, or whatever else you want to identify as. Just freely being able to identify as who you want to be, without any fear.
Badrika: To me it’s about being comfortable in your skin. We’re taught certain social norms since young, a certain way of life. The moment you realise that it doesn’t fit you, you lose your self-confidence. So once you come to terms with, and accept yourself, you gain it back. That’s what pride is to me.
Mary: To me, it’s always about freedom to love. This is a part of myself that I’m able to express freely, and show that it’s okay to love whoever I want. I shouldn’t be uncomfortable with who I love.
What was your journey towards finding pride and comfort in your identity?
Mary: I identify as bisexual. When I was growing up, I always thought I had to be either gay or straight. I was very confused, and found it very difficult to ask anyone my age because everyone was also discovering themselves as well. As an Indian, it wasn’t an easy thing to talk about with your family either. So I did have a lot of difficulty trying to figure out who I was, and finding comfort within myself. I did a lot of research, like watching videos of people just coming out and understanding that okay, this is how it feels like. Eventually, I was 16 when I finally discovered what bisexuality was and that I could be bisexual. I finally felt comfortable in that realisation.
Badrika: I came to Singapore when I was 18, which helped me be a lot more myself. Because I’m Sri Lankan, so if it’s taboo here, it’s extremely taboo there *laughs*. There was a time I was trying to “fit in” – I used date guys, had long hair, girly dresses, the whole shebang. Gradually I came to realise who I really was, and now i am comfortable in my own skin.
Mars: My journey is a little different from the typical coming out stories of struggle. It was a little more effortless, because being bisexual means that you can present as society’s version of “normal”, to a certain extent. I can be in a “normal” heterosexual relationship and people will just write it off as me being straight and my bisexuality being just a phase. So the acceptance only had to come within. I studied in an all-girls’ school for 10 years, and when you’re 15 or 16, liking someone from the same gender was pretty common, because we were all experimenting with our sexuality. But that kind of stuck throughout my teens to when I became an adult. So that was when I knew that this is not a phase, and that I still am attracted to both men and women. It also helps that my family isn’t very judgemental. My mum is pretty open. She’s straight, but I think she has experimented in the past as well. Something she shared with me really gave me a lot of confidence – she said that she definitely knows that being gay is not a choice because she tried, she tried really hard to choose to be gay but she couldn’t. *laughs*. That was when I knew that if it felt natural and effortless, then that’s just who I was. I asked her, what if I just liked women. And she was just like if you really like women, then you like women. That’s it.
Badrika: Can i borrow your mum? *laughs*
Mars: Of course! *laughs*
Mars: That being said, we may not have a lot of conversations about being bisexual or anything. But just knowing that she isn’t against the LGBTQ+ community helps a lot in the acceptance within myself. I think I’ve just been very lucky and I’m very grateful for that.
So just as an aside, did all of you have to sit your parents and “confess” to them? What was your experience like?
Mary: That was how I told my mum. My mum is very religious, but also homophobic to a degree. So when I told her, I initially thought she accepted it but now I’m starting to see that she didn’t, not really. But that’s okay. I’m learning the boundaries that i can have with the people who don’t accept me and i find love with people who accept me. So it was definitely a struggle coming out to her, about 1 year into my relationship with Badrika. It was pretty scary, I was literally crying on the phone as I did it.
You did on the phone?!
Mary: I did it on the phone because i had no guts to do it face to face! *laughs* I just felt that i had to tell her, because i thought wea could build a relationship and bond through that. She’s my mum, you know? So i really expected that. But unfortunately, I can see that she’s not quite there yet, because of her culture and how she was brought up, so I had to accept that as well.
Antasha: Before I started transitioning, I identified as gay. I attended counselling sessions in secondary school and basically came out to my mum as gay, through my counsellor. But I’m really thankful that my mum is quite supportive of me, despite what society’s view on the LGBTQ+ community. My mum also has a lot of friends from the community, so I think that made it easier for her to accept me. The way i came out to her as trans, well that’s a whole different story!
I used to make short videos on social media, and a few of them went viral, and my mum and stepfather happened to see them. Just like Mary, I spoke to my mum over the phone. At the end of it, she reminded me that no matter what, i will always be her child, and for me to always remember my roots, values and my morals in life. Though it was pretty horrible in secondary school for me, to the point i wanted to quit school because it was affecting my mental state. I love the performing arts and I’ve always taken part in school performances. But it came to the point where my school mates used to shout names at me whenever i stepped onto stage to perform. Though I had a great group of friends that supported me and kept me going, secondary school was hell. But ITE was amazing. I was all prepared to go through the same nonsense over again. But everyone there was really supportive! I started to grow out my hair and put on more makeup when I was in ITE, and I’m really thankful to find a bunch of people that supports me in whatever i do.
What advice do you have for others who are still struggling with defining who they are?
Mary: It’s the same advice that I’ve been following myself throughout the years. Find acceptance within yourself, and find boundaries among others. You don’t have to come out if you’re not comfortable doing it. If anyone makes you feel otherwise, then just know that they’re not the type of people that deserve to be in your life.
Mars: I would say, everyone has their own journey, at their own time. Some of us may feel the pressure to define themselves very quickly, or wonder why they are slow in accepting themselves. It’s important to know that we all go through different struggles, or rather, our struggles maybe similar but the way they affect us can be different. So how and how long we take to accept ourselves will also look different. Just because someone is ahead doesn’t mean that you’re lagging behind. You’re just on a different path, and you need to go through other things in your journey before you get there in the end.
Practical advice would be that if you’re going to come out to family members, make sure that you’re ready for them not to accept you. If you go in with the expectation that they will embrace you, and if/when they don’t, it’ll hit you really hard. It’s a way to protect yourself, especially at this stage where the entire society is not where there is full acceptance, we just need to prepare ourselves for the worst to happen.
So you start off with pessimism?
Mars: *laughs* No, not pessimism, but just being realistic. I’ve had friends who came out to their parents at a really young age and got kicked out of the house. Coming out then might not have the best time, because they didn’t have the resources to look after themselves after. I’ve also had friends who came out when they were older, which gave their family time to accept them. It’s not the most ideal state, but it’s important to protect yourself.
Antasha: For the younger trans teens out there, who are still on their journey, I would say, take your time. It’s not a race. You should take your own time to discover who you really are, who you really want to be. Being trans is definitely not easy and takes a lot of knowledge and resources. I watched a lot of content from YouTubers like Gigi Gorgeous, Nikita Dragon, Bretman Rock, Barbie Gutz, Julie Vu when I was growing up. I still look up to them now, because they’ve inspired me to be who I want to be and put myself out there. Don’t be too harsh on yourself and don’t give up on yourself. I believe one day we will all get to celebrate the freedom to love, the freedom to be who you want to be, no matter your race, or gender or sexuality.
Do you feel the pressure to behave in certain way, because you’re representing your community wherever you are?
Antasha: Yes, I am part of the community and do represent it in a way, but that’s how I feel and what makes me happy. In a way, yes I do feel some pressure from society and from my own community as well, since I do represent it in a way, if it’s how I feel and it’s what makes me happy, that’s who I am going to be – my true authentic self!
Mary: There is a lot of pressure, especially when you get interviewed. You answer these questions and you have to make sure that you’re not affecting anybody else. But I eventually realised even if I make a mistake in saying something, it’s okay. Because nobody is perfect! Just because you’re part of the community, it doesn’t mean that you need to know everything.
Antasha: Also, its’ your own story to share. Each of us has been through different things in life.
Mars: It does take a little bit of courage to put yourself out there. For me, one of the things i was struggling with, was whether I was truly bi enough. I felt like I hadn’t dated enough women to claim that my experiences were truly representative of bisexual people. So initially i wondered if i should identify as straight, but that was weird because that’s not who i truly was! I know I like women and I know that I like men too. So as long as you’re attracted to both genders, you can identify as bisexual. Dating experience doesn’t matter. My experiences as a bisexual woman may not be the same as the next person, but I think that’s the whole point. We are a community of diverse people coming together and resonating with something. So that took off the pressure of being a good representation of a model bisexual. As long as you’re not saying anything harmful towards the community, then i don’t think anyone can find fault with that. They might not agree, but i think it’s okay to have different opinions within the community
This year’s Pink Dot 2022 theme is The Change We Want to See. What changes do you hope to see in our society?
Mary: I’d like to see brands representing the community properly. It frustrates when I see a brand talk about representation and inclusivity and they just have one person on the team who they think is enough to represent the whole community. If you want to be inclusive and diverse, and include people in the community, then please do your research. Are you doing something that is performative, or are you really standing behind the meaning of a movement? I think brands need to step up.
Badrika: There’s lot that still needs to be changed. For a start, representation in mainstream media. The magazines that you buy, the TV shows you watch, we should be represented fairly so it becomes normalised and accepted.
Antasha: We don’t expect you to accept us fully now. We understand, it’s hard. Just show us a little bit more kindness and love from one human to another. I would also like cis-gendered people to be more thoughtful about the questions you ask us trans folks. They can be over the limit and very insensitive sometimes. You’re lucky that you’re dealing with me, my other trans sisters might not have the same patience *laughs*
Mary: i think it’s important to educate them when they do something like that.
Antasha: Yes, definitely. It’s good to have people from the LGBTQ+ community sharing their stories publicly, because not many know what transgenderism is, what HRT is etc. So if you’re not sure, ask. It’s not wrong to ask, but there is a wrong way to ask *laughs* Just be polite, and tactful and you’ll be fine.
Mars: I’d like for us as a society to have a lot more open conversations and empathy towards one another. That’s how the conversations we have can be little more thoughtful, the questions we ask and get asked are a little more tactful as well. I feel like the lack of empathy for us is what encourages rudeness and insensitivity because people haven’t really thought about how someone will feel receiving that question or comment. So mutual empathy, love and acceptance is what I’d like to see in our society hopefully in the near future!
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us, we really appreciate everyone’s honesty in opening up about your experiences and perspectives. We hope that this has inspired others, whether to be an ally or to find the strength within themselves to start their journey towards finding pride and comfort in their own skins. Happy Pride Month!