In these pandemic times, it helps to take things slow and stick to a routine that won’t burn you out, says Her World tribe‘s Charlotte Mei, a trained nutritionist who believes in spending quality time with her food, practising sustainability and maintaining good mental health.
She tells Her World: “I tend to be rather ‘kancheong’ (anxious) by nature… just the other day I cut my hand because I was rushing to prepare dinner, when I really had no reason to rush. So I’m always reminding myself to do things at a slower and more mindful pace.”
The 27-year-old, who’s based in Singapore, has found meaning in what she loves – food. She says she started making most of her meals at home last year when she stepped back and slowed down.
“Two years ago, I was working late nights and weekends nearly all the time. Then, I crashed from all of that,” she reveals. “I later realised that I was just trying to prove to myself that I could do all of those things, even when no one pressured me.”
She explains: “Conscious-living has always been part of my upbringing, so it all made sense to me when I started incorporating it in my work.”
Charlotte, who’s also a freelance TV food host, spends her time making cooking videos on her Instagram (@thecharlottemei) and Youtube channel (Charlotte Mei). She grows her own herbs, brings her own containers out, and is currently experimenting with an indoor and apartment-friendly compost bin.
She shares: “It’s something new, but it’s definitely taught me patience. I share my progress on my Instagram account and I’ve been learning a lot from my followers! I check it every now and then to see if my waste is composting properly.”
“It’s important to read the labels on your food, so you know what goes into your body. That alone can save you from a lot of long-term health problems,” she explains.
“Other than that, I take time out for myself. During the day, I try to have my meals undisturbed. It’s oddly comforting to cook alone and focus on the food I’m eating.”
Charlotte also advises others to be present, even in the most mundane activities like dishwashing or showering.
It may seem daunting to pace back immediately, but Charlotte says there are a few easy ways to take it slow – slowly.
“You can spend some time with yourself when you wake and before going to bed. Use the time to either set your intention for the day ahead, or to look back and reflect on the day, and practise gratitude,” she says.
“Think of at least three things that you are thankful for, and say it out in your mind: ‘I am grateful or thankful for something’.”
This story was first published on Her World’s June 2020 issue.