Managing Your Screen-Life Balance While Working From Home

While working from home during COVID-19, how are you making time for life away from staring at screens? Public officers share how they keep screen time in check.
Keeping your screen time in check is essential for your mental wellbeing

Winning Entry

My family is living in a temporary home as the renovation for our new home is stalled due to COVID-19. With the challenges of transitioning from our old house to our current apartment, and with longer screen-time for work, I needed to remind myself that I can still put some colour and positivity around me.

I believe in music therapy and positivity that comes from music. After office hours or on weekends, I’d jam with my kids and we’ll do covers or original songs. We use software, guitars or karaoke online music to record our voices. This makes life a little sweeter despite the trials my family and I are going through. It’s priceless to harmonise and connect with the kids through music.

I read on that spending long hours in front of a computer screen can cause physical problems and mental issues. Since it takes time for the symptoms to develop, if we don’t take action to prevent them, they can have a very serious impact on our health and your life in general.

So, consider music therapy while you’re at work and even after working hours. Be good to yourself!

Mario Lajarca Jr, Singapore Polytechnic

Congratulations, Mario! You win a $100 gift voucher for Swee Lee Singapore. Here’s to many more jamming sessions!

Other Winning Entries

Screen time to me is more than work and entertainment. It is also my classroom, my gym, my mental wellbeing portal, my child engagement tool, my cooking teacher and my window to the world.

I am currently enrolled in a MOOC course in “Instructional Design”, which I hope will be my stepping stone to a more specialised job role in e-Learning design. I also follow Qigong and Pilates lessons through YouTube, so I can stay active even without going to the gym.

At night and during the weekends, I take time off to meditate. YouTube allows me to follow influential teachers who are physically far away. There are also online webinars that I sign up for to calm my mind for the upcoming whirlwind week. YouTube and cooking blogs are my source of inspiration and source of recipes.

Finally, as my window to the world, my screen helps me to keep updated with development outside of Singapore and Asia. I follow the news in Europe, America and Asia simultaneously whenever I have snippets of free time.

Lee Seok Yee, Ngee Ann Polytechnic

I enjoy setting aside time to clean up my room, which tends to get very messy when left untidied for a few days. I find the process of cleaning up one’s room to be extremely therapeutic, as it also has the psychological effect of tidying one’s mind. This allows us the opportunity to review our daily actions and set our priorities in life accordingly.

Javier Tan, Singapore Police Force

Working from home is relatively new for me. To relieve the eye strain from staring at a computer screen and get some movement, I like to take a walk or jog along the canal to look at the fishes and herons after working hours.

On weekends, I spend time walking to the nearby parks and reservoirs to explore and do birdwatching. Being a birdwatching beginner, spotting new and interesting birds is like a little reward for me. I find that being able to escape from technology and listening to birds chirping helps me to unwind.

When I work from home, I take short breaks to look out of my window to rest my eyes. On lucky days, I get to see a sunbird perched on the bamboo pole holder and some butterflies flying around. About a month ago, I saw a big bird circling in the sky. Upon a closer look with binoculars, it was a White-bellied Sea Eagle!

Tan Keng Guang, Nanyang Polytechnic

(Read more about how Singapore is becoming a City in Nature.)

Reacquaint yourself with Singapore's attractions

To be your best self, it’s important to take a break from work and make good use of your annual leave. Now that travel beyond borders is restricted, how have you been exploring Singapore? Tell us what local gems you have (re)discovered.

Send your entry to

The most creative entry will receive a prize worth $100. All other entries published will win vouchers worth $30 each. Entries may be edited. Please include your name, agency email address, agency and contact number.

All entries should reach us by September 30, 2020.

    Sep 3, 2020
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