1. Face masks

The mask trend which started out as something dull quickly became a hot topic of conversation when creative individuals and experimental designers started coming up with unique versions using funky fabrics and colourful or unexpected materials. Here's one that caught our eye from local milliner @bremenwong.

Photography: Bremen Wong

2. Home chefs

If cooking was a skill that many of us never paid much attention to, 2020 was the year that taught us that if we put our minds and hearts to it, we can cook up a storm for ourselves. It kept some of us sane while we were in quarantine and many were even able to make a decent income by starting their own online businesses.

Photography: Nicole Michalou/Pexels

3. Work from home (WFH)

This new norm has received its fair share of nods and no-nos from the public and we’re 50-50 about it too. Based on a research done by KPMG that was featured in The Rakyat Post, it was found that 69 per cent of Malaysians agreed to WFH while the rest disapproved of the idea as they found it inconvenient and unproductive. It sure helped us save loads of time and money from commuting back and forth to our workplaces, but having colleagues around you is equally important to keep you going. In the long run, hopefully companies will give their employees the flexibility to pick which concept works best for them so that they’d be able to give their best in everything they do.

Photography: The 5th/Pexels

4. Indoor plants

With very little entertainment around us, the void in our hearts that grew as we were unable to interact socially and freely quickly became a real problem. As a result, many of us opted to become plant parents. This gave us a goal to keep going and also something to look forward to when we had nothing to do. On the bright side, this hobby taught us how fragile life is and how different living things require different forms of attention to stay alive and flourish.

Photography: Anna Shvets/Pexels

5. Yoga

This has been a major contributing factor that has kept many of us sane in the past year. Breathing – an essential act that most of us can forget to do at times – is one of the key contributing factors to help stimulate a transformation between the body and mind. In an article published on entrepreneur.com, it was stated that more millennials have started doing yoga as a means to not only be physically well but to be emotionally healthy as well. If you haven’t given it a shot, maybe it’s time to destress by trying out some yoga moves daily.

Photography: Elly Fairytale/Pexels

6. Virtual fashion shows

It was beautiful while it lasted and moving forward, more fashion brands have decided to go digital as they successfully hosted online fashion shows. While observing and making mental notes of the latest trends when you’re physically present at a show is an unforgettable experience, more brands are adapting to this idea as they’re able to create more brand awareness to a larger group of people globally.

Photography: Anna Nekrashevich/Pexels & YouTube

7. Online shopping

If we ever thought that staying home could help to curb our spending habits, we were definitely wrong! While many of us might’ve had good reasons to shop online, there are also those who put themselves in situations where they felt like they “needed” certain things and ended up purchasing unnecessary items which were on sale from Lazada or Shopee. Nevertheless, some of these impulse buys made us wake up with joy as we waited for our parcels to arrive.

Photography: Tirachardz/Freepik

8. Netflix

While some of us had too much time in our hands and others had no time at all to sort out their kids and house routines, Netflix became a saviour during the pandemic. We made time to watch a series or two daily without feeling guilty about “wasting time” at all. K-dramas were at the top of our list as the characters in the series helped us release our bottled-up emotions of love, sadness, anger and joy. A word of caution: Netflix can be highly addictive!

Photography: Mollie Sivaram/Unsplash

9. Self-care

For those who never really had or set aside time to care for themselves in the past, their wish was granted in 2020 as they sat at home and saw the days slowly pass. Getting to WFH also meant that we had the freedom to put on a face mask or foot mask, enjoy a bubble bath, do simple yoga exercises and even sing our lungs out at any time of the day! In a way, this helped us understand our bodies better and gave us the chance to attend to our mental, emotional and physical needs.

Photography: Cottonbro/Pexels

10. Loungewear

Comfy, cooling and fuss-free are three words that we’d use to describe our dream loungewear. Thanks to online meetings that only featured the upper half of our bodies, we had a good break from having to wear shoes and spend hours trying to find matching bottoms to pair our tops with. Better still, all we needed to do was wear a blazer over our (lounge) top, put on some makeup, tie our hair into a high bun and voilà!

Photography: Kristina Petrick/Unsplash

11. Bucket hats

Mostly made of cotton, denim, canvas and tweed, bucket hats became a hot item to put on every time we’d go out and about. Unlike in the past, the bucket hats this time around come with interesting designs on them such as fun stick-on patches or words to illustrate our current mood and bring out that casual ‘chillax’ vibe instantly!

Photography: Sandiansky/Pexels

12. Hand sanitisers

Never did we think that in the 21st century, we’d be so worried about the cleanliness of our hands but here we are! Given a choice, we’d pick hand sanitisers that don’t contain alcohol as they smell better and don’t make our hands rough with frequent use over time.

Photography: Anna Shvets/Pexels

13. Dalgona

Around this time last year, we saw loads of online posts of people taking part in the Dalgona challenge, almost as if there was a virtual competition taking place globally! The combination of instant coffee powder, sugar and hot water whipped together until it became creamy before being added to cold milk was the first step that brought out the ‘masterchef’ in everyone.

Photography: Leigh Skomal/Pexels

14. Online classes

While it was a nightmare for many parents to ensure that their kids stayed put in front of their laptops and focused on their lessons, some adults took this chance to up-skill themselves during the pandemic. From learning more about the digital world to picking up anew language and more, many of us made full use of the free courses that were provided by PERKESO and LinkedIn to pick up a new skill or two!

Photography: Andrew Neel/Pexels

15. Virtual parties

Consider yourself lucky if you were able to be out celebrating your birthday/anniversary/achievement in 2020. Most of us have been spending our days at home, talking to our loved ones via our laptop, iPad or mobile phone. But there are some of us who’ve made the best out of the situation by sending care packages to our friends and family, and celebrating various occasions online. The best part is that there’s no curfew involved and it’s guaranteed to be safe and fun!

Photography: Polina Kovaleva/Pexels

16. Being a pawrent

As we’re about to go through another round of the MCO, let’s not forget about our furry friends. Thanks to @myforeverdoggo, many stray dogs were rescued and neutered, and have since found permanent homes. If you’re looking for a furry companion and have the means to raise one, check out their page and pick a dog of your choice to help reduce the number of abandoned animals out there today!

Photography: My Forever Doggo

17. Virtual tours

“Spent” a morning in Burano, an afternoon in Gili T and an evening exploring Manhattan’s Central Park? While we couldn’t hop on a plane and travel to the next destinations on our bucket list since the MCO was first implemented back in March 2020, the lockdown didn’t stop us from soaking in the beauty of foreign lands once in a while. Thanks to virtual tours introduced by tourism companies that instantly transported us anywhere we wished to go, we were able to mentally be in a different place at any time – no expensive flight ticket, visa or passport required!

Photography: Lisa Fotios/Pexels

18. Reading

There’s only so much TV that a person can watch and so, to fill up their free time, many people found comfort in reading. Besides keeping themselves up to date with the current news and online goss, some people decided to pick up a real book or Kindle and allowed their imagination to run wild. There were also those who took it a step further and went for non-fiction to improve their knowledge in history, science and culture. Hopefully, this trend will continue even long after the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

Photography: Sincerely Media/Unsplash

19. TikTok

Blame it on creativity (or boredom!) but almost everyone who was stuck at home with nothing to do turned to TikTok for entertainment. Even festive greetings like Selamat Hari Raya on Instagram no longer consisted of a simple family photo but a video of everyone dancing in sync that came along with well wishes from one family to another. One thing for sure is that it helped burn quite a bit of calories (and time!) to produce these videos!

20. Outdoor dining

By now, most of us are probably used to the idea of alfresco dining within our homes – be it on the balcony, on the porch or in the garden – as a result of having to #dudukdirumah and not being able to dine in at restaurants like we used to, pre-pandemic. Truth be told, this alternative isn’t a bad idea at all, considering the high number of positive Covid-19 cases that continue to be detected daily. In these cosy new spots, we can choose to enjoy whatever meal or drink we fancy, at any time of the day. What’s not to love?

Photography: Daria Shevetsova/Pexels
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