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Day in the Life: Emily Tan

For this edition of Day in the Life, The Style Sheet spends the day with the inspiring Emily Lola Tan. Emily is a Malaysian, Hong Kong-based fitness coach and fitness performer, and cancer survivor. Following the self-reflection of her experience of being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Emily has gone on to add sexual and mental health advocate and podcaster to her list of achievements — dispelling taboos and guiding others through a journey to becoming better attuned to their own bodies and minds through her raw podcast Tackling Minds


Here the impressive multi-hyphenate takes us through a day filled with fitness, learning, creativity and self-expression.


Morning


‘Mornings are my favourite part of the day — especially when it’s an early morning with no appointments or commitments. It gives me time to cook a steak for breakfast, make a decaf cappuccino at home, walk along Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and take the ferry to Hong Kong Island. The walk is my podcast time — I’ve been consuming podcasts since their early days, and I find it kickstarts my brain into learning mode in the mornings. Recently, at this time of day, my interests are neuroscience and finance. The ferry ride helps me start the day with an intention — most of the time, I want to slow my nervous system down, listen more and remember to be fully present while interacting with another person who gifts me their time.’

Podcaster and fitness guru Emily Tan takes a mindful walk to the Star Ferry via the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade each morning
Podcaster and fitness guru Emily Tan takes a mindful walk to the Star Ferry via the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade each morning

Mid-Morning


‘This is my most creative part of the day, so I optimise that with multimedia creation like video editing, creative writing, social media work, and brainstorming marketing and podcasting ideas, which are some of my part-time work. This is also the time of day when I teach a fitness class or dance using a pole as my apparatus, channelling creativity physically.’

Emily Tan works on her thought-provoking podcast Tackling Minds
Emily works on her thought-provoking podcast Tackling Minds

Lunch


‘Since adopting an animal-based eating approach — aka carnivore — I don’t rely on three meals a day anymore, which is amazing for me as I find it time consuming. I typically have my second and last meal around five o’clock on non-training days. On higher-strain days, I schedule my second meal earlier and have a lighter third and last meal around six.’

Podcaster Emily Tan carves some time out for a solo workout session
Emily carves some time out for a solo workout session

Afternoon


‘I usually have my second cup of coffee around this time, although it’s always a decaf! Sleep is still a priority, so I only have caffeinated coffee on the days when I have high-strain activities. This is also typically when I schedule meetings, while I have the association of a coffee perk.’

Emily Tan prepares ahead of a podcast meeting
Emily prepares ahead of a podcast meeting

Early Evening


‘Since I’m still on immunosuppressants, I generally avoid crowded spaces including the MTR. The Star Ferry gets pretty crowded after five too, so I aim to leave the island before that and continue my work from home. The bonus is sometimes I get to walk the promenade again and enjoy my dose of natural vitamin D.’

Podcaster Emily Tan catches the Star Ferry in Hong Kong
Emily avoids crowds by catching the Star Ferry before peak hour

Evening


‘On an ideal evening, I’m done with my last meal by six, then practice Spanish until seven-thirty right before winding down with more podcast consumption. On a less-than-ideal evening, I work more on my podcast after my last meal until I wind down for bed by nine.’

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