New Delhi: With the lockdown, restrictions and changes at work, people have been grappling to find some normalcy in their lives. As the crisis deepens, there are mixed emotions, feelings of despair, fears, insecurity, stress, and for women, in particular, there have been extra care-giving responsibilities while working from home and working at home. It’s important to remain upbeat while staying at home, managing self-care and well-being.
Vasant Mundra, Consultant Psychiatrist, PD Hinduja Hospital and MRC; and Chandni Tugnait, MD (A.M) Psychotherapist and Founder-Director, Gateway of Healing, share some tips for women to take care of themselves:
Be physically fit
If one is fit, one is likely to have a slightly better mood than one would have had if one was not so. So be active. Morning sunlight is essential for the upbeat of an individual. Get up and get some sunlight. Whether it is within the house, from a terrace, from a corridor, or possibly in a compound somewhere, get morning sunlight.
Follow a routine
A routine always helps us cope with change. Make sure you focus on a routine with healthy eating habits, exercise, good sleep and meditation or mindfulness exercises. This improves focus and productivity and also leads to lower stress levels.
Mind is money
The next thing is to stop wasting neurotransmitters of our brain on things that do not matter. Whether we have anxiety about coronavirus, concerns about the administration, or frustration about our favourite cricket team, we are spending neurotransmitters. Let’s use our neurotransmitters for something more substantial. The simplest way is to focus on one’s brain is like how we would treat our wallet. We are always careful when handing out or wasting money. Let’s just be as careful with wasting our brain chemicals like our money. Fear, anger, envy, anxiety are all waste neurotransmitters. Often it is not so much the situation that causes it but our interpretation of the situation.
Limit information intake
It’s important to be aware and cautious, however, an overdose of news and information from all corners can be very distracting and emotionally draining. Make sure you limit your intake of the pandemic-related news if it unnerves you.
Take frequent breaks
It can be quite unnerving to manage the office work, house work, online school classes for kids, and so much more. Amid it all, it’s important to take frequent breaks (even if for five to ten minutes each time) and relax. A breather, every now and then, not only increases our productivity but also helps keep stress at bay.
Surround yourself with positive people
Be part of communities that uplift you. Connect with people who inspire you, who are fun to be with and who allow you the space to be the way you like. It’s especially important to not engage with people who are constantly in a negative loop and are not willing to step out of it. Also stay away from people and things that are emotionally or energetically draining.
Research has proven how a simple practice of gratitude daily can shift so much in a person’s life. It improves the physical and psychological health and adds bliss to life, thereby improving the relationships with self and others. The key factor here is to ‘feel’ gratitude and not just ‘think’ gratitude.
Revive a hobby
Once a week (if not everyday), indulge in your hobby and see how much it adds to your life. Whether it is dancing, painting, creating music or reading, take that time out for yourself. You matter! And only when you are able to feel physically, mentally and emotionally balanced can you contribute to the others around you. It isn’t selfish to indulge in some ‘me time’. On the contrary, it is absolutely essential.
Some more tips for a positive well-being are: do not overreact when feeling angry; try not to get easily insulted; try and value the other person’s opinion; exercise regularly; enjoy food keeping an eye on the portions; watch positive content; enjoy conversations; and stay connected with friends.