This New Year has many expectations pinned on to it, and rightly so. We have all had a very different 2020…stuff that weirdest fantasies are also not made of. So loaded with expectations that at times I feel bad for 2021..i mean reminds me of the pressure created before an exam.
Most of us, including the me missing my Sarojini Nagar visits, want to just want press the “play” button where there has been a BIG pause. Last year we got intimate with life’s uncertainties and this year we want to make hope our bedfellow. And rightly so. This hope found expression in and was so visible in the New Year greetings.
If I was to play a spoilsport my question will be, think… what changed other than the date and the day? It also made me reflect to think what if…we were to wake up to each day with this feeling of new ness. With creating intentions for the day (instead of resolutions for the year), with leaving behind the past in the past and just be present to the opportunities every new day promises us. What if we were to wake up filled with hope, a hope of better today. How will it change when we approach every days situations with hope, new vigor and intentions. What will be different in the way we will navigate through the day? What will it enable us to do and be more of?
It is common to feel a little blue post festivals or big days like your birthday and anniversaries. And this year it is more bluer (severe) than others. Some of us have lost dear ones to covid, some have had to compromise with salary cuts, working from and at home, more work and reinvention and less productivity, juggling too much, stress of online education and so much more.
Personally I could not meet my parents who live 2 kms away, cause of multiple cases in their society. Bhai dooj, a day I used to look forward to go to cousins and general celebrations went by as a damp squib, wishing on whats app and no human connection. Also hearing the same from many of my clients. Allow me to say that you or I are not alone. A lot of us are feeling off and blue. And its OK. Its OK to feel what you are feeling. At this time, treat yourself well, indulge in some self care activities, feel your feelings fully, and step out when ready.
Some of the self care tips that may help:
Label them Right: Correct labeling of what we are feeling is very important. I have heard “depression” being used liberally to explain sadness, isolation, frustration, vulnerable etc. More than anyone else, You are listening to You. Using correct words to name the emotions help in understanding and releasing some of the charge
Feel your Feelings: Feeling your emotions in the body fully without the need to suppress or ignore. Any suppression will lead to outbursts later. Scan your body and see where you are holding the tightness/discomfort and breathe into it gently.
Deep Even Count Breathing and Long Exhales: Notice when we release any stress, we tend to sigh. That’s body’s response in shifting the energy. For me breathwork works. You can choose even count breathing- inhale-hold-exhale to same count or inhale to a count and exhale from mouth to the double count.
Moving the Body: Dance to your fav music or just sway or just get up and go for a walk in nature. Nature heals. If like me you are not moving out to the public parks, just jump. One of my fav things to do is marching on-the-spot to the words, “I am awake and ready” (as shared in the exercise by Paramhansa Yogananda ji). For me this is actually an every morning ritual.
Journaling is another activity that helps me loads. Expressing your emotions in a safe way. I write to the prompt “what am I feeling right now”? How I do it is set a timer for 15 minutes and write away, no pause, no thinking and when the alarm goes off..tear that sheet of paper or burn it. I feel light.
I asked on facebook and some of my gorgeous friends responded with their favorite self care activities. Here they are:
Dipali Taneja, blogger and author
Walking, reading, music. Hot baths. Remembering to cream my feet.
Divya Srivastava, life coach
Looking at myself in the mirror and saying- ‘you’re doing awesome’ ,’ you’re doing good’, ‘ you’re beautiful’, ‘keep serving’.
Hena Kausar, Free Spirit Reading poetry, getting ready & dancing, writing and expressing myself on facebook & life.
Purva Poorva, Full time Single Parent homeschooling her daughter and also teaches folk and tribal art if and when she chooses to
Waking up early for a walk/run. Watching the sunset. Painting with lovely instrumental music.
Sheetal Shah, Product & Diamond Jewelry Designer
Pampering myself …..boost up confident level saying inspiring words…Yes I can do it, Keep myself positive by listening music n dance n walk …..for me inner beauty is more important….outer beauty will glow automatically…. Thats healthy care for myself with beautiful smile on beautiful face
Lastly, please do not suffer alone. Speak to someone you trust, call a friend and check in, gift to your favorite charity, bring a smile to someone (Begin with Yourself), and talk to yourself the way you would to your bff. This too shall pass, no emotion, thought or state is permanent and that’s the Good News!