It’s been getting bleaker everyday – and I don’t speak just of the weather. There’s a sense of dread, of impending doom, overtaking my mind. I could care less for sunny days but would welcome some sunshine to filter in today. The grey skies aren’t unfriendly, but the harsh winds don’t seem to welcome me.
I got a new plant today though – after forcing myself out of bed. I remembered to water it. I placed it in the balcony to sunbathe after transferring it to a ceramic pot.
I think things will look up now – as each new leaf unfurls.
I’ve pretended to be happy long enough to fool my own self
Now there’s nothing you can do that’ll wipe that smile off of my face
So carry on, move on, go or stay
Do whatever you will
And see if I care
This is the first time in more than a couple of years when it’s mental health awareness month and I’ve written nothing for it. To be honest, I am struggling. I think we all our. The very fabric of our sanity and well being has been torn apart due to the ravages of a pandemic which seems to be riding on one wave after another.
It is overwhelming, exhausting and debilitating to even just get through a day from morning to night with some semblance of hope and stability, for there are no security blankets waiting for us at the end of it.
The outpouring of grief all around and the desperate pleas for help coming in from all quarters have made my mind both anxious and numb at the same time. And I don’t know how to handle them together. It’s never been like this before.
Yes, I’m anxious for everyone hanging in there by a flimsy thread, but yes I’m also numb towards the news articles reporting more and more deaths everyday. Yes, I’m empathetic towards the plight faces by all of us, but yes I’m also apathetic in the face of it all. And it’s alright. There’s no place for guilt. Sometimes when you feel too much, your mind responds to such stimuli by making you feel nothing at all. And I’d much rather be in this state for the time being rather than have my heart wrenched out of it’s place over and over again.
So if it helps you get by, you can shut everyone else out and prioritise yourself above all. No one can judge you for it. Allow yourself to to feel and not feel. Allow yourself to grieve and to recover. Permit yourself to focus on your health.
Do whatever rocks your boat. And then when you’re feeling better, help other struggles.
Sharing some more of my recent artwork hoping that it will spark some joy.
To see my previous work, click here.
I read and quote Sylvia Plath
Whenever I’m feeling low
I dance on some jazz music
To drown away the blues
I arrange tulips on my desk to remind me of the sun
When the skies are grey outside
And you wonder why your gaslighting
Merely makes me smile?
I lost almost 25 kgs in 2020. More than that, and more importantly, I lost a lot of mental baggage too.
I feel lighter, fitter and healthier than I ever recall feeling.
I smile more widely and laugh more often. I sleep better and talk more politely. My patience and general well being have improved by leaps and bounds.
The only sad part is that it took a soul crunching, time stopping and all around jarring pandemic for me to pause and reset. To focus on and prioritise myself. To work through all the unresolved issues which were underlying the calm exterior I took pride in portraying. To actually process my feelings and emotions through healthy, conversation based and creative outlets.
So in 2021 the only resolution I am going to make is to choose myself. Love myself. Heal myself. Understand myself. Forgive myself. And to grow. To pause, when needed. To listen to myself. To pay attention to my own mind and body.
I hope you’ll be doing the same for yourself too. Because one off resolutions are like putting out small fires while an entire forest burns to ashes. The bigger picture, the important picture is always you and your life.
Yes, of course, set goals for yourself. But resolve to live happily and freely. And then test your resolve to its very limits….just to see it emerge stronger.
P.S. if you’re struggling and need a friend, I’m always ready to listen, chat and offer whatever assistance that’s possible from my end. I am not a proxy therapist, just a willing shoulder to lean on while you catch your breath 🙂
I have never felt more alive than when I am lying down in bed, in complete awareness of every breath entering and leaving my body. As this consciousness of my own breathing increases, my heart seems to pump faster while my breathing itself slows down to a gentle, rocking, wave-like motion.
So alive, that it immediately calms me down and soothes all my pains and aches. So alive, that it makes me grateful for this small yet enormous miracle of life. All stress and worry simply melts away from my body and with every breath I take, I can feel happiness seeping in and exuding from every iota of my being.
That’s it. It is that simple. I have no sermon, lecture, tutorial or explanation to give to you today. Just a benign reminder that the biggest of our problems, ailments and doubts can be surmounted if we but take a moment to be at peace with and at one with our own selves. In this humdrum affair of life, this inevitable rat race, we end up neglecting the one person who has the wherewithal to sort everything out – our own inner self.
So every night, before calling it a day, and every morning before rushing into your to-do list, take a few moments to simply breath in and breathe out. Feel the air flow through you right to the very pit of your belly and then make its way back out. Feel it lift up your spirits and ease your mind, making it better equipped to effectively tackle what lays ahead. Let it remind you of the simplest, noblest and grandest truth there is – Life goes on.
Try it, really. Report back to me, if you will. I have received countless comments and mails on my recent posts on self-care, soul-care and social media and sanity struggles which made me want to put this out there for other lost souls looking for a path back to normalcy. If you want to learn more about breathing exercises, mindfulness and how these can turn your life around – you might want to check out the practice of Pranayama (in Yoga). A little faith and a little routine can go a long way.
Instagram is full of one influencer after the other pushing their favourite skincare routine towards you. A few spread the cheer by sharing their workout routines. And some share their quarantine diets.
All helpful, all well received. However, my recent break from social media and the constant, ceaseless demands on my attention showed me quite starkly how we lack a soul care routine. Atleast in myself I had could vividly notice a very drone like, robotic existence. On schedule, yes, but fulfilling? Oh hell no. I’d wake up, workout out, sit down to work from home, take a break for lunch, continue working till the evening, workout once more, watch the telly or read a book and then off to sleep I went.
In this well rounded, healthy routine was there even a minute that I took out for myself? To spend time in my own company? To pause, unwind, decipher and declutter my mind and to let go of all the stress weighing on it? No. Not even a second.
So today I’m embarking on a new routine. The soul-care routine. A cleansing, workout and healthy diet is the order of the day for my soul and mind too. And maybe, I’d unlearn and relearn myself in the process.
But more importantly, will you?