Quarantine Learnings

Year 2020 will go down in history for a lot many things…but most significantly for the pandemic that has brought the entire world to a standstill and crippled us all with fear and anxiety. It has heralded a new way of life, which unfortunately, seems to be here to stay. But everything, good or bad, teaches us something new, something valuable. And this Corona situation is no different.

Firstly, it has added many words to my vocabulary..some new, some old, some seldomly used: to begin with the name of the nightmare itself- THE Corona virus/COVID-19, followed by other words which have come to be a part of our lingo these days, such as epidemic, pandemic (honestly I had never bothered to know the difference between the two words before..big mistake!!), lockdown, isolation, home quarantine, self quarantine, containment, isolation, PPE, co-morbidity, herd immunity, fatality rate, sanitization, community spread, symptomatic, asymptomatic, immunocompromised (which I amπŸ˜”)…and of course the word of the year perhaps… SOCIAL DISTANCING.

In addition to all these, there are several fun, new words doing the rounds on social media such as coronials or quaranteens (babies created during Corona times), quarantrends, quarantees, quarantech, quarantrolls….and my favourite so far…the COVIDIOTS (I often mumble this under my mask when I see ignorant blokes on the roads without masks).

The past six months have also taught me a whole lot of other things. Like I can bear to spend 24/7 for 6 months straight without killing my husband (and vice versa)…inspite of serious temptation on some occasions πŸ˜›πŸ˜›. On a serious note, it has increased my awareness and sense of responsibility. Even if I want, I cannot throw caution to the wind and take off without my mask and sanitizer coz I know it can be dangerous for my old ailing parents staying with me. So in a way it has reaffirmed the importance of loving my family, caring for their well being and being a support system to them. And I have to admit, these circumstances have actually given us the gift of time..to spend it with loved ones.

This lockdown phase has made me firmly believe that each of us are masters at multitasking. From working long hours in front of laptops to cooking, cleaning, spending time with family and also making time for ourselves…if we want, we can really do it all. Infact, I look at it as a blessing because it keeps me busy, my mind occupied and helps to keep up some semblance of normalcy in an otherwise abnormal time and world. And it finally forced me to do something that I always wanted but never quite got to doing… Blogging. And thus here I amπŸ€—.

Tune in to any TV channel or any social media platforms  and one can see the alarming situation in almost every country. People are dying, losing jobs, employment, livelihoods are at a risk. The healthcare systems are beginning to crumble due to the astounding number of patients and casualties. The economy plummeting to all time lows. It’s the same in almost every country. It’s all pretty disturbing and upsetting. And it really makes one wonder about how shallow we are that we worry about miniscule things when there is so much suffering and pain all around. Reminds me of the need to be grateful for what I have rather than crib about what I don’t. This whole pandemic situation has been humbling, to say the least.

If nothing else, quarantined life has definitely taught me the virtues of resilience, patience and hope. Resilience to stay put until this storm passes. To see the end of it(hopefully soon). Patience to endure these difficult times, to stay in the  safety of my home without yielding to the allure of the outside world which beckons to my outdoor-loving heart. With the hope that one day we will conquer this evil and world will be a safe place again. And when that happens, I hope I can step out into the new world as a better version of myself, thanks to all that I learnt during these past few months of quarantined life. Here’s wishing that day comes soon. πŸ™β˜ΊοΈ

In the pursuit of SELF LOVE!!

A few weeks back I was watching Sex And The City…and saw the scene where Samantha breaks up with her hot bf saying this:

I love you but I love me more. ~ Samantha Jones, Sex and the city.

So I have seen this before (yes coz am one of those who keeps watching things again and again) but suddenly this time it hit home. And it really got me thinking…We all love a lot of things or a lot of people….we love our parents, siblings,friends, Boyfriends, girlfriends,we love our homes,plants and on and on….but we often forget to love the most important person in our lives….ourselves.

If something in life doesn’t go as planned, we are always the first to blame ourselves. Why did I do this? What’s wrong with me? Why does this always happen to me? It must have been my fault. You get the thought process right? But when something goes right, we tend to give credit to everyone and everything but ourselves. We say things like ‘oh I just got lucky’ or ‘oh that other person really made it happen’…but we hardly ever say..even to ourselves…yes man you did it. You worked at it and you got it going..well done you. Am I right or wrong? But why is that?

Is it a personal trait or is it a more generalized thing that can be attributed to our society, our parents, childhood and our upbringing in general? What makes it such a common phenomena to easily loathe ourselves but hardly ever appreciate ourselves? Honestly I think it’s an amalgamation of all these things in varying proportions in each of our lives.

Whatever be the cause, the effect is this: we are conditioned to be self critical. Particularly for girls. We are always so critical of our looks, our appearance, our social standing,what our husbands and boyfriends think of us, what our friends think of us…. and these days we have an additional worry of our social media image (as if life wasn’t tough as it is). Always being vigilant to click pictures in angles that work best to hide our physical flaws. Why? What are we so afraid of? Body shaming? Bullying? Criticism? But we already do all that to ourselves anyways πŸ™„ . Then why is it so important what others think of us?

It’s perhaps because we are so conditioned to seeking others’ approval for self worth. And isn’t that the most bizarre thing? That we need to depend on someone else’s opinion of us to make us realize what we are. Who we are. And what’s our worth really. The more I thought about the twisted logic in this…the more I realized what a dumbass idea it really is. And what a big idiot I have been all this while. Well, I guess in that moment, the feisty spirit of Samantha took over me and I was determined to put an end to this. To stop craving any and evryone’s approval and seek my own. To be confident in my own skin and to take the reigns of my
Self worth in my own hands(ok that sounds dramatic πŸ˜›πŸ˜›) but I think you get the idea.

And well the good news is that this feeling,this attitude..it is reversible. It won’t happen overnight. You won’t wake up one fine day and stop seeking validation from others and be all mushy in self love.No. That’s not gonna happen (wish it did, though). It’s going to be hardwork, especially at the beginning, because it isn’t easy to suddenly change your attitude,your outlook and your approach to life that you’ve had for several years, perhaps decades. 
Some pointers that I found to be useful in this new found pursuit of self love that
I found to be particularly useful:

* Stop seeking validation from anyone.
* Be your ONLY and best judge.
* Spend time to asses yourself-your strengths, weaknesses and areas of improvement.
* Appreciate your strengths. Things that make you unique and loveable. And hold on to it no matter what.
* Identify weaknesses. Don’t be too harsh but am sure everyone has some flaws, some shortcomings. Identify them before giving a chance for someone else to point them out to you.
* make a list of areas of improvement. Some skills you might wanna learn or brush up or inculcate.
* be kind to yourself.
* Prepare a mantra that you can keep repeating to yourself to keep up the morale to keep going.
* And the most difficult but absolutely essential thing…learn to love yourself. JUST THE WAY YOU ARE (remember Bridget jones’ diaryπŸ˜›πŸ˜œ)

So next time you feel the blues and feel like you’re swimming in a sea of self pity and worthlessness… remember this ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup…take care of yourself first’.

Coz the ultimate truth is this….We are all one of a kind. Unique, Fabulous and Effing Awesome. ❀️❀️