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This is an unprecedented stressful time, and we need to take care of ourselves. So do what you need to do to be kind to yourself.
2020 is turning out to be a year unlike any other. This pandemic of unknown proportions is shaping a new reality. As we consume dreadful news about how so many people are losing their lives to it, it has also altered how we live our lives. Most of us are lucky to be safe in the confines of our homes, but there is so much else to grapple with.
As the boundaries between our personal and professional lives start to blur, we’re caught in this perpetual volley of working from home and also for home, fighting our fear and grief about the state of the world, apart from being there for our kids or family members.
Working from home, managing domestic chores and parenting can take a toll even on the most resilient amongst us. Especially women, since in a country like ours they’re programmed to take on the larger share of domestic responsibilities. Brands can do as many share the load campaigns as they want, but we all know that eventually in most Indian households it is women who do the lion’s share of domestic chores and parenting.
In these times of COVID-19 struggling to do more, trying to be more only makes you feel less and less connected with yourself and depleted mentally and emotionally. That is the strange thing the more we try to do; it only makes us feel lesser about ourselves.
How do you ensure you survive the psychological onslaught of the virus?
Take time each day to do something you love. Speak to a family member or friend, read, paint, write. Do anything that makes you feel like you and not the multiple roles you’re juggling during this crisis.
Everyday don’t set out on a mission to do it all. Cut yourself some slack. Be easy on yourself, you’re surviving a pandemic.
You don’t have to rustle wholesome meals every dayand keep a house clean as you parent and home school your children. It is okay if on some days you give in to serving ready to eat or packaged meals.
For most Indian women it is easy to get caught up in the frenzy of doing it all. Please take a pause, ensure you get your spouse and children to pitch in with domestic chores. Don’t fall into the honey trap of trying to be Ms do it all.
It is so easy to step on each other’s nerves when you’re locked up in the same household, especially your spouse’s. Make a conscious effort to give each other space through the day, lest you start ending up in verbal sparring matches all day draining you even further.
Don’t let yourself be gripped in the fear that a couple of months away from school will make them forget what they know. It is more important to make them feel secure and loved.
Yes, you might need to set boundaries on what you expect from them so that they still know they’ve got to follow some rules, lest they turn rebellious when school reopens.
For those of us who hid all our demons in the closet under the garb of busyness, this health crisis is playing with our minds. This lockdown has ensured we’re forced to and learn to confront our demons. Being in the confines of your home can wreak havoc on your mental health. Sleep schedules are going awry, the news stories we wake up to are too grim, work is spiralling out of control, the dishes in the sink never end. Confront your feelings, talk about what troubles you with a friend or family member or write a journal if that helps. Do whatever it takes to stay sane as you try and stay safe.
With so many people losing their lives, even celebrities, we’re living in collective grief right now. It is natural to worry about the health and well being of your loved ones. Especially children and the elderly. Ensure you take care of them, but without allowing worry to gnaw your souls. We can’ t control the shape of how the world will be on the other side of the pandemic. But we can control and rein our negative thoughts and emotions and channelize them by confronting them and sharing them with a loved one or confidante.
Remember this too shall pass, even though now it might overwhelm us and make us feel more insecure and vulnerable than ever before. See you on the other side, when we emerge stronger, more resilient and perhaps a tad wiser about what matters in life and what are the unnecessary contraptions we’ve trapped ourselves in. As we brace up for a new reality, let us embrace our feelings, emotions and ensure we make our well-being a priority.
Image source: a still from Tumhari Sulu
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Having dabbled in writing, editing and content management, Megha possesses 13 years of industry experience,
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