Life is uncertain. I have always acknowledged that but I also believed that I have everything planned. I thought I have my life under control and can never be caught off guard.
But one fine day, things changed. We had planned to move to a bigger house. We’d changed my daughter’s school to be closer to it and made all the necessary arrangements. Suddenly, I found myself travelling to my hometown anticipating a complete lockdown. Everything was a blur. Nothing was under my control and I felt lost.
I was not sure about how I was going to stay positive when the situation was so frightening.
What was my first step?
During the initial days of the lockdown, I decided to exit all the WhatsApp friends and family groups to stay away from rumours and negative news. That definitely helped, immensely.
I dedicated my time to reading, which had taken a back seat in the hustle of the fast-paced life of a metropolitan city. I kept up my exercise routine at home even if it was just 15 minutes of pranayama.
We have to learn to adjust to uncertain times. We are now, slowly, trying to come to terms with the fact that this is the new normal. Businesses have restarted and a few offices have also reopened. We have to adjust to the ‘unlock phase’ without getting exposed to the virus. And that brings me to a piercing question:
How ready are you for the new normal in India? Well, if the lockdown has taught me a few things, it’s this – health and wealth should be our only priorities.
Take Care of your Health
We cannot afford to ignore our physical and mental wellbeing. Health has to be made a priority. We have to #RestartRight.
So, I would like to share a few things that I have prioritised to be ready for the new normal.
7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. While largely ignored, according to me, this is the most important factor to build a healthy mind and body. During the lockdown, and even after the unlock, most of us are working from home. We need to be very conscious to manage our time well and get proper sleep. We have to learn to shut down our laptops at a given time, take short breaks during the work hours and stop checking emails after office hours end.
One cannot keep on working through the late nights, or else we end up compromising on our immunity. To build a healthy immune system and to fight various illnesses a night of restful sleep is most important.
I am a fitness freak and daily workout has been an integral part of my life since the last 20 years. I could keep myself charged up during the lockdown only because I made sure that even if I could not go the gym or dedicate one hour to workout due to the increased household chores and taking care of my daughter, I would at least dedicate 15 minutes daily.
I suggest you make exercise a priority. It could be anything you like: walking, yoga, cardio or strength training. I’ve always enjoyed strength training the most but during the lockdown, practising 12 sun salutations (Surya namaskars) made me feel calm and content and so I have continued this practice.
I have been following the immunity-food related recommendations of my family doctor during these times. I will not lie and say that I have eaten only healthy food during the lockdown. There was a time when I did binge eat while watching web series for entertainment and relaxation.
Nonetheless, I have realised that this is the new normal and we will have to stay indoors for another couple of months. Since we will be at home the natural instinct would be to grab a bite while working or whenever free and bored or when feeling overwhelmed due to the situation. And so, I decided to monitor and control my portions, and include all types of food with high nutritional value in my daily diet.
How we manage our home budgets, investments and savings are going to matter more than ever and we need to plan it well to restart right.
The pressure is real and I needed to feel financially secure. As a family we decided that we need to rework our household budget, curtail expenses on luxuries and learn to adapt to the new normal.
Being a commerce student, I know the importance of investing right. The lack of adequate investment in the healthcare system of our country was exposed during the lockdown. We are still fighting this and I strongly feel that the best investment that I could do to feel secure in such a situation is on health and that is only possible when my health is insured.
In a situation where the earnings have reduced, mounting health expenses would just increase unnecessary pressure and stress. Although, thankfully, our organisation has provided for a full health insurance scheme, yet all my family members have our personal health insurance plans with ICICI Lombard and that makes us doubly secure. Besides, they are moving with the new digital trend and their IL Take Care App is a boon at such a time.
The lockdown taught me a valuable lesson and that is to save more. I am an impulsive shopper and I realised a lot of my expenses weren’t justified. But I think the current scenario has made me realise the difference between needs and wants.
Though none of us anticipated such a situation, we did get an opportunity to spend more time with our loved ones. I have learned to appreciate life more, and my family and friends are of utmost importance. For me this time has been one of introspection and personal growth. That’s how I am ready to #RestartRight.
What about you?