Almost 9 months of pandemic seems long, but self-care is still the most important and utmost priority during this.
Keep calm and carry on."The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." "Don't worry, be happy." These are the kinds of pithy, inspiring phrases and quotes that, historically speaking, have the power to steady us through challenging times. War. Depression.
Call them mantras, maxims or even memes -- they get repeated and recycled over the years, sometimes over the millennia, because they contain powerful jolts of easily accessible truth, insight and perspective. "Aphorisms live because they contain human truth and reach across barriers of class and era."
Friend, we all know that blood circulates and replaces the worn-out dead cells and tissues. Worn out and dead tissues are a result of expenditure of energy of that part of the body. Continuously hundreds and thousands of cells die all over the body and hundreds and thousands are replaced all over the body.
In our body, all cells similar to that of the human race split up into nations, groups, camps, into big and small groups based on similarities. It has in remote places traditional or “old school tribes just as we have in Central Africa and Australia and such other places. Even among the civilized classes, there are groups of cells that form the criminal group, as also the disabled like the blind, the mute, the deaf, i.e. (with permanent disabilities), the leprous, the cancerous, the mutilated, the physically sick, the mentally sick, the emotionally sick, and so on.
As in our structured world today, we see that even cells which are normal (slightly better than that of the common masses) are too busy with their own trifles and their own routine activities to care a hoot for any higher code or purpose. This is a sorry state of affairs; this is an exact picture of the inside contents of a human being.
Greatest social service
If you have a flair for social work and have time and energy, be prepared to render your utmost attention; for it would not only be a social service rendered but a duty fulfilled. If by correcting your inside, you cure one human being, i.e. yourself. Consider it as you have rendered indirect social service to the world, to God and to nature and you will be suitably rewarded. We would repeat that your first duty demands that you put straight this vast world of cells within you. This is a sacred duty. Only those who have been able to render this service within them, have been able to render service to mankind.
If you are not well, you can’t take care of others. Self-care means putting yourself first. It is not a selfish concept, but a necessary one.
Self-care helps you and those around you. When you maintain your own health and sense of calm, you are more energized and refreshed and can provide a more positive outlook for others.
Self-care helps us cope with stress, unhappiness, illness, depression, and negative emotions. It provides relief when we feel overwhelmed.
Are you returning to the office? Adjusting to a changing work-at-home schedule? Preparing to help your children with online school? Managing the at-home work and school schedules of multiple family members?
You can take steps to manage these changes and the roller coaster of emotions that might arise. When you follow a regular plan to take care of yourself, you are better equipped to handle stress, avoid burnout, and help your family cope with any changes to daily life the pandemic may throw your way.
This makes now a great time to re-invest your focus on self- As our new normal evolves, it’s important to keep a focus on mindfulness and find new ways to reduce stress and boost your spirits.
Here are some suggestions.
Avoid burnout and overwork. Be mindful of alcohol and substance use. Check in regularly with colleagues and fellow parents. Create a separate workspace (if working from home). Cut yourself some slack. Don’t skimp on the basics: eat healthy, get outside, exercise. Engage in social justice or volunteer work that matters to you. Learn something new (take a class or start a new hobby). Limit news consumption. Make time for self-reflection, rest, and relaxation. Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques. Prioritize yourself and pivot, if needed. Seek help or support when you need it. Set boundaries with family, media, and work. Stay connected with family and friends and finally watch for signs of trouble in yourself (burnout, stress).
Put Life in Perspective: -Take a deep breath. Close your eyes. Breathe again. Repeat. Do it often, whether you are at an office desk or sitting at the kitchen table. Remind yourself that we will overcome the pandemic. Remember that we are all in this together. Feel gratitude and show it. Share what you’re thankful for with your family.
Friend, this is also a time to think what it was till last year
Were we aren’t destroying the planet? In fact, we were destroying all life on it. Every year thousands of species goes extinct. Our body is a product of what we consume and the food we eat is designed purely for profit. We fill ourselves with toxic chemicals. The bodies of animals infested with drugs and diseases. But we don’t see this. The small group of corporations that own the media don’t want us to. Surrounding us with a fantasy we’re told is reality.
If we all look at our innermost desire honestly, we will see our dreams are not so different. We share a common goal. Happiness. We tear the world apart looking for joy, without ever looking within ourselves. Many of the happiest people are those who own the least. But are we really so happy with our iPhones, our big houses, our fancy cars?
This isn’t about saving the planet. The planet will be here whether we are or not. Earth has been around for billions of years, each of us will be lucky to last eighty. We are a flash in time, but our impact is forever.
For better or worse, our life during this crucial time will determine the future of life on this planet. We can either continue to serve this system of destruction until no memory of our existence remains. Or we can wake up. Realize we aren’t evolving upwards, but rather falling down...we just have screens in our faces so we don’t see where we’re heading. This present moment is what every step, every breath and every death has led to. We are the faces of all who came before us. And now it is our turn. You can choose to carve your own path or follow the road countless others have already taken. Life is not a movie. The script isn’t already written. We are the writers. This is Your Story, Their Story, Our Story.
Finally, remember that it’s OK to have fun and be silly. Family game nights or laughter with friends via Zoom or in a socially distant meeting can relieve stress and bring everyone closer together.
It's easy to get the care you need.
All our best
Dr Ram Garg
BAMS, MD Ayurvedacharya (Kurukshetra University) India