It was the last week of December in 2019. We had just come back from another year ending trip, this time it was the scenic hill station of Munnar we had visited. Fresh from another rejuvenating travel we seemed to be set for the year 2020. But then nobody knew what hell of a surprise the year would bring. Just out of nowhere we were living in a pandemic and all the plans were permanently formatted, the way we used to live suddenly became a thing of the past. A sense of apprehension and caution became our travel buddies and our homes became the only travel destination we could have. The end of 2020 seemed to bring a sense of reprieve and a hope that things would get back to normal slowly but surely. After all what could trump the year just gone by everyone thought. That 2021 would, definitely be the new dawn was a desperate universal wish. But here we are, in a darker and more morbid sequel of the story which was unveiled last year.
Recently I had read an article in NYTimes which describes, I think very aptly, a possible mental impact of this sustained state of anxiety which we have found ourselves since last year when pandemic broke out. For the first time I came to know about the word languishing. This is how the article describes this state – “Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021“. Drowned in an onslaught of negativity all of us have definitely been pushed closer to this state and so this is the time to hold on to something which lends a little positivity to your routine or maybe something which just puts a pause to somber thoughts.
So the key to keep your senses on right side of the scale it get hold of that thing which will keep you “flowing”. Something that would not let your mind be shrouded over by that feeling of ‘blah’.
And having looked back at how we had responded I guess I did manage to carve out time for a few things to keep the flow.
Making room for some fitness at Home
So many notions have been changed during this pandemic and one of them is the fact that you must be outdoors or in a gym to carry on with your fitness regime. All that has changed in last one year or so, where we have found various online channels to go to to continue with our fitness routines. As the entire world strived to go online so did our fitness instructors. So today it doesn’t matter if the gym in our premises remains closed, all wee need is an hour and little bit of space in our home. Since there is nothing much which can de done after your work day moving to the instructions on the screen has been one of the ways to unwind. A little bit of weight has been shed in the process, an added bonus.
Time to read some interesting Fiction
What do you do when you can’t travel or meet your friends. If your are into reading then you pick up a book from your favorite genres. This has been another go to although a habit of reading at our place has always been there but never has it been so essential to our existence. The boredom of being stuck and stagnated however has definitely lead to me reading more fiction than I would normally have. Getting immersed in page turning thrillers or well written historical fiction has definitely been a good pastime for me.
Get new skills and acquire new tastes
Prior to the new normal I was mainly a beer drinker and all the other form of liquor were just meant to be taken as part of some cocktail. However the fact that last year there was a beer draught and the experience of having fresh brew in a pub, so readily available in Gurgaon, shut down for the first time with the onset of the first lockdown, may have lead to one of my accomplishments of the year. My new found love for Whisk(e)y. One fine day a WhatsApp forward on the unboxing of a McCallan 72 resulted into a spree of research and got me hooked and I began sampling them one bottle at a time( once the unlock happened). I have understood the nuances of the different regions where Whisk(e)y is distilled. The smokey Islay Single Malts are the clear favorites.
To go along with the above, like almost everyone out there, I have tried my had at cooking and with reasonable success. Homemade Pizza dough is the most notable of the new skills acquired in the kitchen. You may not turn into a master chef but the act of putting the ingredients together and going through the steps mentioned in the recipe meticulously is soothing for sure. The sense of satisfaction when the dish is ready especially for a novice like me is akin to a painter putting out his canvas once his work is done. Just that the brushstrokes go awry in some cases but the satisfaction is still there.
Watch your favourite shows & movies
Binge watching is not what I recommend but catching up with a few episodes of your favorite shows or movies is a worthy break. So during this pandemic when meeting friends and families has been a challenge we at our place again turned to F.R.I.E.N.D.S. And like always it did the magic – put us in a happy state. We also started the Marvel movies in the order of how the events actually folded, for a few weeks every Friday night got designated for the task. It got suspended after Black Panther but I intend to finish all of them before story of the MCU starts evolving further. Peppered in between have been a few John Ghisham and Clint Eastwood movies. A good watch can be as therapeutic as meditation in times today so take your pick but do stop short of binging.
There can be so many other acts which get you in your flow and above is what we in our home have been doing when I really introspected hard. And to be honest all of them have worked, helping me(us) to be in a relatively better state of mind compared to what could have been in their absence.
Keep a smile on your face. Keep a spring in your step.Joel Osteen