We live life seeking the familiar and the comfortable. We want to be at home with known people, food, locations, and opinions. We want to be accepted and validated, and to have routines and habits that are comforting.  But we do not recognise and accept that our lives are in constant transition. Distractions and disruptions shape our daily life and our decision-making moment by moment. 

How easy is it then, to master how we live, breathe and behave consistently especially in a Pandemic?

Here are the SEVEN things I do to maintain my balance 

1)    I plan each day in small blocks –   I wake up at a certain time, organise my breakfast,  exercise/get to work/write/exercise/cook, etc. I do what I can, but I never fail to have a routine and make the effort every day. I can control the day ahead of me and not be aimless letting other people and events dictate my life.

2)    When I wake up – I sit still for five minutes, close my eyes and reaffirm to myself that I am beautiful, worth it and am achieving great things that are meaningful to me. This is not being self-centered. I am being mindful of my strengths and reinforcing them. 

3)    When I feel stressed or tired – I sit someplace quietly and take five deep breaths- inhaling and exhaling. If I am too stressed, I exhale through my mouth. I do this at my desk, or while traveling on train or bus, or just while taking a walk. This is truly reenergising for me. 

4)    Before going to bed – I sit quietly for five minutes and breathe deeply and calmly. I avoid watching white light (on my laptop, tablet or phone screen). Instead, I read (humour is my favourite) and listen to soft music. This surely calms me.

5)    I engage in social causes – by keeping myself informed about what is happenning to those less fortunate than me, by showing kindness and empathy to those around me; and to the less fortunate, by sharing information about issues that matter, by consciously shifting myself from being self-focused to being other-centered.

6)    I take care of my physical health – I do yoga everyday. I take walks when I can, watch my diet, my eating habits, and my consumption patterns. I cook regularly. I try out new recipes or cook the familiar ones and get better at it. Cooking relaxes me.

7)    I am mindful of my mental health – The past always takes a free ride on my back, if I let it. Issues remain unaddressed in zip lock bags in my brain. I get mentally drained of energy occasionally. I reorganize my brain by acknowledging what is bothering me, finding out why I am letting it bother me and responding differently to the same situation. I am surprised by how empowering this approach is. 

Do I follow this regimen every day? No, I slip up often.  Am I accepting of constant changes in my life? Not necessarily.  

But I still take the steps. Sometimes only two or three. Sometimes all the seven. I try every day knowing I can ask for help when life becomes too overwhelming.