We are facing an unprecedented situation, something none of us have ever thought of in our lifetimes, let alone experienced. Only a month ago, no one could have anticipated that billions of people would be at home for weeks together and all work would stop. Work that seemed the most important thing in the world at the time, work without which the world would presumably end. Mother nature has shown us that none of what we do is more important than health. Health is truly wealth, or as the hindi saying goes, “Jaan hai toh Jahaan Hai”, if you are alive, you can have the world.
So it is all the more important that you pay more attention to your health during this lockdown period of three weeks. It is easy to lapse into somnolence and morbidity while turning into a couch potato in front of the idiot box during these days, because we usually associate staying at home with weekends which are meant to relax and recharge our bodies and minds after a hectic work week. Since you don’t have any work week now, you must be very cautious against thinking of this period as a vacation.
Try to follow your earlier daily routine as diligently as possible during the lockdown. Get up on the usual time that you did, do light exercises, get ready to go to work as you did. Do not lounge around and think you have plenty of time since you don’t have to go anywhere. If you are working from home, make a fixed working space and dedicate it as your office. Make it clear to your house mates that your working hours are fixed and that you should not be disturbed during those times. Keep your mind as sharp on the laptop as you would in office. Take regular breaks and try to keep your self hydrated.
Use the extra time that you have, now that you are not commuting to work, to take up a hobby that you always wanted to. Learn to paint, play the guitar, write poems, cook. Infact do anything that you always wanted to but put off because you thought you had no time. You know that was an excuse, but you don’t have even that excuse now. There are enough online tutorials available for all activites so you can learn fast. Utilise the time to upskill yourself. Take online courses, listen to TED Talks, Attend Webinars. You can also contribute to the enlightenment of others by sharing your knowledge through blogs, vlogs and articles. The possibilities are endless.
Use this time that you have got to spend with your family. Play board games. Get dirty in the garden with your kids. Teach them the games you used to play in your childhood. Have date nights with your spouse in the living room.
You are chafing at the bit right now and thinking you will not survive this lockdown, but if you start doing the above things, very soon you will feel that something has changed permanently, and this lifestyle is much better that the two hours of commute you used to do in the traffic laden streets of your city.
I will give you a sample of the daily schedule that some of my friends are using now. They assure me that it is helping them cope and actually cheering them up more than they expected.
Suggested Daily Routine
1.Walk on the terrace or your own Garden (NOT Public Parks) – 30 Minutes
2.Meditation – 1 Hour
3.Reading – 1 Hour
4.Movie/Series – 1 Hour
5.Checking Whatsapp/ Social Media – 30 minutes morning and 30 minutes evening
6.News Channels – 30 Minutes morning and 30 Minutes Evening’
7.Board Games/Chess/ Carrom/ Any other physical game – 1 Hour
8.Cooking/ House Work – 2 Hours
9.Yoga/Physical Exercise – 1 Hour
10.Skype/Zoom with Family/Friends – 1 Hour
11.Working on Business Plans/ Strategies/ WFH – 6 hours
12.Sleep – 7 Hours
I hope you will all keep healthy, happy and safe. See you on the other side.
(Disclaimer: Dr Shuchin Bajaj, Founder Director, Ujala Cygnus Hospitals. Views expressed are a personal opinion.)