A letter to my anxiety.

A letter to my anxiety.

My dear Anxiety,

So weird that I call you “dear”, considering you have caused nothing but distress for years together. But, since you have been an old companion, I’ll be polite with you.

I did think that it would be easy getting rid of you, you know? With the help of therapy and my meds, I had started to feel so much better, as if a load had been lifted off my chest. But, as a dear friend pointed out, it isn’t easy getting rid of you, completely.

You still exist in my system. You hide in the shadows, like a bandit, waiting for the perfect chance to pounce on my mind and destroy all the peace. You are very very wicked…oh yes, you are!

Haven’t you had your fill feeding on my mind all these years? Why can’t you just let me be? Why do you have to rear your ugly head every now and then and tease and taunt me so? Is it your mode of entertainment?

I know you so well now. I can instinctively sense you approaching when my heart starts to beat in that peculiar manner and my breath gets shallow. The restlessness and the panic and all those horrid thoughts that suddenly appear and crowd my mind speak loud about your vile intentions.

But, I have had enough.

I have decided to work harder at getting over you and not cower in fear.

I know, you will always be loitering around, somewhere on the periphery. But, I am working on getting stronger by the day, and learn how to deal with you, rather, make good use of you to face the fears you scare me with.

Yes, I am working on using you to my advantage; making use of my anxiety to get over my anxiety!

Like, the other day, when hubby disclosed his plans for the next month. My instant reaction was PANIC, followed by fearful thoughts of every kind.

But, then, something clicked, and I thought to myself how I didn’t need to think about the moment that’s still to come. How, we can take precautions and be prepared for any untoward events that might take place. How, those untoward events I fear, might not even take place, after all, and, it’s all just YOU trying to put those fearful thoughts in my mind!

What a relief it was, I tell you! Not because of what I had realised about you and your evil ways, but about being able to find solutions to eventualities that might happen.

it was our Scouts and Guides motto, back in school:

“BE PREPARED”.

So, that’s what I am going to work on.

On being prepared for anything and everything that comes my way.

And, making good use of you in looking for a way out of a difficult situation I might find myself in.

All I need to do is, BE PREPARED and BE ALERT.

Ah… That does feel so good now!

Try as you might, dear Anxiety, but I am NOT going to allow you to win.

I am going to fight you till my last breath.

So, YOU be prepared, too!

Love ‘n’ luck

SHILPA…

 

Use your anxiety to your advantage. Face it boldly and do not cower in fear.

 

Taking tiny steps towards better health and a happier me!

Taking tiny steps towards better health and a happier me!

March begins in just an hour, now. How time flies! Precisely why we need to make full use of every moment we get–every single moment of every single day.

A new month also means new beginnings, although, you really don’t need to wait for a new month or a new year to make a new beginning. You can do it anytime you feel like you need to change.

Some months back, I decided to change my phone habits and a couple days back, my diet. It does feel wonderful, seeing how the changes are affecting my health and my life!

CHANGE IN DIET:

Earlier, my breakfast included a mug of chilled milk with a spoonful of Horlicks. It was something I looked forward to, the moment I woke up. However, it was also something that gave me gas. Yes, milk does that to me….Sigh.

So, to get relief from it, I switched to curd/yoghurt.

Now, curd+banana+raisins+oats (I know, I know..OATS!!?? But, hubby got it for me, so I have to finish the stock, right?) has been my breakfast, ever since.

I have also started having curd+rice for lunch, as opposed to no rice earlier. My lunch, which comprises of chapatis/ragi rotis, sabji, curd-rice, satiates me. No more hunger pangs within two hours of lunch!

The curd keeps me cool, helps with the digestion and I no longer feel like my tummy is a gas chamber!

The live bacteria (pro biotics) in the curd takes good care of my gut health. And, a healthy gut, is a happy me!

Its high protein content ensures I have enough energy to face a busy day.

I deducted rice from dinner, though, which now includes chapatis, sabji/dal, and a huge bowl of salad (cucumber+carrot+tomatoes). Makes me feel full, and yet, not uncomfortably full.

MORAL: It helps having a light dinner!

CHANGE IN PHONE HABITS:

I did a post on my phone habits last year. I also did a follow-up post. Since the past two months, I have made furthermore changes in my phone usage.

I switch on my phone wifi in the morning at 8.00 to check messages/mail etc and switch it off within 10 minutes. I check it again for few minutes at 11.00 and then keep it switched off till 1.30 pm.

I use the Canva app on my phone to make images for Instagram and Pinterest after lunch for half an hour.

Evenings are usually spent working on laptop, or talking to friends on the phone. So, by 8.00 pm my phone wifi goes off to sleep.

The time I spend on social media has reduced substantially:

INSTAGRAM: 15 MINS. (Set the timer on Instagram and it will remind you when your time’s up).

FACEBOOK: 10 – 15 MINS.

WHATSAPP: 5 MINS. (I’d rather talk than text).

CANVA + PINTEREST: 30 MINS.

GMAIL: 2-3 MINS. (it’s also on my laptop, so makes no sense wasting time there).

Now, I have ample time to indulge in art, reading, blogging and planning.

Also, it saves my eyes from strain.

I have stopped watching TV during lunch time, too. I pay attention to the food in my plate and how good it tastes. TV viewing is for the evenings, for some time. That’s a lot less screen-time, right?

MORAL: Use the phone judiciously and you will have mastered the art of Time Management!

I keep an account of it all and intend to do a follow-up post on how well these changes help me in the long run.

How about you? Have you made any changes lately? How do you feel about it all?

Love,

SHILPA…

We need to change our habits for the sake of our health.

 

So what?

So what?

Have you been asked this question when you complained to someone about certain stressful events from your life?

Let me share this conversation, as an example:

“My dad used to thrash me when I was a kid.”, a person shares with his friend, who replies, “So, what? My dad disowned me!” 

What’s the thought that comes to mind, instantly? Doesn’t it make you shudder, looking at the other person’s situation in his Life?

It’s something I saw in a film, the other day. An exchange between two people, one of whom has carried the trauma of being raped during her childhood, for years. An exchange that makes this woman realise that despite having had such a terrible thing happening with her, she might still be in a better place than the other person, who has gone through something worse.

She also realises, how futile it has been, carrying this burden with her all her life, ruining the relationship she has with her very loving and caring husband and living with the ghosts of her past.

I know, it’s really not easy letting go of certain memories–events that took place in our lives that shook us to the core, traumatised us and transformed the person we were until then.

We keep holding on to those memories, keeping them alive in our heart for years together, and in the process, hardly finding any peace in our present Life–the one which we have, today.

We hold on to grudges against someone who wronged us, hurt us, tortured us with their behaviour; we hold on to stressful incidents that were, at some point, a part of our lives; we keep those wounds afresh, for ages. And, what do we get in return? Nothing, but heartache, and endless pain that makes us blind to the good that is happening today!

And these wounds, they ruin not only our mental health, but also our physical and emotional health, our relationship with others, and, most importantly, our relationship with ourselves.

The severe aches and pains we experience are very much a result of the stressful memories we hold on to, as they are a result of the physical wear and tear our body goes through as we age.

Why don’t we understand one thing that Life is never, ever, going to be smooth-sailing? That, Life is always, always, going to be a bumpy ride, which might, sometimes, offer us a beautiful view, and just as we begin to enjoy that beauty, will shove us in a pothole, the size of a crater, and shake us out of our reverie, turning our world upside down?

That’s LIFE, isn’t it? Ever-changing, never easy, always tough.

But, the one thing that can give us some solace is the game I shared in the beginning of this post. The game of, “So what?”

it’s a game you can play with yourself, too, you know, when you find yourself cursing your misfortune and grumbling about everything going wrong with your Life.

Just think about the situation you are in, that’s unpleasant and stressful, and ask yourself, “So, what?” .

Then, compare it to the time when things were wonderful, or, to how someone else is in a worse situation than you, and how they are tackling it, better than you are.

You will realise how fruitless it is, complaining about your situation, for the simple reason that….

Some day, Life will change, and it will be better, all over again.

The cycle of good times and bad times will go on and on, until we leave this world.

It is so necessary that we let go of what happened; let bygones be bygones.

And, learn to live in this moment–this moment that is LIFE!

 

 

Try it and let me know how you felt. I know, I am going to play this game, for sure!

 

Love,

SHILPA…

 

How holding on to stressful events is harmful for our health and our Life.

 

 

 

The school that gave Mithu an identity. #HelpMithuSaveSchool

The school that gave Mithu an identity. #HelpMithuSaveSchool

Sometime back, I met a blogger friend whose passion for her writing and a cause dear to her heart left me amazed. Damyanti Biswas introduced us to the Project Why that works towards providing educational support to underprivileged children under the guidance of Anouradha Bakshi.

It’s a non-profit, after-school support program that works towards the all-round development of children apart from imparting education and equipping them with life skills that help them in securing a decent  future for themselves.

Project WHY has, so far, reached out to almost 1200 children and 160 women. and since 2005, they have also been conducting a computer education programme which is in need of funds for its survival.

Damyanti proposed this Valentine’s Day Blogathon to spread the word through our blogs and find the much-needed help for the centre and for Mithu.

Sharing today, the heartwarming story of Mithu, from the computer centre and his fearless attitude towards life that has made him a real life Hero. A Hero who, today, needs your love and support to help him continue with his work as a computer teacher.

MITHU’S STORY:

When he was a little kid, Mithu lost both his legs to Polio. A student at the Project WHY Okhla centre, he was never interested in formal education, but developed a liking for computers.

The centre, which was established about 14 years ago at the site of a dustbin, provided formal education to 350 children from the nearby underprivileged communities. Working on his passion for computers, Mithu climbed up the ladder of success with his hard work and is now a computer teacher at the same centre that gave him a new life.

A centre that worked towards saving the children from the demons of drug addiction, it was started at the dumping site with only a plastic sheet and four poles to offer the students some shade and a place to bring a change in their lives.

WIth the tireless efforts of Anouradha Bakshi, Mithu and other teachers, the centre went from strength to strength and today is a proud structure that offers primary and secondary education as well as computer education to the children and employment to the adults.

However, the school is in dire need of funds lest it has to close down and Mithu loses his job, his passion. And, it is our responsibility to spread the word and find the help for Mithu and the school, for the simple reason that it is a place that saves children from the negative elements of our society and nurtures them so that they bloom into responsible adults and make a life for themselves.

 

THE NEED FOR FUNDING:

The centre needs sustainable funds to meet these needs:

  1. 4 Staff Honorariums for 6 months:      379, 104 (5,330 USD)
  2. Electricity for 6 months:                           9,000 (125 USD)
  3. Learning aids & Stationary:                    15, 000 (210 USD)
  4. Laptop for Mithu:                                   33, 700 (475  USD)
  5. Internet:                                                   3, 000( 45 USD)
  6. Bank fees for Fundraiser:                        48, 379 (680 USD)

 

    TOTAL:                                                   488, 183 (6, 685 USD)

 

I am sharing this post on my blog to spread the word about this wonderful centre and an amazing computer teacher who need help so that they can continue working for the underprivileged and save many more lives.

If you wish to contribute, just click here: #HelpMithuSaveSchool

You may either donate to the centre or spread the word through social media, either ways your contribution will be valuable for the teachers: Mithu, Sophia Tirkey, Pushpa Kumar, Naresh Bharadwaj and their school!

 

DONATING ONLINE TO THE FUNDRAISER:

Let’s help Mithu raise Rs. 488, 183 (6,865 USD).

If you would like to know more about the school, click here to read some inspiring stories of the teachers who work at the centre and the Valentine’s Day Blogathon–Save a school here.

 

 

I am writing this post for We Are The World Blogfest where we share true stories of real life heroes from around the world, who make a difference to the society they live in. Do join in with your own posts if you come across such true stories that strike a chord or move you with their humaneness and their beauty!

 

We Are The World Blogfest

Book on nutrition, by Rujuta Diwekar

Book on nutrition, by Rujuta Diwekar

 

INDIAN SUPER FOODS, by Rujuta Diwekar.

I received this book from my blogger friend, Ashvini Naik for a quiz on Instagram that I won. I wanted to do this post on the book ever since, but somehow it got delayed. Nevertheless, here it is, today. It is certainly not a review, but about a book that I found extremely helpful, informative and practical.

Rujuta Diwekar is a famous name amongst Indians for the health and nutrition tips she gives; lessons on diet that are easy to follow, make a lot of sense, and are inspired by the food habits of our ancestors.

I totally agree with Ms. Diwekar’s motto of eating what’s grown locally; eating every 2 -3 hours and eating all that you like, but, within limits.

In this book, Ms. Diwekar introduces us to 10 Indian Super foods that not only help in reducing weight, but help care for our overall health.

The foods she has discussed are:

GHEE: THE FAT BURNER

KOKUM (MANGOSTEEN): THE NATURAL ANTACID

BANANA: THE RECHARGER

KAJU (CASHEW): THE ANTI-DEPRESSANT

AMBADI (ROSELLE PLANT): THE STOMACH-SOOTHER

RICE: THE GRAIN THAT SUSTAINS

COCONUT: THE CALMER

ALIV (WATERCRESS SEEDS): THE BEAUTY PILL

JACKFRUIT: THE FERTILITY BOOSTER

SUGAR: THE ANTI-AGEING SECRET.

These are the ten foods she speaks about in a language and style that is so easy to understand and relate to.

She goes back to the times of our grandmothers and how they incorporated seasonal fruits/vegetables in their everyday diet to stay healthy.

How and why they insisted on avoiding certain foods in certain seasons as these harm not only our health, but also that of the Universe!

She has beautifully explained how, according to Ayurveda, one should not eat food that disturbs our personal constitution as well as one that disturbs the constitution of the Universe–a principle based on the understanding that what can cause harm to the human being, can also cause harm to the entire Creation.

She has also given tips on how and when to incorporate these super foods in our diet; ways in which these foods are used to manufacture snacks, health foods etc to be consumed by people when they need those nutrients the most.

She has cleared certain myths regarding foods like Ghee and Sugar–yes, the food stuff that is abhorred by the health fanatics.

Her very casual way of explaining makes one feel like she is having a chat with us, telling us what, how and why we ought to eat foods which will improve our health in such a way that we stay healthy–right from our gut to our skin, or from the inside to the outside!

I would suggest you read the book. Making certain changes in our diet based on Ms. Diwekar’s teachings is sure to restore your health and vitality and give you the body of your dreams!

Love,

SHILPA…

Indian Super Foods, a book by Rujuta Diwekar for every diet fanatic.