Healthcare for bloggers.

Healthcare for bloggers.

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Okay, this post is not only meant for bloggers, but all those who work on computers all day, which is quite a lot of people slouched in front of their computers/laptops for more than 9 hours, or so. So, it is that many people experiencing aches and pains, day after day, and doing nothing about it, because, well, there’s work to be done, blogs to be visited, articles to be written and read! Right?

This post might seem longish, but, do read it to the end.

So, to begin with, how do you sit when you sit down to work? In a chair, or on your sofa or your bed with your laptop placed on your lap? I hope you sit in a chair with the laptop placed on the table, with your back erect all the time. But, I am sure we all sit that way only for a while. Eventually, we slouch, our backs bent, necks almost craning to peep into the screens. Tell me this is how you sit and I will tell you how very wrong that is for your body.

By the end of the day, you develop a pain in your lower back and your legs, a pain in your neck, pain and stiffness in your shoulders and tired and dry eyes. Isn’t it?

But, worry not, for there are just somethings that, if you follow, will help you drive the pain away. Provided you do it everyday, and not just today and tomorrow! So, let’s begin!

 

Things to remember while working on your computer:

1.SIT WITH YOUR BACK ERECT and feet flat on the floor, or placed on a footrest, thighs parallel to the ground and wrists in line with your forearms. If you wish to sit on your bed, at least do not sit in a reclining position, with your back resting against pillows. Sit erect, place the laptop on a laptop table.

2. DO NOT SIT FOR LONG. Time yourself. Sit for about 45 – 50 minutes and then just switch off the computer and go for a walk. Complete some chores around the house, or walk around your house/ work place. But do take a 5-10 minute break and WALK. Exercise your legs.

3. MAKE SURE YOUR NECK IS NOT BENT OVER THE KEYBOARD and keep your shoulders relaxed. Some people have the habit of flicking their neck side to side in quick movements when they sense some stiffness in their neck. Please do not do that!

Instead, do a few neck exercises: Sit cross legged on the floor, or in a chair, but sit with your spine erect. Turn your face upwards and then slowly bend down as if to touch your chin to your chest(5 times). Then, look from side to side (5 times), again do it slowly. Next, bend your head as if trying to touch the ear to the shoulder. Don’t actually touch your shoulder, just bend, as slowly as you can– 5 times on both the sides–right to left.

4. EYE CARE: We tend to stare at our screens and forget to blink. Blinking cleans the eyes and keeps them moist. So, blink, consciously. Every 20 minutes, look away from your screen and stare at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Remember this 20-20-20 rule. Or. Look out of your window.

When you take your hourly breaks and after you have had a walk, sit straight in your chair and do these two eye exercises:

Blinking- Squeeze shut your eyes tight and open them wide , instantly. Squeeze them shut, again, and open them wide. Follow it 10 times.

Palming: Rub your palms together till they feel warm and then place them lightly on your eyes. Slowly count till 100 and feel your eyes relax. Wash your eyes as many times as you can with cool water. I use Refresh Tear Drops, thrice a day, to keep my eyes feeling fresh.

5. SHOULDER EXERCISES for stiff muscles give your shoulders a chance to relax and unwind (you might sit erect and all, but you won’t even notice when you slouch!). You could do these exercises after the neck exercises.

Lift your shoulders and move them backwards, as if trying to touch the shoulder blades to each other. Then, bring them down and then move them in the front, making a complete circle with your shoulders. Go slow. Do this a few times- clockwise and anticlockwise. Then, once your shoulders are relaxed, lift them up to your ears and ‘drop’ them down in their original position. Again, do it slowly, for a few times. Breathe easy.

Each time you take a break, follow it up with the ‘Blinking’ and ‘Palming’ exercises, and the shoulder exercises. Push your shoulder blades towards each other to stretch those muscles to relax them, every now and then. The pain that you are bound to experience from stiff shoulders when you wake up every morning, will only increase every day if you don’t take care now.

6. WORKOUT FOR WRISTS: Your wrists could also stiffen from being in the same position continuously. Rotate your wrists a few times, slowly, clockwise and anticlockwise. Your fingers, too, need to be exercised regularly. Open your palms, spread out your fingers and then close them into a fist. Do it a few times, slowly.

The eye, neck and shoulder exercises don’t take more than 15 minutes, so, I would suggest doing these every morning, as soon as you wake up. Here are a few more eye exercises you could do before moving on to the neck exercises.

Try and go for a walk everyday–morning or evening–for at least 30 minutes. Pay attention to your breathing when you walk and enjoy the fresh outdoor air. After being cooped up inside the house, or office, all day long, you need the workout.

I have stressed on going “slow” while doing every exercise because you need to be slow and not in a hurry to finish it off and get back to your work, or tense your muscles or joints, unnecessarily. Be gentle and caring towards yourself, while exercising, for the simple reason that it’s your body, not a machine that won’t feel pain or get hurt.

Follow these simple exercises regularly and watch the pain recede. Of course, it won’t vanish completely in a matter of days, but eventually, it will subside. If the pain continues, do visit a physiologist or consult a doctor, but please, do take care of yourself.

That’s it for today, for my hour is up and it’s time for me to go for my walk.

Take care, you all!

Love,

SHILPA…

 

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Caring for your health will help you work better over the years.

 

 

Metanoia turns one!

Metanoia turns one!

I remember, it was a year ago, that I was at my table, pulling my hair out in frustration, shedding copious tears over all that was going wrong for the tech-challenged me. Moving my old blog to WordPress without a glitch and creating a new blog I had envisioned…uff! Just remembering those times makes me want to pinch myself. Is it a year already? Did I successfully create a blog on WordPress on my own? Without ruining my four years of hard work?

Ah! And, what a year it has been! A year of realising my blogging dream–of having a blog that belonged to a niche, of assuring myself that I was on the right track, and of writing with a renewed zest, with the only aim being to enjoy the journey. I admit, I was a bit late in realising that writing for myself and for the love of it would help, much more than writing with the aim of “succeeding” as a blogger. But, as they say, better late than never!

Writing every post, creating images, sharing my posts…this is what I love. This is what I truly enjoy. And, the fruit of this labour – the comments I receive, the joy I derive from connecting with other bloggers and watching my writing getting better by the day, finding courage to share my Life, sharing facts about Life and its varied hues. The list is endless!

A few days ago, I requested some of my dear blogger friends and cousins to write a short review of my blog, or what they thought about my blog. The outpouring of love that I received left me elated, blessed! Learning what others think about my writing, about how I present facts of Life and how my words resonate with others, left me stunned, and made me feel honoured. For I know these wonderful people have expressed the truth and not just praised me to the skies!

And, for their warm words, I will be ever so grateful to each of them. And, to all of you, too, dear readers! Today, on the first anniversary of Metanoia, all I ask of you is to keep encouraging me, motivating me with your words, so that I keep pushing myself towards realising a tiny dream I dreamt for myself. Of taking Metanoia to the position I have envisaged. And, of being a better writer than I am today.

Thank you, everyone, for visiting Metanoia and showering us with such love and warmth! Your emotions that you share with me through your comments are priceless!

Love,

SHILPA…

Sharing here, the love my dear ones showered on Metanoia…

First blog anniversary!

5 posts I loved this month. June’18

5 posts I loved this month. June’18

This month onwards, I am introducing another segment at Metanoia, where I will share  posts I read that moved me, struck a chord, or even urged me to look at Life from a new perspective. It’s good, isn’t it, to have something ‘new’ in Life, every now and then? So, apart from From my bookshelf’, there’s going to be,‘Most loved posts of the month’.

That does not mean the rest of the posts I read aren’t enjoyable, or inspiring enough. But there are posts that really make me sit up as I reread the words that stir me the way  certain words do.  And, hence this post on some special posts!

So, without further ado, let’s get going, shall we?

1. The month began with a post from one of my favourite bloggers, and also a very dear friend, Shailaja Vishwanath. Yes, she finds umpteen mentions at Metanoia! Shailaja, do take a bow if you are reading this, my dear!

So, she published a post that grabbed me, instantly. Why? Because the feelings she described in the post mirrored mine.

That feeling of being insignificant, a ‘loser’ and being jealous of the world around as it gallops ahead, successfully; surpasses you as you trudge along, despite all the effort you put in. That feeling of being left behind in the race, and being too consumed with jealousy as you watch all the others succeeding in every venture they undertake.

However, this feeling was not what the post was all about. It was all about a little word that I came across, that changed the way I treated this very feeling. A word that made me realise I needed to give my thinking a much-needed makeover!

FIRGUN. A Hebrew word…umm…well, let me share with you the link so you can learn all about it, yourself!

Firgun: A beautiful quality

Every word this woman chooses is akin to a jeweller choosing the perfect gems to create an exquisite ornament! Okay, let me not spoil it for you with my metaphors! Do go, read it. I am sure you will change the way you think and feel, not just about Life, but also about success and failure.

2. The next post comes from another dear friend of mine, Sunita Rajwade .It came during the week that brought with it a lot of sadness for many a soul amidst us. The passing of two celebrities: Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade. The news of their suicides shocked the world, leaving many broken hearted. That week, when the spotlight was on SUICIDE, and, what makes people take the extreme step.

It’s a post in memory of her dear friend who succumbed to depression–the demon that swallows up a person, leaving him helpless and without a thread of hope to hold on to.

When recent celebrity suicides trigger deep seated dark memories

Sunita’s posts are also very well articulated. The way she expresses her mind, her thoughts..makes me wish I could write like she does! Classy is the word that I would use to describe her writing.

3. The next post I liked is from Suzie, of Suzie Speaks.  It’s a post all of us bloggers will find extremely useful. Why? Because it teaches us how to create images with pictures clicked at our home, with simple props that we could buy at our local market, or even find at home!

A post that will help us give that personal touch to our images and a shine to our posts!

How to create flat lay images using basic props

Do visit her. I am sure you will love her blog, as well as the posts she brings for her readers!

4. I am all for motivational quotes. Metanoia is primarily a health and wellness blog, but Inspirational-Motivational is its second most important segment.

It’s the words in a quote that can add sunshine to your world. We wake up each day, thinking, planning, or even dreading the moments that lie before us, for each of us goes through stuff that has the potential to leave us either overwhelmed or completely broken.

And, it’s at the period when we are at our lowest that we need words to lift our morale, put a smile on our face and a little hope in our heart. Hope, that all’s not over!

Soumya Prasad begins her day with a motivational quote on her Instagram account. Do visit her.  I visit her just for the quotes she shares, for many a time it’s her quotes that put back the faith in my heart and the confidence in my spirits. And, I am quite in awe of her for being candid about her feelings and her opinions about the world and its citizens, too! 😛

Why daily motivation helps.

Do visit her. I am sure you will love the way she expresses her thoughts–fearlessly! I so wish I could be even 30% like her!

5. And, the last post that is also very inspirational in nature comes from another dear friend of mine-Esha Mookerjee Dutta.

Esha is a Literature student and her writing is like poetry for the soul! Oh god, I get blown away each time I read her words! Another blogger I wish to emulate, Esha’s post comes from the experiences Life gave her…is giving her. And, the topic is something that so resonated with me. Having been through some tough times and emerging strand saner, we both learned quite a lot.

It’s only during the tough phases that we learn some very useful lessons, isn’t it? There’s no other way God would ever teach us stuff about Life, would He?

What adversity has taught me

Do visit her, too. I am sure you will come back enlightened!

I mean every word, Esha! ❤

 

So, that’s my list of awesome posts from June. I hope you all like these. Not just like, but also find them inspiring, moving and informative, too! Do leave your views in the comments section. Would love to hear from you!

 

Love,

SHILPA..

 

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Posts that inspire

Fearless Nadia and The Dragon.

Fearless Nadia and The Dragon.

As a kid, I remember how I wished someone would follow me around with a handheld camera, capturing my bravado. My childish mind fancied being under the spotlight, for I believed I was Fearless Nadia.

I was around 7 then, a babysitter for my kid brother, who was three. The very protective elder sister who would slay dragons for her younger sibling. Sadly, there weren’t any real dragons then, except the one who breathed fire each time he roared out my name.

Dad.

So it happened that one hot summer afternoon, I was entertaining my kid brother in our tiny backyard. There was this wall that separated our house from our backdoor neighbours’. A wall which the cats used as a hunting ground at night.

Eager for an adventure of sorts, I lifted my brother and seated him on the wall. It wasn’t too high a structure–a mere three feet in height–and was right under a papaya tree that offered some cool respite.

After getting him settled, I climbed up, myself, to show him the very beautiful world that was our backyard. It being noontime, I wasn’t scared of any feline company to spoil the show. God, I hated those evil looking cats back then; particularly a tomcat, who seemed like the devil incarnate. His ugly, yellow eyes gave me a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach.

So, there we sat, a happy pair of kids counting papayas and enjoying some avian orchestra when all of a sudden, I felt a presence behind me.

I turned around to see HIM standing just a few feet away, glaring at me with his evil eyes. His tail up high and his stance–all ready to pounce on his prey. Or so I thought.

My stomach began churning like crazy as my mind began visualising every kind of horrid scene, with blood splattered all over the wall and me covered with scratch marks and bites.

My heart thumped madly in my chest. I couldn’t even hear myself yelling at him to go away. Was I really yelling? Or yelping? I can’t recollect.

But, I do remember picking up my brother and jumping to the ground, into mother’s tiny vegetable patch. Of course, the jump wasn’t timed perfectly. I landed on my back, with my kid brother on top of me.

I had saved my kid brother from the evil feline!

Oh boy, was I relieved or what!

Scrambling to get up and pick up my brother, all at once, I tripped on one of the tomato plants. But, I managed to flee the spot and rush indoors, with the sibling bawling his head off.

I was shivering with panic and fear, and yet feeling extremely brave and proud for having played the role of Nadia to perfection. But, little did I imagine the kind of reaction our little escapade would elicit from The Dragon.

Trembling with nervous excitement, I narrated the incident to dad and mother, proudly stating how I had saved the kiddo from the tomcat, and also from falling to the ground and hurting himself. I was imagining myself on the silver screen during the entire episode, being lauded and patted on the back by The Dragon, but was soon brought to my senses with a whack on my leg.

“Why the hell did you have to place him on the wall?” roared The Dragon. I gaped at him, openmouthed, unable to speak. I mean, unbelievable, right, after everything you go through for that kid?

The whack, the kid bawling, dad yelling–all of it wiped out all the bravado I had felt just moments ago. My shoulders drooped, I walked out of the room, dejected. I think I swore I’d never even touch their favourite child, ever again!

That was the last time I climbed that damned backyard wall. I stopped enjoying our backyard adventures, too.

I didn’t stop imagining being followed by someone with a handheld camera, though. Guess I must have been a silver screen star in some past life!

The Dragon mellowed with age, thankfully. Now he is the timid rabbit that I used to be all those years ago.

And, I am The Dragon.

********************

This post has been written for the YeahWrite weekly writing challenge.

Daily blogging. #A2Z

Daily blogging. #A2Z


Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

April was a hectic month thanks to the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I participated in a month-long blogging challenge three years ago (I think) and since then had decided to stay away from it. The thought of writing every day made me nervous, unsure as I was of my innovativeness!

But I decided to take the plunge this year as Metanoia was created last year and was, comparatively, new to the blogging world. It needed the attention a daily blogging activity could give it.

Thankfully, I came up with a theme and that made a lot of difference. I was prepared with the topics for almost all the letters, except V and X. But, thanks to my blogger friends, I could write on these, too!

Suffice to say, this challenge was not just nerve-wracking, but exciting and fulfilling, too. And, I am glad I chose to participate instead of giving in to my fears.

Blogging every day taught me quite a few things about myself. Of course, it did help me connect with some really wonderful bloggers, as well. And, we know how important that is for us all.

But –at the risk of sounding boastful–the stuff I discovered about myself makes my heart swell with pride! Sharing these with you all today; I am sure these will resonate with you if you, too, have participated in the A to Z.

Lessons I learned from blogging every day:

Writing is –after art– the most therapeutic activity I indulge in.  An activity that helps me stay sane amid the chaos that Life can often prove to be. The whole of last month there was a lot going on in Life. A LOT. But, it was only because of my writing that I stayed in one piece. Despite the hectic schedule of A to Z and the scene on the personal front, I enjoyed blogging every day!

I can write every day. Whether I am in the mood, or not. Whether I am prepared, or not. All I need to do is work on a topic, and then sit down in front of my laptop and begin to type. The fingers just dance on the keyboard!

Writing every day makes me feel good about myself. And, at the end of the day, it’s how I feel about myself that really matters! As I wrote every day and toiled every day, I actually felt good. Not every word may have made any sense, not every post may have turned out superb, but it made me feel proud of my writing. What more does a blogger want?

Writing on blogging helped me work on my skills.  Sharing tips with bloggers on different aspects of blogging gave me a chance to do my homework well. It gave me a chance to rectify the errors I made.  I learned something new every day.  So, yes, everyday blogging is definitely an enriching experience!

Expressing my thoughts in 500 words is now a blogging expertise!  Writing lengthy posts for A to Z ensures lesser visits. Ask me, I know! The last time I participated in the A to Z, I just let myself go.  My posts were so lengthy, I desisted from reading them myself! So, this year, I made sure my posts did not cross the 500-word mark. Phew!  it did take some ingenuity, but I managed.

So, there you go. This is what I learned from everyday blogging. And, despite being dog-tired and on a break to restore my peace of mind, I have been contemplating participating in the A to Z next year, too!

I have zeroed in on a couple of topics. All I need to do is work on them throughout this year so that I am readier next April!

How about you?

How was your experience blogging every day? Do you plan on participating next year, too?

Love,

SHILPA.

 

Blogging everyday can help you tremendously if you wish to make it your profession.