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, 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 straight and 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. Do a few shoulder exercises so that the stiff muscles get a chance to get back in their original position (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. 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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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!

What I learned from everyday blogging. #A2Z

What I learned from everyday 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.

How everyday blogging helped me

 

Y – Yeah Write. #AtoZ

Y – Yeah Write. #AtoZ

A to Z Blogging Challenge

I discovered YeahWrite at Shailaja’s blog some years ago. She had written a post for the YeahWrite Weekly Writing Challenges.

Her post was flawless, as all of her posts always are. The language, the grammar, the tone of the post — all of it.

On visiting YeahWrite, I found how they have weekly challenges for fiction, non-fiction, and micro-prose, where you write for the one you are comfortable with and then share it with them.

The YeahWrite community helps you cultivate your writing; helps you polish your craft by critiquing and feedback that focuses on the areas you need to work on.

The first post I wrote for one of the challenges, I received a lengthy ‘love letter’ from them. And, it contained a detailed feedback that showed me where I had made errors and where I had scored.

That was my first such post that had been actually critiqued instead of just appreciated in the comments section as always.

It did come as a shock to me when I realised where I stood. I mean, I needed to work a LOT as far as my writing was concerned. It embarrassed me no end –that love letter– and made me think things over.

I needed to work on every aspect of my writing if I had to earn some brownie points from the YeahWrite team. I was ready to work, but at the same time, I was also intimidated by the whole ritual of getting the feedback for my work. A serious critique can pull you down from the pedestal you have placed yourself on!

It was Shailaja, who explained how criticism was necessary for me if I wanted to improve my craft. Without that, I would only be a mediocre writer!

Last year, I began sharing my posts for the Non-fiction writing challenges at YeahWrite. This time, though, they had done away with the love letters and instead shared the feedback in the comments section.

The thing with writing posts for YeahWrite is once you know what’s expected of you, you tend to put in extra effort into your writing. And, do you know what that does? It helps hone your writing to a degree you never imagined!

It holds a mirror to your work and shows you exactly where you err, and where you shine. And, that is what we writers need to know.

Our blogger friends will never point out our mistakes. Some of them are too sweet to even point out our typos! But, that’s the adulation we really do not need if we are to do well for ourselves.

So, if you are a newbie blogger, or an old-timer, and haven’t heard about YeahWrite, then I would suggest you pay them a visit. And, start participating in their weekly writing challenges. Yes, you will have to slog to present good work; you will also find it embarrassing having your mistakes pointed out in the comments section under your posts.

But, believe me, it will definitely be worth it!

Love,

SHILPA.

April 2018 A to Z blogging Challenge

My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is all about my blog, Metanoia, and my blogging journey from the time  I started, 5 years ago. The lessons I learned, the tips and tricks I picked up from fellow bloggers and the guidelines I could have used back when I began.

You will find all of my A to Z posts here.

 

 

X – Why blogging eXcites me. #AtoZ

X – Why blogging eXcites me. #AtoZ

 

My blog, my baby!

I am addicted to blogging. In fact, the title of this post should have been, ‘Why I am addicted to blogging.’ I had to replace ‘addicted’ with ‘Xcites’ as this is a post for the letter, X.

So, for starters, my blog is my baby. I created it, and so, am proud of it. I have quite a few aspirations for it, just like every other parent. And, doing the best for my baby has become a passion, an obsession.

Secondly, my blog is mine. MINE. I won’t have to share it with anybody. Okay, that does sound rather childish, but aren’t we humans a possessive lot? Mine, mine, mine! We all claim proprietorship over anything and everything that belongs to our world. MY  home, MY spouse, MY children, MY friend. Just like that, MY blog!

My blog is what will stay with me, always. It won’t abandon me in my old age, unless, of course, I stop blogging in my old age! It won’t break my heart, or betray me. And, most importantly, it won’t stifle a yawn while I pour out my feelings to it!

Blogging gave me a chance to work on my writing. Else, jotting down random stuff in my diary was all the writing I did earlier; all of which really did not satisfy me. Connecting and bonding with some really wonderful people and making some friends I can trust, is what blogging gave me. Where else would I have found so much joy?

Over the last year, I have become addicted to blogging. As the day begins, I am in a hurry to finish the morning chores and sit down at my table, laptop in front of me, typing a post, reading a post or deliberating over a post. That moment, when I am doing either of these activities, is the moment I am happiest.

At such times, nothing in the world bothers me. Be it a tiff with the hubby or a health problem, or even my terrible mood swings. Everything gets pushed to the background when I write.

I can’t think of any other activity that could give me such happiness, such peace of mind. Oh, apart from baking, of course, or playing with dogs, or my pet, Cookie!

Reading comments on my posts feels much more important than listening to my nephew’s chatter when he is at home. And, when a favourite post fails to receive the kind of response I expected, my heart skips a few beats, more than it would if nephew dear was to fair badly at some school test!

Similarly, if a certain post faired brilliantly with my blogger friends, then it feels like I have been nominated for an Oscar!

So, these are the reasons why blogging Xcites me! Why it makes me feel alive!

How about you?

Does blogging Xcite you? Are you addicted to blogging, too?

Do share with me what’s it about blogging that sets your pulse racing.

Love,

SHILPA…

April 2018 A to Z blogging Challenge

My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is all about my blog, Metanoia, and my blogging journey from the time  I started, 5 years ago. The lessons I learned, the tips and tricks I picked up from fellow bloggers and the guidelines I could have used back when I began.

You will find all of my A to Z posts here.