Put that phone away!

Put that phone away!


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Last month, I wrote a post on a particular habit that I needed to change. I had promised myself that I would work on it and come back a month later to write about how I had successfully kicked the habit. So, here I am!

I had planned on exercising control over my phone usage and use my time constructively. As I said, habits take a while to change, to become habits. I had given myself a month, and today, I feel so good about myself because, although I haven’t kicked the habit altogether, I have learned to control the urge.

Now, my phone stays away from me in the mornings, till I finish my workout and my chores. I reach for it only after I have had my breakfast. I scroll through the messages and the news feed on Fb and Instagram. But then, I remind myself after about 15 minutes that my time is up. That there is work to be done, articles to be written, so put that thing away!

The Wi-Fi stays on, but the phone stays away. The rest of the day, too, I pick up the phone for a while, but I have observed that after some time, I tire of gazing into the phone and put it away sooner than I used to.

Most evenings, the Wi-Fi is switched off and some days, I just leave it like that. There isn’t much to see in there, anyway, and surely, the world isn’t going to change in the time I stay away from it all! And, if someone does need to get in touch with me, they can call me up. People to whom I matter know how to get in touch with me; they don’t need to reach out through a social media platform.

The peace I experience at such times is unbelievable and inexplicable. It also helps that I have a couple of good books that whisk me away from the madness that is social media. Also, the need to make better use of my time keeps me on my toes all day. My to-do list has quite a many items that need to be ticked off before the end of the day.

it is, indeed, satisfying seeing all those tasks accomplished, and, it is this contentment that propels me to keep working harder and stay away from the “distractions”.

Of course, there are days when nothing around seems to interest me and that is when the phone stays with me for longer. But, the need to keep my promise to myself is stronger than the need to entertain a bored and an idle mind. For such days, I use Netflix and watch a good movie–my TV viewing is 2 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the least amount of time I spend watching the idiot box.

I had ended my post on a positive note, with hope and promise that I would, indeed, work on my habit. Maybe that is the reason I could put my heart into it. The responsibility I have towards myself made me work on it, seriously.

Being responsible for our actions is what makes the difference in our attitude. My father used to say that we need to be true to ourselves and everything will fall into place. Those words echoed in my mind each time I reached for the phone earlier in the past month. As a child, I hardly could fathom the meaning behind those words; it is now, as I work on myself, that I understand what they stand for.

The struggle to stay away from the gadget can’t be called a “struggle” today. In fact, on some days, I consider the phone to be the most uninteresting piece of invention by man and reach for my book!

Just writing these words gives me a feeling of utmost satisfaction. Feels really good to realise I care for myself more than stuff–unnecessary stuff. Glad to tick off another item on my list of ‘Things to do to love yourself’!

Love,

SHILPA…

P.S.

Just so you know, the amount of time you spend looking at your phone today, is half the amount of time you will be spending at your ophthalmologist. Also, you have just this pair of eyes to use in this life time.

SHILPA…

I came across these 10 simple ways to break bad habits. Do try and follow these. I am sure you will find a difference in yourself some day soon.

Easy ways to change old habits.

How do you deal with loneliness?

How do you deal with loneliness?

Loneliness.

A feeling that has been a companion since so long now, I could very well put it up on a pedestal and bestow on it the title of ‘Best friend for life’!

Why? Why not? Don’t we all know that not a single soul in our life is ours forever? None, except us, can make ourselves a priority – a fact we often discover quite late in life.

We keep pursuing people, hoping they put us before themselves, are considerate towards our feelings, and make us their centre of attention, for life. How often we return disappointed!

The problem with us is we fail to remember that life changes, so do people and their priorities. Be they our friends, our partners, our children. Each of them have a life they would want to explore, try new garbs, shed the old ones.

Okay, our partners may not forsake us for greener pastures, but once the novelty in the relationship fades away, the equation begins to undergo changes that often leave us feeling ignored, lonely, and frustrated.

Work, friends, hobbies become the focal point of either of the partners, making the other feel left out. The realisation, that you come after the others, their friends, especially, can leave one feeling miserable. It may not be a conscious move, but that’s how life functions. And, the resultant heartbreak can be quite difficult to bear.

Looking after MIL and our pet Chikoo, and the absence of any friends to talk to had left me with no adult human interaction on a daily basis. Believe me, that can cause havoc on your psyche. I mean, how much could I converse with my MIL – a patient of a mental illness, who was fighting her own demons? Or with Chikoo – a canine?

The loneliness that arose, drove me over the edge. I couldn’t be drawing, or writing, or reading or watching TV all day long, could I?

I needed someone to talk to, spend time with.

It was with time that I realised, that expecting anything from anybody, even from my partner, would only lead to disappointment and heartache. No person would be there for me, or with me, always.

Except myself.

That’s when I decided to befriend myself. Become my favourite companion. So much so, that people become redundant…for me! Sounds weird? Trust me, there is nothing as liberating and as joyful as spending time with yourself, with nary a need for another soul.

I also found the joys in going out on dates – with myself!

Believe me, these are the best dates you will ever go on! Refreshing, exciting and so calming.

Have you tried it? I urge you to do it, if you haven’t.

Leave the kids with hubby for a day, or a few hours, and just go. Go wherever you wish to go, do whatever you wish to do, and then see for yourself how thrilling the experience can be!

There are some exciting things you could indulge in to deal with your loneliness once you are done brooding, because, honey, accept it – your guy/girl will have better things to do than be by your side when you want them to. Why burden them with your expectations and why torture yourself with all the resulting bitterness? Learn to take care of yourself now, and you will never need another person during your low moments, aka ‘loneliness’.

So, here goes..

THINGS TO DO TO DRIVE AWAY YOUR LONELINESS:

1. If you feel like crying your heart out, just go ahead and CRY. Throw yourself a pity party.. But, a word of caution here – DO NOT extend the party after an hour. You don’t need to empty your lachrymal glands! Save some for the future.

2. Call up your closest friends, or call them over for a heart-to-heart. Friends, who know you inside out, know the magic words that will drive away your blues!

3. If you are into it, or would like to give it a try, pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back and let it work its wonders on you. Put on some music (peppy numbers) at full volume and sing along at the top of your lungs! (I have been doing it for so long now..believe me this is the best one on the list!). Do not go overboard with the Wine. Stay within limits. And, if there’s no wine at home, reach for a fizzy drink!

4. Workout/go for a brisk walk, or a power walk for 45 minutes. The activity will not only help you sweat it out, but leave you feeling rejuvenated, and on top of the world! (This is the second best).

5. Read a good book, or watch a good film. But, I would advice you to stay away from romantic films, precisely for the reason that these will make you feel melancholic.

6. Get into your cleaning gear – gloves, aprons etc – and clean the house! Nothing like scrubbing the bathroom, or the kitchen. The sparkling room at the end of it all will leave you with a sense of achievement like nothing else!

7. De-clutter: Another activity that is simply so satisfying. Get rid of the clutter from your wardrobe, your kitchen cabinets, delete old email…and in doing so, you unconsciously de-clutter your mental room, too, do you know that? Try it. 

8. Cook your favourite recipe/bake a cake or cookies – only for yourself! Enjoy a good, hearty meal, with music, candles, what-have-you! Or, go eat out. All by yourself. Just do it and see for yourself! Let hubby/wifey babysit for a change!

9. Paint/draw/write…indulge in your favourite hobby. If the kids are at home, then play some kiddie music and join them for a dance. Dance like no one’s watching – the kids will love it and so will you! Plus, dancing is one of the best exercises…it raises your happiness hormones–endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. 

10. Visit a park and relive your childhood days. An hour on the swings, the slide or the see-saw, or even the jungle-gym will bring back fond memories of your childhood and put an instant joy in your heart. How many years since you sat on a swing and swung to your heart’s content? 

Actually, the possibilities are endless. All you need to do, is spot them yourself and go berserk! Or, get as imaginative as you can. Your partner isn’t home anyways, so you might as well make hay while the sun shines! What say? It will only help you become emotionally independent, my dear!

How do you drive away your loneliness? Do share with me…I could do with some more tips on my list! I am a work in progress, you see!

Love,

SHILPA…

 

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EFFECTIVE WAYS TO DEAL WITH LONELOINESS

 

Busting Cliches – Book Review.

Busting Cliches – Book Review.

Book: Busting Cliches.

Author: Mahevash Shaikh

Genre: Non-fiction

Format: Paper back & Kindle edition

 

About the book:   Mahevash Shaikh, in her debut, has collated 20  cliches that are (often) misinterpreted,  and used inappropriately, resulting in their true meaning being lost on us.  She has expounded on the  actual thoughts behind the cliches for us to understand and follow. She has also included anecdotes by people whose experiences could teach us a thing or two about how we need to  make amends in our way of following those cliches/beliefs.

She has included popular music references as well as stick figures  to drive home the point she intends to make in every chapter.  A chapter typically consists of first the cliche, for example, “Look before you leap”, followed by its intended meaning (weigh the consequences before you make the move) and then the misunderstood version (always be cautious and don’t take risks) and then a music reference ending with the stick figure cartoon.

At the end of every chapter, she has provided space for the readers to write down their thoughts on if and how they  need to change their beliefs  and their perspectives in order to handle life situations in a mature fashion and work towards reaching their goals.

 

My review:  The book, for me, was an eye-opener.  Every cliche discussed in this book is one that we use in our day to day lives. The ones that seem outdated, haunt us with their modern meanings, testing our beliefs at every step.  Mahevash states that the book is “for young people everywhere”. Well, I would say, it is for everybody, irrespective of their age or experience in life!

We form certain beliefs based on the knowledge we attain, or by what is passed down from generations. Seldom using our own discernment, we follow the “cliches” blindly. Then, even if we are required to “jump into a well” by these beliefs, we do it, without pausing to reflect if our actions make any sense!  It makes most of us look like the rats who blindly follow the Pied Piper and plunge to their death!

Here are a couple of cliches I would like to share.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Intended meaning:  People are a lot like their parents, in terms of habits, personality and appearance.

Misunderstood version:  The capabilities of a person are predetermined by their genes. As in, what you can and cannot do, depends on your parents’ accomplishments and failures. 

We often hear about people expecting certain things from their offspring just because they are their flesh and blood.  If the father is a doctor/engineer, then it is expected from the child to follow in his footsteps, regardless of the fact that he/she may have interests/capabilities different from the father. How many lives get ruined because of this line of thinking!  Rarely is it taken into consideration that each individual has his own unique personality. Their freedom to choose their destiny is snatched from them at an early age and so often we read about the outcome of all the pressure the child has to go through. Sad, isn’t it?

 

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Intended meaning: Physical force will hurt me, but your insults will not.

Misunderstood version: This one is a classic example of misunderstanding as we take it to mean that harsh words don’t hurt.

We all know how powerful words are. A few good words can make one’s life, but a few mean ones can ruin one’s self-esteem for life! How often, before speaking our mind, do we pause to ponder how our words could affect someone? Rarely. But, when others hurt us with their poisonous barbs, we hold them responsible for hurting our feelings.

 

Mahevash has included quotable quotes at the end of every chapter, many of which I have jotted down to use as reminders for myself.

Here are some which I could so relate to:

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.” _ Maya Angelou.

“People say sticks and stones may break your bones but names can never hurt you. But, that’s not true. Words can hurt. They hurt me. Things were said to me that I still haven’t forgotten.”  _ Demi Lovato.

And,

Money cannot buy peace of mind. It cannot heal ruptured relationships or build meaning into a life that has none.”_ Richard M. DeVos. 

Each of these quotes resonates with me. As do the words within the pages.

We all are a work in progress. There is really no harm in accepting our flaws and working on them. It will only help us  become better versions of ourselves. This book helps us do just that – better ourselves and set things right – for us!

Quibbles:  Frankly, I did not find a single point worth criticising in this book. It’s a short book with 20 chapters. I finished it in two days, but the amount of knowledge I gained from it, it’s going to last me a long time. Does it sound like I am exaggerating?  Well. I am not. The book makes you realise  how you need to work on yourself and change certain beliefs – some that may be holding you back from realising your goals.

Rating:  I give the book 5 stars. No, it is not a sponsored post. Read the book and see for yourself!

 

*I have posted my review on Goodreads and Amazon