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Mental Well Being and Productivity

Are we surviving, or thriving yet another outbreak of uncertainty?

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I believe everything happens for a reason. And, it is the only thing that helps me get through another day. I am a native of North-east India. And, in the place where I grew up; the “new normal” of the current Pandemic was common. People had anxiety of their very existence. There was war; both internal and external. But, what I learnt from those days helped me understand “why it is so important to have the internal strength to cope up with stress and anxiety?”. I learnt the importance of a family, and the importance to have a community that supports one another in times of crises. And to top it all, not giving up on our loved ones and to stay calm at the face of adversity. In addition, ” Why having a hobby is a great way to channel our thought process?” . I learnt the importance of solitude, to give myself the time for self-nourishment ; without breaking the balance. I gave myself the freedom to learn what was being taught beyond books and school.

It was autumn of 2009, the air had gotten heavy and I remember a lot of rain. It was almost the time to catch the school-bus. Mom packed our favourite lunch,for my brother and I. It was an ordinary day of school. After lunch, my friends and I headed back to class. On our way back, we saw a notice that we will be given a half-day. News broke out about an incident and the whole state was protesting. I knew for sure that it was going to change the every “normal“.

The following day I saw on a popular Television channel that everything was to be shut down. The people were demanding an investigation from the government. In a matter of 24 hours, my life had changed drastically. And, worst of all that was my senior year of school. It was a pivotal phase which will shape my future. I had accepted at that point that it was upto me. There was no hope to get any guidance from school, nor the coaching institutes. I felt the standstill and with a heavy heart, I had started with my preparation. It was all acceptance and patience every since then.

Days and months went by, I had learnt how to lived through the lock-downs and curfews. And, it took a toll on my health. I struggled with a constant worry, and the stress from the external environment I was presented with. It was the same with “everyone”. During those times when we were presented with something which was way beyond our control, the only way forward was to surrender to the vast unknown. The solution I found was to never really stop living. Here are few things which helped me:

  • Staying engaged and active ( Watching my favourite TV show, Watching the sunset and making an art out of it, sketching, reading a book, routine to keep intact with the exam preparation)
  • Physical exercise and getting 8 hours of sleep.
  • Staying hydrated and having food on time.
  • Having a talk with the family members over tea.

I would agree if someone says ” But it is so difficult!”. However, it is doable. And, I said the solution is living; it covers how to thrive in unique ways. This is where having a hobby is significant. It can be as simple as creating new recipe of food. Who dares say it won’t be laying a foundation for a new venture?

Fast forward 10 years, in the same place where there was no hope, people have learnt the thriving mechanism; even with the pandemic at an all time high. It is not the difficulty of the uncertain times that lasts, but the will to face it.And, more than ever; it is teaching us to not take our lives for granted. The change of attitude towards the situation resulted in the use of certain platforms for the better.It feels great to see that people are trying to stay productive by learning a skill . Productivity is a result of the change in perception to the situation.

My whole point of sharing this story is to say that mental well being i.e. the state of our mind to accept that everything takes its own time to outgrow anything; has a direct affect on productivity. The more we feed strength into our minds, the more productive we will be. A negative mind can anchor us down to the deepest pits of darkness.

Some questions to ask yourself so as to counter any situation are:

  • Is this worth sacrificing my inner peace?
  • Is this beyond my control?
  • What can I do to reduce it?

All these questions helps in calculating the mental strength which will ultimately decide on our productivity.

Having said this,

"Take a moment to enjoy and breathe for once. We never know what and who will we say goodbye to"

On a lighter note, the year 2020 is full of twists and turns. But, nothing lasts forever; good or bad!

And,as we head into fall and winter, here’s wishing everyone better days!

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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