The lockdown to stop the deadly coronavirus infection from spreading isn’t coming to an end this week probably, and with the rising number of cases, we all had been prepared for that. But anticipating of an extension and being mentally ready to push through 14 or more days of staying at home are two different things. We know this is for the best. We know that the lockdown is in place for our own safety and that of our loved ones. But the anxiety and stress around the situation can get to you, making it harder to cope.
Could a little self-love make this an easier ordeal? We think so. Although bushy eyebrows, a sprawling waistline because of all the instant noodles you have been eating and dark circles under the eyes from staying up late, either binge-watching a web-series or worrying yourself into a knot, can make self-love a little hard to come by. But loathing yourself under these dreadful circumstances will only make matters worse. And that is why, you should become your own cheerleader. So here are ten self-love challenges to take up under the lockdown, which will help you stay positive and much in love with yourself.
Embrace those eyebrows, and upper lip: Most of us are in the habit of checking our appearance in the mirror, once we are done brushing our teeth and washing our face. Even I do it, taking a few seconds to study the lines, blackheads, dryness so that I can figure out what needs to change in my self-care routine. But what stares back at me? Hair, hair everywhere. The eyebrows are bushier than the densest of forests in the Amazon. My upper can make any man trying to grow a facial distancing moustache go green with envy.
While cooking is a chore, why should you not cook for your soul once in a while? Make something that you love to eat, be it fired or laden with sugar.
But then this is the real me. We are so conditioned to loathe our body hair that even in dire situations like the one we are in, body hair growth bothers us when we should just be grateful for being healthy and safe. So embrace those rouge facial hair and blow them a kiss whenever you look into the mirror.
Cook what you love to eat: It could be fried, or laden with enough sugar to keep a four-year-old bouncing off the wall for an hour. But as much as it is important to eat right, make at least one meal during this lockdown, that comprises of what you love to eat. Often women who are tasked with cooking at home (that’s almost all of us, and you know it) cook according to their family’s liking. And while cooking is a chore, why should you not cook for your soul once in a while? Can’t our loved ones eat as per our liking once in a while?
Smile more, and then some more: By the time this coronavirus pandemic ends, most of us will have permanent frown lines on our faces from reading and scrolling through all the news. This lockdown shouldn’t be spent only fretting over things and issues over which you have no control. If you are staying at home and not hoarding grocery, you are doing okay. However, there are things that remain in our control, like smiling more and doing so consciously. Smile at yourself whenever you look into the mirror, at your loved ones who are equally distressed, at no one but just happy thoughts in your head, and that’ll surely make your day better.
Take notice of your good habits: Cooking, cleaning, dusting, sweeping; all these daily chores spark little or no joy. We are often so exhausted and depleted that we forget to notice little things that we got right, and which could be just the boost of positivity that we need. Sent your maid her salary on time? Listened to a colleague in a tough situation patiently? Bit your tongue and withheld that mean comment which could have made your sibling mad with rage? Appreciate these little things that you may have done for others, because they reflect your inherent goodness; something that should always be celebrated.
Don’t judge your body: It is not possible for everyone to focus on their physical fitness right now, at least the level that we may be used to. Gyms are closed, you are not supposed to step out for a run. How much of the routine workout can one get done within the confines of a household? Even what we eat depends on what is available. So if you think you are gaining weight, or turning squishy and round at certain ends, let it go. Life has hit a pause button, and it is okay for you to hit so on your quest for a “better” body too.
Don’t compare yourself: The world is an unfair place. Some people have it better than us. But then there are also those who are having it much worse than we are. It is easy to look at social media and feel envious of how easy this lockdown is for other people. But social media only offers us a glimpse into other people’s lives, it doesn’t show us the whole picture. Which is why instead of comparing yourselves with others, count your blessings and be grateful.
It is not possible to stay off social media altogether for a lot of us. But we can certainly mute it for one day in a week? Or for a set few hours every day?
Beat the routine: Where does Sunday end and Monday begin these days? Are weekends even legit anymore? As days merge into each other seamlessly you may feel the need to break the pattern. We did. So yesterday, just to do that we all dressed up in our “outside” clothes and had a family candlelight dinner. Little things like that will help you break the monotony and stay positive for sure.
Switch of social media: It is not possible to stay off social media altogether for a lot of us. But we can certainly mute it for one day in a week? Or for a set few hours every day? Muting social media will give you that much-needed break from coronavirus news and all the Insta posts that may be making you loathe your lifestyle right now.
Start something new: This just doesn’t mean picking up a new hobby, because we all know how difficult it is to start painting or learn to play an instrument when you have little or no resources at your disposal. What you can do, is start something new that doesn’t need you to step out of your house. Explore a new social media platform, start a new daily self-care routine, or exercise drill, or just start on new WhatsApp group where the challenge is to talk about anything but coronavirus and the lockdown.
Change little things: Change is a luxury these days, or so it may seem. While we have no control over bigger and bolder things in our life, we can induct little changes every now and then to get a feeling that life is moving and evolving. Change where you sit down for work, for instance. Change what you wear. All of us have a favourite pyjama that we go back to wearing day-in-day-out. You can change that and dig deeper into your closet and find something you haven’t worn in ages, well at least for a day.
The views expressed are the author’s own.