We are at an evolutionary crossroads where India's current demographic is largely made up of Millennials. We are seeing a change in the way we work and do business as the workplace culture is transforming to cater to the needs of the young. But as the young, passionate and a thriving lot gets out there to create, persist and resist - there is a great chance of burning out because of over-commitment and excessive connect through our devices. In all of this rut, it is natural to wear down. And in comes self-love to your rescue.
While the various aspects of self-love may come and go like trends, the concept itself is germane to keep one's inner being - mind, body and soul in place. And as we dig deeper into recognising our mental health, self-love along with medication can also make one come out of several mental illnesses. It is the small things that you do for yourself that matter.
At India's first mindful festival - The Oasis by Vajor - which happened this weekend in the national capital New Delhi, a panel discussed the idea of self-love for women who came together from different backgrounds. To break the ground of perfectly packaged notion of beauty, success, intellect, happiness, health and to broaden our yearning to carve our own path, Hanita Bambri, one of the top 10 female musicians to know in 2019 according to Vogue, talked about how when she first sang on a stage in her school, it turned out to be a complete disaster. “It was so bad that they had to cut off my sound. I was booed off the stage. I was bullied for months. I couldn't walk down my school's corridor without people throwing things at me. It got really toxic,” she recounted.
“Every once in a week of a crazy schedule, I give myself one or two days in which I tell myself 'I earned this'. I learned the concept of the sweetness of doing nothing from the Julia Roberts' movie Eat Pray Love wherein I do whatever I like to do and that's fine because the next day I know I will have a fresh mind and I will be able to nail things better”
What saved her and brought her back was her immense love for music and to do it for herself. “I remember locking myself up in the bathroom, staring to myself in the mirror and I started to sing. As I sang to myself, I thought, 'hey, I sing really good'. It was the voice inside my head that needed to come out and I thought that I would show them all. I worked my way up and taught myself to sing as I am a completely self-taught musician,” prides Hanita. Sometimes, you need to believe in yourself even if the world doesn't see it in you. Your own wholehearted belief in yourself can bring you back from the darkest places. If that's not self-love then what is?
A journalist-turned-chef who loves to feed people, Ruchira Hoon, also a participant in Masterchef India Season 2, she discovered her real passion for cooking at a time when most people get too comfortable within a career they begin with. Hoon's transition may look successful but it required a lot of introspection by her. She talked about while self-love is an on-going journey for her, there are times where she shuts down completely and why it is important for her.
“For me, those are the moments when I realise, I don't want to see anybody and talk to anybody. In those days, I like to read a really nice book with my dog by my side and call a food-delivery service because I don't even want to cook. It may be my ugly side but it helps me. It is the time for discovery that I may be feeling a sense of loss and that I need to rejuvenate,” says Ruchira.
On the other hand, YouTuber Sakshi Sindwani, who was recently featured in Harper's Bazaar magazine, called shutting off a ritual. “Every once in a week of a crazy schedule, I give myself one or two days in which I tell myself 'I earned this'. I learned the concept of the sweetness of doing nothing from the Julia Roberts' movie Eat Pray Love wherein I do whatever I like to do and that's fine because the next day I know I will have a fresh mind and I will be able to nail things better,” reaffirms Sakshi.
Nidhi Mohan Kamal, the founder of Nidsun Wellness which propagates the idea of nutrition and sports specific nutrition, revealed how she faced burnout and what she did to come out of it. “This year I legit faced burnout and I went missing from everywhere for two weeks -- no phone, nothing and no contact with human life whatsoever. After I came back obviously I got back on social media but my Instagram limit is 39 minutes. I find that time limit okay for me because I realised before that I was consuming a lot of the emotions that other people emulated on social media.
“Every once in a week of a crazy schedule, I give myself one or two days in which I tell myself 'I earned this’”
This year I also started meditating once a day and it doesn't where I am at a point in time. I have come to know that how much being aware of what's going inside of me changes my perception of everyone else.”
Meditation, self-awareness, motivating yourself, shutting off and rejuvenating are just a few ways, these women found their centre. And all these things are absolutely cost-free. Corporates may continue to sell products to you to influence your sense of self-love and it is okay to indulge once in a while. But to truly make a difference, the most valuable things often come at no monetary cost.
Image credit: Wondrlust