All posts tagged: Mental Health

Permission To Course-Correct

Yes, you have permission. You’ve always had permission. Our whole lives, social constructs and institutions put so much pressure on us to get life right the first time around. And when we don’t get it right—as humans are prone to mistakes and bad judgment—we know in our heads that we have the choice to course-correct, but most people don’t dare. And when we do dare, we go through this whole internal crisis. But still, most won’t dare. Why? Because it’s easier to stay the course, to keep on smiling as we play the part we’ve created and built up for ourselves over the years. And all the while, we’re dying inside. Think about it: how are we to make the most informed decision about our future career paths at age 16? How can we make a lifelong decision about whom to marry at age 21 or 25 when we haven’t even quite understood who we are? Chances are, those choices are made based on very limited knowledge of the world, of ourselves, and what we …

Personal Struggles Aren’t Any Less Important During A Pandemic

When the world essentially shuts down in the blink of an eye, where even the humdrum of daily life grinds to a halt, the world’s busiest cities in a state of complete emptiness we never would’ve imagined possible, it’s fair to say, it’s shocking. I’m probably still in shock. The speed, gravity, and all-encompassing way this pandemic has permeated and disrupted every aspect of our individual and collective lives is — based on sheer scale — impressive. Such a massive event triggers our fight or flight instinct, it takes us off balance, and for many of us who suddenly find ourselves with a lot more time on our hands to ruminate and a lot less human contact, it shifts perspectives and perhaps makes us come to realisations we otherwise wouldn’t have had. Like every single one of you, I have personal struggles of all shapes and sizes. But since home confinement began, I’ve learned to see the bigger picture and really found a renewed sense of not sweating the small stuff. I am but a …

What Will You Change In Your Life When This Is All Over?

It’s Monday, another week in Covid-19 home isolation, and frankly, it feels just like yesterday and will probably feel the same as tomorrow. Who knew ‘Manic Mondays’ or the ‘Monday Blues’ could feel a tad outdated and trigger a slight bit of nostalgia. I woke up this morning with a burning question in mind: what will you change in your life when this is all over? I sent a message to a few close friends, curious about whether this life in forced isolation and all the emotions brought about by a global pandemic that’s bringing every man-made system to its knees, has created any lasting shifts in the way they thought, felt, and viewed their lives. I would love to hear your thoughts. As for me, here are a few things I’d like to really practice in my day to day life starting now: Really be present. Like many of you, I’ve also been thrust into an introspective space and state of mind. The key learning: be present. That’s not new in and of itself. What …

Life In A Pandemic: Don’t Waste Its Valuable Lessons

How do you find calm in a world gone mad? How do we stay sane amid border closures, flight cancellations, total lockdown, panic buying, and an invisible enemy that’s ruthlessly and indiscriminately claiming lives, breaking down healthcare systems, and bringing the world economy to its knees? I took the photo above in a town by the coast last week, day 2 of what was supposed to be a two-week holiday that had to be cut short that very same day. How blissfully unaware that little boy was to the chaos and madness fast unfolding in the wider world. Must be nice, I thought. The tense atmosphere and drastic disruptive changes to daily life brought about by the Covid-19 global pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have been rude awakenings. I cried the first two days upon our return from that long-anticipated trip that ended almost as soon as it started. The wave of emotion felt like an all-encompassing, overwhelming force that I couldn’t quite break down into comprehensible pieces. That’s the most difficult part of this pandemic …

In Honour of the Medical Profession

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the World Health Organisation declared the global COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. In our new recent reality, coronavirus stories abound — from panic buying of toilet paper to entire countries going on lockdown. But the most heartbreaking stories come from the men and women on the frontline of this fight: doctors, nurses, medics, medical volunteers and other health professionals risking their own safety and that of their families to put others’ lives and safety first. The men and women who, in the worst affected places, are put in the horrible position of having to decide essentially who gets to live and who dies. Let’s take a moment to remember that this has been the daily reality of doctors in war-torn places like Syria for years, or simply a fact of life for doctors practicing in extremely poor countries with very limited resources. Since news of the virus broke, I’ve been constantly discussing the science, the news, virology, epidemiology, people’s reaction (both overreaction and brash dismissals) with several doctor …

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Why do you do what you do?

Recently, I’ve had several conversations about motivation and intention—why some women aim to look a certain way, get really lean, strong or, some would say, “look like men”; post fitness progress pictures on Instagram; or pursue physical activity to an extent some would consider a little too much. Why yoga? Why crossfit? Why running? Why this or that?

Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash

4 books to find your ‘why’ and figure out the ‘how’

What’s your why? That is the single most important question you should answer for yourself. Your why may stay the same or change over time, so it’s crucial to constantly reassess and always have this ultimate personal truth in mind. It’s not faux spirituality or an abstract new age concept. It’s logical and quite simple: how can you be the captain of your own life’s ship if you don’t know where you’re heading?

How do you measure your life?

The experience has taught me many things, one of which is this: there is no right answer to what success is. Because happiness is subjective, it isn’t rational to have a one-size-fits-all measuring stick for life. We get to decide how we measure the quality of the lives we live. Forget everyone else’s notion of success, happiness and fulfilment. The most accurate life compass you can rely on lies in your heart and the depths of your gut. 

Why I was wrong about yoga

In the last 10 to 15 years, yoga hit the mainstream and to a large extent, became a trend, a fashion statement, a social signature, or worse, something rich skinny girls did. I cringed at anything that seemed to be a result of ‘sheep mentality’ in order to prove one’s belonging to a social group, and that’s what I felt about yoga. I couldn’t understand the hype around it or the sometimes faux spirituality people had when talking about it. I was a kick-boxing, body-pumping, high-intensity exercise type of girl. Yoga was too slow, unchallenging, and was for those who wanted to “exercise” without putting in too much effort.

Well, if you’re a yogi, you might have been shaking your head from the first sentence. Clearly, I was so very wrong.

Credit: Arina Borodina on Flickr

Break free from vicious cycles

There’s an image that gives me the creeps — that feeling you get when you think something’s crawling on you, or a torturous itch you can’t scratch.

It’s the mental image of myself standing in the same spot, holding a ball and chain much like the one used in the hammer throw, using centrifugal force to keep the ball and chain in the air, circling on its own orbit. I feel stuck, unable to get out of position for fear of disrupting the circular path, therefore forced to actively keep spinning without leaving the exact same spot.

That’s the image I associate with vicious circles. Even thinking about it makes my body tense up.