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Is the present Covid-19 pandemic getting you down? Get happiness back

Almost everyone today is feeling stressed, anxious and Monday blues due to the present pandemic. Here’s how one can find peace and happiness

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PEOPLE ON STREET AFTER COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Source: TOI

This last one-and-a-half year has been testing for all. Man is a social animal and to be cooped up at home and unable to meet friends and family for prolonged periods has stressed everyone out. So much so that people now find no happiness around them.

They see only sadness and unhappiness all around. However, it is important to break away from such thoughts. While it may take some time for this exercise to have an effect, it can inspire you to look for the good in life — things that are already working in your life now; this will make you appreciate what you have.

Ask yourself 11 questions; these will teach you how to find happiness once again. We let many things affect our lives and once we get sucked into the myriad problems, we forget to look at small things that make us happy.

Take the time to answer these questions and see how much you have to be thankful for during the present pandemic. Once you have the answers to these questions, it will shift your perspective by looking for what’s satisfying, instead of what is missing.

Let’s get cracking!

Who are the people I feel blessed to have?

This could be a family member, a friend, a teacher or mentor, or even someone new whom you just met but helped you. Name such people, feel the gratitude for having met them and how unique they are.

What things do I have right now that makes life comfortable?

Look around you; see what brings you comfort. This could be the simplest things like the bed you slept on, the roof above your head, the food you just ate or even a plant kept on your table. See what things have made life for you — a fast Internet connection and how you can speak with near and dear ones even though they are thousands of miles away. Concentrate on things that entertain you.

What qualities have I developed that I feel proud to have now?

This could be kindness or generosity or any other trait that people like about you. It could be your cleanliness or superb organisational skills that you are proud of. Or it could be that you are a good listener and friends are comfortable sharing stories with you. These qualities are valuable to have in these testing times but are often not given enough credit.

What experiences have I had in my life that made me feel better?

Sometimes. One goes through experiences that make you thankful for what you have; it could be a valuable lesson learnt or an insight that has made you a better person today. Recognising these will make you see these experiences in a good light and you will feel that it was a blessing in disguise. This could be past relationships that have ended but made you love yourself even more or a lost job opportunity that led you to discover where your true passion lies.

What are the things I enjoy and love doing?

Make a list of things that make you happy and excited as you do them. It could be reading a book or gardening or even cooking. It could be playing with your pet or even watching a programme on TV. It could be watching as it rains and sipping a cup of tea or coffee. These are simple but meaningful things that you can draw comfort and yet be at home and stay safe.

What desires, big or small, do I have in the past that I am already living in right now?

Sometimes, you desire something. And these have come true in your life. Concentrate on these and remember them; remember the happiness you felt when you realised this dream once it came true. It could have been cooking or art class or desire to start your own blog or go to a place you always wanted to travel to or take up a course. It could also be opening your first savings account or starting on a diet.

night street of tokyo city

It could be anything that you had on your bucket list and that is now ticked off and it now gives you a feeling of accomplishment and happiness.

What unique things do I like about myself?

Look within. Look at things that — trait or ability that you like most about you. What makes you unique and who you are? It could be a laugh that others find funny or having a great memory making it easy for you to retain information. It could be your ability to make people comfortable and open up to you; it could be that you have great navigation skills that come in handy. Look for characteristics in yourself; feel proud of them once you recognise what a genius you are.

What made me smile or laugh today?

Laughter is the best medicine. Before you go to sleep try and recollect three things that made you laugh or smile today. It could be something that you came across on Insta or a post on Facebook or even a funny programme on TV or a conversation with a friend that brought a smile to your face. Or it could be the relief that the rain Gods brought with them. Notice these subtle things around you. Remember, it is the small things that bring joy on a daily basis.

girls standing together and drinking

Photo by Elevate on Unsplash

What things worked out for me this week?

Instead of thinking of things that didn’t work out, look at the positives over the week. Look at how you managed to complete the work assigned to you or a compliment that you received from someone on work well done. It could be that you finally cleaned your wardrobe, something that had been pending for ages. It could be weekly cleaning of the home. Or buying groceries or even cooking a special meal for the family. You will see as you accomplish these tasks, things start to move forward.

What kind of help have I offered?

Have you helped someone this week? What good have you done for somebody? Offering help to a friend in need, assisting a co-worker on a project, giving directions to a stranger, offering food to the hungry or donating old clothes to charity can bring happiness and a feeling of accomplishment in you. Besides helping another person, you bring positive energy in you.

boy helping homeless girl on street

Photo by Metin Ozer on Unsplash

What do I appreciate about life in general?

This will give you a broader perspective of your life. Note things that feel good about being alive today. It can be as mundane as the sun rising every day or beating the heart. Notice the magic in your life. Feel how blessed you are that you have such a beautiful life and that you are alive to witness it firsthand.

Conclusion

Remember, each of the answers to the matter of the above question and is counted adding to your happiness. With time, it will be easy for you to know how to get happiness back every time you get those blues. Make it a daily habit to focus on the good that is in your life!

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Lifestyle

6 indoor plants and their upkeep

While almost all green plants can be kept indoors, some plants need more attention than others. Here best indoor plants for home in India.

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best indoor plants for home in india
Source: @Safer Brand

While almost all green plants can be kept indoors, some plants need more attention than others which can be cumbersome if you have a busy schedule. But that doesn’t mean you can’t surround yourself with greenery. Let’s look at some best indoor plants for a home in India.

Rubber tree plant

It is fairly easy to maintain but is fussy when it comes to the amount of water it needs. Here is what you need to know if you have this plant. Rubber plants are rainforest specimens. While they need consistent moistness, they don’t want it to be soggy. Ensure that the pot the plant is in has adequate draining holes.

Use a dish under the pot lined with pebbles to catch extra water. This will keep the roots from sitting in water but provide the humidity as the water evaporates.

Croton plant

Its beautifully patterned leaves can brighten any space. Now that the rains are here in full force, it is important to ensure that you take care of all your plants. Overwatering can lead to root rot. An important thing to keep in mind is that the pot is well-drained. There is moisture in the air, overwatering will harm the plant. Croton also needs at least six to seven hours of sunshine but excess heat will damage its leaves. Try and keep the plant either East or West facing to make sure that the leaves don’t lose their colour.

English Ivy

It looks pretty and while it may look like it is an easy plant to look after, it is not the case. Like any other plant, this plant too will rot and its leaves will turn brown if you overwater them. Before you water it, check the soil. If it is moist, don’t water it. Make sure that the soil is loose and is kept in a well-drained pot. The plant grows in bright light but it is away from direct sunlight. It is a beautiful plan that can be kept inside the home; potting it in a hanging basket is an excellent way to enjoy the beauty of this plant.

Fern

The delicate curled leaves that unfurl into long, lacy fronds look pretty. Go into the forest and you will find ferns carpeting the floor. They also make a great houseplant. They can grow in any kind of pot — clay to hanging baskets to ceramic and don’t require full sun to thrive.

But Indian weather is different. A plant that may live happily in any other environment needs a lot of care here. They love moisture. During the rainy season make sure you don’t overwater the plant or the roots will rot. You can even spray water on the leaves to lock the moisture in. You can keep this plant in the bathroom or even the kitchen.

Green Aralia

One of the most important things to keep in mind if you have a green aralia is that it has to be kept away from cold drafts and windows during the winter months to ensure that it thrives. It needs a feed once every other month during the spring. During the summer months, the plant needs liquid fertiliser. However, be careful if you buy this plant; it is mildly toxic to humans and pets. Ingestion can lead to gastrointestinal irritation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

They are best as landscape plants. While watering aralia which is indoors, deep water is only when the soil is nearly dry. One of the most important things to keep in mind if you have a green aralia is that it has to be kept away from cold drafts and windows during the winter months to ensure that it thrives.

Pitcher plant

It is not always possible to ensure that the plant that you bring is going to live. Hence, it is important to take care of it properly. Let’s take the pitcher plant. So how does one take care of it if one wants to keep it indoors even if it is a carnivorous plant?

Depending on the species, some require full sunlight and those that originate in the floor of the rainforest may need filtered light. It requires moist soil, and keeps the potting soil moist, but not soggy. Allow the pot to drain thoroughly after watering and never let the pot stand in water or the roots will rot.

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Lifestyle

Mother’s Day 2022: Significance, history, and importance

Being a mother is a full-time job and gets no appreciation-one day where their worth is truly appreciated. Here’swhy we celebrate mothers day.

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why we celebrate mothers day
Source: @TOI

Most of us know that Mother’s Day is celebrated every second Sunday in May. But did you know why we celebrate mothers day? The whole idea behind Mother’s Day is to honour the mother of the family, to celebrate motherhood, maternal bonds, and the important role that they play in shaping society.

Why we celebrate mothers day?

It is said that the need to celebrate this day arose in the 1900s. Back then a daughter – Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis – to honour the sacrifices made by the mothers made for their children started this holiday.

It is said that Jarvis organized the first Mother’s Day service of worship and celebration at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia, the US which serves as the International Mother’s Day Shrine today.

Did you also know that different countries celebrate this day in different months? Some countries celebrate this day in March. Mother’s Day in Egypt is celebrated on March 21, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. In Georgia Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 3.

In some countries, the date is adopted to signify religion, like Virgin Mary Day in Catholic countries. Other countries selected a date with historical significance. For example, Bolivia’s Mother’s Day is a fixed date, commemorating a battle in which women participated to defend their children. Or in Russia where it is celebrated as International Women’s Day instead of Mother’s Day.

In India, the concept of celebrating Mother’s Day is new. This could be because we have traditionally been respectful of our mothers and have been revering them for generations.

We didn’t need to set a single day aside for them. But then, we (Indians) tend to ape the West and what the West does needs to be done back home.

Irrespective of how and when Mother’s Day is celebrated worldwide, children go out of their way to make this a special day for their mother. Lunches, treats and gifts are part and parcel of this day’s celebration.

What can you do? Here are some mothers day 2022 gift ideas

For the foodie mom

If your mother is a foodie a last-minute gift can be a meal subscription box that speaks to your mom’s interests. The subscription boxes are becoming popular across India as they select the finest and latest products every month and ship them across to their clients.

As a gift, you can opt for ingredients, or complete meals, including gourmet food and global cuisine. Innovative subscription boxes share recipes and exquisitely packaged boxes that can be used as a collector’s item.

If your mother is all about fitness

If your mom has been looking to shed some weight, a gym membership is a great gift! There are several gyms in each city that offer membership. This would help your mother work.

If your mother is all about looking good

A woman’s body goes through many changes, and protein is quintessential to cope with it. One can gift herbal products to the mother for that perfect skin that will keep her young at heart forever!

 

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Lifestyle

5 health benefits of dancing, you might not want to miss

You see it on TV or in films. But did you know that the art form has several benefits of dance movement therapy as well? Read on

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benefits of dance movement therapy

Dance is the purest expression of emotion. World over, dancing has a different meaning for different people and cultures. But there is one thing that is common across the board — it is an expression of one’s emotions through movement. These movements are not always graceful or beautiful and most people don’t even understand them, it’s tough to see a perspective on one’s dance.

What Dance Symbolise:

But dancing is extremely therapeutic. Dance therapy can use various hand movements and creative expressions to promote socio-emotional, cognitive, and somatic integration.

This is based on the idea that the body and mind are inextricably linked. It aids in self-expression, resulting in a shift in an individual’s overall functioning.

One has to remember that dance movement therapy isn’t just for dancers, and it’s certainly not a dance class. A dance lesson emphasises style and form, whereas dance movement therapy does not. In the latter, people aren’t judged on how well they execute the steps or how they appear while dancing.

 

In dance movement therapy, people are encouraged to communicate their feelings and thoughts while moving during dance movement therapy sessions.

Dance treatments are used in a variety of settings, including health, education, and social services, in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

It may be recommended as a primary service or as a complement to other forms of ongoing treatment, rehabilitation or education. The therapy can be short- or long-term. Engaging an individual does not require any dance skills or training just the willingness to move. The focus is on the therapeutic process.

Here’s how it can help

Help differently-abled

Dance therapy can help individuals, with different abilities, capacities and life conditions since it works with their bodies at that particular phase of life.

Benefit kids with autism, ADHD

People with developmental, medical, social, physical, and psychological problems benefit from dance movement therapy.

It has been used to assist persons with learning impairments, and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, and ADHD, among others.

Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, mobility disorders, sensory processing disorders, trauma, and even violence prevention are just some of the conditions that can be treated.

Dance movement therapy can help those who are battling communication challenges, body image issues, chronic pain, and adjustment issues.

Communication tool

As language is not a barrier to movement, it can be used in individual, couple, family, and group therapy forms with people of different ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds.

Leads to self-awareness

Self-awareness, self-perception, confidence, producing a sense of peace, relational talents, and mindfulness are all benefits of dance therapy. It has been shown to reduce pressure, anxiety, and nerves, as well as feelings of disengagement and body strain.

Faster recovery

Dance movement aids in the learning of how to transform nonverbal movements into insights that can be applied to one’s recovery process.

Each one of us can move, each one of us has a movement language — we call it body language. All of us can dance! The idea of this therapy is getting aware of your body, feeling, accepting, and working on yourself.

People in dance movement therapy are not required to start dancing as soon as the music starts, unlike in a dance class. It’s all about the journey, not the destination!

Disclaimer: The idea of this article is to create awareness and is not meant to be followed without a doctor’s proper advice.

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