Image By: @MomentConsulting
The quest for wellness is uniting women more than ever before!
As women we’re feeling more united as we realize we have distinct similarities in the way we’re coping a year into a global pandemic. This post on IG has gone viral amongst women who relate to the low emotions and juggling act they’ve accumulated over the past year.
When Anjali (Harjani founder of Malabar Baby) reached out to her female tribe and asked them to describe their emotional and mental state during 2020, she gained an influx of responses with a similar sentiment of sadness, anxiety, suffocating, stress, helplessness, being lost, fear and being overwhelmed, coupled with mixed emotions of feeling fortunate, grateful, adapting, determined, compassion, loved and connected.
Image of Jade from: www.thesleeplab.com in Malabar Baby Provence Blue Quilt
The wellness sector is predicted to be the fastest growing economy as a result of the pandemic as defined by the Global Wellness Summit. We’ve become a lot more discerning about our physical health, mainly immunity and are seeking more preventative and holistic solutions. With my work in wellness, it’s evident that a large contributor to physical wellness stems directly from our mental state of mind.
As the clock struck midnight on 1st January 2021 the whole world was so overjoyed and relieved to see the back of 2020, the year that turned our lives upside down on a global level. There was so much optimism as we entered the new year, however, reflecting on the first few months of 2021, we’re actually experiencing a lot more of the same with lockdowns, social distancing, distance from elder grandparents, homeschooling, working from home, gym closures etc. We realize we need more patience and time before the world opens up again.
Women from all backgrounds have adapted new roles and the responsibility to take full control of the household, becoming teachers to homeschool our children, provide emotional support for our partners and the whole family, whilst continuing our full time roles. “Why women and not men….?” You may ask. Well the simple scientific answer is, women are better leaders during a crisis, defined by Harvard Business Review. This is evident in both the work and domestic environments and is characterised by women having a significantly more positive outlook to life, we have higher levels of engagement based on our nurturing instincts, we display empathy and lead with compassion. These are all the qualities that allow us to take full responsibility for our world and the people within it.
Yet this responsibility comes at a price, and more than ever, we’re felt feeling burnt out and overwhelmed. With emotions and mental imprints manifesting themselves, here are some very simple and effective wellness rituals that can be easily integrated into our daily mayhem and when practiced with consistency and intent, can help build resilience. We truly understand that everyone’s situation is unique but, we hope these tips offer strength and guidance.
- Make your home your sanctuary. We’re spending so much of our time inside the confines of our homes, it’s taken on so many additional functions (school/office/yoga studio) Our environment is a direct reflection of the state of our mind, so sorting through and clearing your space, maybe even re-organising or redecorating can be really cathartic and naturally bring mental clarity to help make level headed decisions. I always to like to remind myself “If you plan to go to war, clean your room”
- Find what makes you shine. Being in constant reactive or fight of flight mode, (organising the next zoom class for school or work, cooking, cleaning on top of your day job) can create chronic stress. The opposite would be to take some time to reflect on truly what matters in your life. Whether that’s learning something new, reconnecting with an interest from your past and trying art or music. Calling a friend. Make time to fully integrate something that brings you joy, into your life. Start with once or twice a week till eventually it’s part of your life. Science has noticed that when the brain is in full concentration and absorption in the act of creativity, it reflects the same characteristics as Tibetian monks' brains during meditation.
Image of Nav from www.sattrayoga.com
- Create special moments with your family. When your mind is so consumed with all the to-do list of things that need to be completed during that day, that week, month or year, we tend to lose sight of the world right in front of us. We’ve not taken a family holiday by jumping on a plane, escaping to an exotic location and spending time together. So many people during the pandemic lockdowns have noted the beautiful connections they built with their families. Drop what you have to do and give your child that spontaneous extra play time together. These random acts of mindfulness help stimulate the happy hormones of serotonin and dopamine in our system, which in turn are great for balancing our immunity.
Image of Leisia and her daughter in Malabar Baby Loungewear @leisia
- TALK TALK TALK. As women, regardless if we’re introverted or extroverted by personality, it is in our innate nature to be expressive and it's through this expression that we’re able to lighten our load and gain some perspective of our world. As you make more concerted time for your family at home, also carve out time to make a special call, text, voice message to a friend or loved one. During a time when we lack human physical connection with someone close can be so empowering on so many levels. This in turn helps us to avoid slipping into isolation.
Image of Nav from SATTRA and Anjali from Malabar Baby
- Be with yourself. Contrary to the last point, it’s so important to take some time for yourself. I mean this in the form of meditation or mindfulness practice. This ancient magic medicine (when practiced regularly) changes the neuroplasticity of the brain giving us so many profound benefits as advocated by the EOC Institute - Feeling connected to ourselves & our world, balances the hemispheres of the brain, managing depression and reducing stress, improving memory & ability to learn, builds compassion & kindness, boosts emotional intelligence and improves sleep. When we take time for ourselves in meditation, we’re able to declutter our inner world to help deal with our outer world with more ease. Only you will know how to create your own balance and there are many apps that can guide you on that journey such as Calm, Headspace, and Insight Timer
Image of Manisha Nair from www.ifstyledanced.com in Malabar Baby Loungewear
- Keep moving - Yoga helps us shift our state of consciousness. This can be achieved through a simple seated twist, a short pranayama (breath work) practice, or a full 1hour sweaty session. Equally, in any sports or fitness workout, we bring more oxygen into our bloodstream & the brain and our body naturally releases endorphins, making us feel great. That’s usually the side effect, with the main goal being weight loss, muscle strengthening & toning, so we can look great too.
Everyone of us has our individual concerns and worries but what unites us so strongly is that the majority of us are collectively feeling concerned and worried. with so many things overhanging and a “new norm'' is yet to evolve and form. As we lack human interaction and touch, technology has played an immense role in keeping us connected with the ability to lift and empower each other during our most low moments.
Technology has helped on a global level as East meets West there is true convergence of practices from India (Ayurveda, Meditation & Yoga) and China (TCM - traditional Chinese medicine remedies & Tai Chi) are complimenting the medical science of the west. Now more than ever we have so many tools in which we can make positive life improvements within the current situation.
If, as women, we’re so impacted with multitasking and uncertainty we mustn’t forget this is a universal pandemic and men are experiencing higher levels of anxiety and stress too. By staying open hearted and if we keep communication openly we can certainly get through this TOGETHER….!
About the Author
Nav Kumari, founder of SATTRA, is a wellness advocate, mother of 3 below 5 years and certified Yoga teacher who shares the benefits of the sacred arts to all life stages including families and prenatal. Her teaching style is a direct reflection of her passion to serve others, empowering them with the benefits of yoga to achieve universal health and wellbeing.
Bringing Authentic and Inspiring spiritual experiences through creative collaborations is at the core of what SATTRA stands for. Working alongside esteemed specialists from the wellness world, SATTRA provides tailored retreats that aim to empower and transform. www.sattrayoga.com www.instagram.com/sattrayoga/