I still remember March 16, 2020. I was playing badminton with my friends when we got an SMS informing us that the club would be closed for a few days. While saying our goodbyes that evening, none of us knew that we are going into a lockdown for the next 3 months!
The last 3 months have been crazy. We got a lot of time with the family, learned more about each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and tried to make most of the time together. I cooked yummy food for my family and taught my kids to find joy while helping with the housework. We binge-watched shows and had a blast while dancing to music. We often woke up early to see the sunrise while sipping a cup of hot coffee and talking about life. Truly, lockdown was fun for families like ours who are blessed with a roof over our heads and food in the kitchen.
Things are slowly opening up and it’s time to go back to the ‘New Normal’.
Here are 9 things you must do to secure yourself before you step out of lockdown in India.
Rewrite your goals
The lockdown has changed us all. Our priorities, outlook and goals have changed. Before you go out into the New Normal, an excellent idea would be to write your new goals and aspirations. Personally, I am treating 2020 as a year with 6 months in it. July 1, 2020 was the start of the new year!
Sharpen your skills
The ‘New Normal’ will require new skills. Unlock quarantine will come with its own set of challenges. Writing skills, video shooting and editing skills, understanding the different social media platforms and how they work for your business are some skills you need to master. In addition, discovering new skills within you will be of prime importance in the days to come.
Recalculate your finances & set new financial goals
Delayed/staggered payments, salary cuts and even total shutdown of business have posed a monumental challenge to individuals and families. Sit down with a calculator and all your accounts. Recalculate your finances and check how much disposable income is remaining with you. Assess the situation objectively and set new financial goals. If you are married, then involve your spouse into this discussion.
Re-evaluate your health insurance
One thing that I understood during the lockdown is that the health insurance for my family and me is just not enough. In-laws, kids, husband and I – each one of us has different needs, and each is equally (if not more) vulnerable to health issues. We shudder at the thought of a loved one being admitted and the bank balance or health insurance being insufficient to handle the financial load. Re-evaluate your health insurance and allocate a sufficient amount that will take care of you and your family in case of a mishap. ICICI Lombard has come up with an app called Take Care app that makes all of this super easy in this digital era for their customers. No hassles!
We stopped ordering online during the quarantine but most people turned into bakers – maida, sugar, corn syrup, butter – the culprits for the expanding waistline. To add to it, cheese, pasta, noodles, bread and loads of processed foods have gone down our gut during the lockdown. Research has proven that eating the right food can increase immunity and increased immunity means lower risk of getting infections and disease. With unlock quarantine in progress, one needs to eat right to be ready for the fresh challenges that will come our way.
And the Take Care app gives you, at your fingertips, access to dieticians and nutritionists with whom you can chat and plan your meals right – in case you feel you’re in need of assistance.
We all know that exercise is the key to good health. The combination of healthy eating and exercise does wonders to the skin, hair and overall health. Set aside time daily to stretch those stiff bones and exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. It will surprise you to note the increase in stamina. You will feel happier and positive throughout the day. Include core strengthening exercises like plank in your exercise routine – it will ease back pain and give you a toned body.
Sleep early & wake up early
Early to bed and early to rise, makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise! This saying has always been worth its weight in gold. Being at home during lockdown, people used to get less tired and thus retire to bed with a fresh mind. Most people have reported difficulty in sleeping early. Many resorted to binge-watching shows till the wee hours in the morning. Sleeping late, waking up late, unhealthy eating and lack of exercise – all this is a disease disaster in the waiting.
It quite surprised me to see that the Take Care app also has an option that will help you with stress management–a service I feel all of us need from time to time.
It’s time to repair all this before you restart right.
Drink lots of water
We all know that our body needs to flush out toxins to ensure good health. However, most people don’t implement this. Lockdown has made people increase their caffeine (coffee) and tannin (tea) intake. Fizzy and sugary drinks to deal with boredom are also common during lockdown. All this leads to side effects that can cause damage to health. Water is the best liquid that one can consume – its calorie-free and loaded with benefits.
Meditate & Practice Pranayama
Studies show that deep breathing exercises and variations through the ancient techniques of Pranayama are beneficial for weight loss, good health and immunity building. Meditation calms the mind and allows better focus. When one steps out during unlock quarantine, it will greet one with an unfamiliar world. Adjusting to this new normal will be a challenge. Meditation will ease out the load and help calm the distressed mind.
Let me know what you are doing to #RestartRight in unlock quarantine. I would love to read your views.
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