Mental Well-being During Lockdown

I wish there was less negativity around lockdown. I am so happy at the moment. I have so much control over my life, and I feel so in touch with my inner self. I really want more people to feel this way. This feeling is truly addictive, and the moment we figure out ways to feel so, there is no turning back.

I’m going to get straight to the point and describe ways in which we can help improve our mental well-being during lockdown.

1. Keep a gratitude journal. I have been reading about having a gratitude journal for years, but I only started practicing it one month ago. Every morning, I spend 10-15 minutes writing about what I am grateful for. There is no better way to start my day and I am so happy to have finally got into the habit of doing so. (If you do not like writing, then voice note it to yourself and listen back to it at the end of the day!).

2. Learn to breathe. As a human beings we are terrible at breathing in a nourishing way. This only worsens our states of anxiety. I personally have been focusing on breathing more regularly throughout the day. Every time I feel my mind wonder, I try and focus it back on my breathing. It is making me realise that our breath is the only real thing at any moment in time. By taking control of our breathing we are claiming control over how we respond to the external situations.

3. Be present. Being sat at home is apparently ‘brain numbing’ and ‘boring’. I think the complete opposite. We can add value to every moment of our life if we are present. We need to focus on what is. We need to focus on the now. We may never get such an opportunity to spend again with our family. We need to relish it and use it to reconnect with our loved ones. We need to learn to be present in each of our endeavors big or small, throughout our day.

4. Learn to do things on your own. Workout alone. Dance alone. Cook alone. Clean alone. Sing alone. Enjoy your own company. Enjoy getting to know yourself. The reality is, not many of us know who we really are. Our understanding of ourself has unfortunately become what we think society thinks we are. This is the prime time to change that. When we get comfortable being alone, we are unstoppable.

5. Take a break from social media. This is potentially the hardest. Everyone is bored at home and using social media to entertain themselves (thanks Instagram and TikTok). It is just proving how much we are seeking for external validation to define our happiness. Such happiness is short-lived. This applies to any distractions we may have. We need to break free from this escapism culture and face our real self. Take a few days off, maybe a few weeks – I took a month off! I stripped away everything I thought I was, to find out I am just a human like anyone else.

I have said this before and I say it again. I honestly believe we have been blessed with lockdown. We have come to realise how much our excitement and joy has always relied on external factors/events, rather than from within. This is the time for us to make peace with our inner selves and just enjoy being, instead of complaining about everything that we could have been doing if lockdown was not in place.

Stay home. Stay safe. Learn about yourself.

One hard good-bye

So this weekend, after ages, I drank quite a bit of alcohol. I got drunk to an extent that I was vomiting and passed out. I can’t remember the last part of the night. All I remember next was waking up in my friend’s flat.

I honestly have not got that drunk in ages! I have actively been staying away from alcohol for some time. I drink small amounts when I go out for meals, but that is about it.

Honestly, this experience has been an eye-opener (no pun intended). I feel embarrassed, and that feeling of what could’ve happened when I was completely out of it, gives me anxiety. I’m getting mini-panics every time I think about what others would’ve thought about me. I know these thoughts of what others think do not define the person I am, but I cannot help it can I?

I just thought to write about my thoughts and feelings. In the past 2 days, I have been doing a lot of self-reflection about what I want out of life. Alcohol is not on that list anymore. Having fun with alcohol is definitely not a priority for me. I have realized that I have so much to achieve and accomplish, and alcohol is proving to be a hindrance to that. It is slowing me down. Most importantly, it is the biggest barrier to my current spiritual growth.

I am not against alcohol at all and I will definitely have a glass of wine socially with a meal. However, drinking to get drunk and have fun is definitely not me. I’ve been there, done that. I’m turning into a different person, and I’m proud of this self-reflection and awareness of my spiritual, emotional and physical needs.

Don’t take for granted freedom of speech

Words are so powerful. They have the ability to make or break any situation.

I’ve seen so many use words so powerfully to create such an impact in society. That is what I call inspirational.

In contrast, there are people who use the term ‘freedom of speech’ to talk bad about others and harm/hurt others. This is what I call an embarrassment to humanity.

If more and more individuals understood the power of their words and how to tailor it to meet the needs of society, we would all be growing at an exponential rate!

Hula Hooper since the day I remember

When I tell people that hula hooping is a way in which I workout aside from dancing, people start laughing.

‘Hula hooping?! Hahah!’

Yes, hula hooping!

Maybe people find it funny because it has always been associated with 6 year old children playing in the playground at school. Therefore it is understandable why they may find it amusing to hear a 24 year old adult hula hooping to keep fit.

This is a short piece explaining the reasons for why I hula hoop so regularly and the benefits I have found:

1. It is super fun! And I mean it. I find going to the gym to work out, or even working out at home an arduous task. Hula hooping however gives me an opportunity to watch a movie whilst my abs are working at their 100% to keep a hula hoop at my waist. It’s so convenient and brilliant because this way I get to catch up on any missed TV shows whilst I am hula hooping – multi-tasking at its finest!

2. It has definitely helped tone my abs. I’m a Sri Lankan Tamil girl which means rice is incorporated into every meal of mine at home. This then predisposes me to developing a ‘rice belly’. By hula hopping regularly, I have been able to keep my abs quite toned and my central control is pretty amazing if I say so myself.

3. For some bizarre reason, hula hooping has greatly helped with my stamina. I never sweat or am out of breath when I hula hoop, but I have realised that when I do spend half an hour to an hour hula hooping everyday, it does improve my stamina quite a bit.

These are all merely my own opinions by the way, and I do not whether or not scientific research has been done into its efficacy.

Ultimately, hula hooping has helped me elevate my mood and therefore I feel so much better in myself.

Daily Musings

Social media has helped me a lot with my professional dance career. I do not of course depend on it, but it has for sure given me a portal through which I can interact with fellow lovers of dance which I never had before. 

I use my social media now not just to post about my dance work, but to also to use it as a way to convey my thoughts about general life, in the form of inspirational, motivational, thought-provoking quotes. Everything I post has a reason but I never share it so here goes with some of my favourites. 

‘Are you really happy or just really comfortable?’

This is the deepest question one can ask themselves. Do not settle for a life that looks good on the outside. Do not settle for a life where a roof over your head, financial security and everything materialistic are set out for you. Work for it. When you work for it and can say to yourself, ‘This is something I have built’, that is when you will feel truly happy and accomplished. Until then keep hustling. 

‘Success does not come from what you do occasionally; it comes from what you do consistently.’

Especially in the scene of performance arts I’ve come across many who pursue something for a short while and call that success. For me, success is a journey and there is no end point. You need to practice something consistently to really unleash your potential in it!

‘You can speak spiritual eloquence, pray in public, and maintain a holy appearance…but it is your behaviour that will reveal your true character.’

I call such people hypocrites. I say this very confidently because I used to be one myself. Until 2 years ago I realised I need to own up to what I really feel and act on it. It is no good saying that ‘I am this…I believe in this…’ when your actions say the complete opposite.

There are several people who just act in a way to seek public approval. With social media, the number of likes and followers seems to be used to quantify whether you are being approved by society or not.

How many of them will, including myself, actually practice what they preach?

‘Generally people like to bring up your past, when your present and future appears to be better than theirs.’

I dislike people who bring up another’s past. But now, the more they do it, the more I am like ‘Is that the only thing you have against them?’

Some people are so stuck in their bubble they refuse to accept another’s success in any way, shape or form. Therefore to bring another down they use their past.

Just think. If I did that to you? How would you feel? How ‘clean’ is your past? I can guarantee that those who act in such a way do not have the best of pasts. So if you believe you have changed, then give others the benefit of the doubt that they have changed as well. It’s that simple.

‘A private life is a happy life.’

Over the past few years I have become more and more aware of people who use social media to post about there private drama and unhappiness.

Question 1: Is posting on social media going to resolve that problem? Will it give happiness?

Question 2: Are you the only one in the world who is going through problems?

Question 3: What is the purpose of you posting your personal problems on social media? If you feel like that is giving your control over the situation, look at yourself and your attitude towards life.

Question 4: Do you actually think people care when each and everyone one of us is going through our own problems? I mean some may acknowledge by liking your post, but what does a ‘like’ mean? If a ‘like’ is the validation you need, then go ahead and keep posting. But I am secretly feeling sorry for you for reasons other than for the ones you wanted me to feel sorry for.

‘A lot of people want to make the institution of marriage a substitute for a real relationship.’

Marriage is not something which should not be a result of convenience.

Do not enter marriage because the current situation you are in warrants a marriage, so it is considered socially and culturally acceptable.

A marriage is a process which should occur at the right time, with the blessings of the right people, for the right reason which is nothing but true love!

Final thoughts:

Each of these thoughts are ones which I started to think more about based on the events which were taking place around me. I am not perfect, but I’m working on myself to think bigger and wiser so I can constantly reflect and grow myself. That is what life is about. Have a reason for every action and make sure you do not hurt anyone!

The Blame Game

We have all fallen victim of ‘The Blame Game’.

If the cooking goes wrong, we blame the quality of the ingredients or someone who apparently distracted us. If the dance performance was not good, we blame the lighting or the costumes or the stage. If the relationship did not work, we are all brilliant at blaming the opposite party. If we get into an accident, we blame the other driver.

These are just a few examples showcasing humans’ horrible tendency of blaming others when something goes wrong. Whether we realise it or not, we tend to play ‘the blame game’ a little too often in our day-to-day lives.

In many cases the opposite party may be at fault, but my point is what good is it for us to waste our time and energy blaming others, when we could actually use that energy and drive to work on ourselves. I always tell myself, the hardest yet most rewarding part is to look at yourself, identify your mistakes and work to fix it. How else are you going to grow as an individual?

I do want to mention that this does not mean that you have to be harsh on yourself and blame yourself for every bad incident. Not at all. Think of it as an opportunity to build yourself and grow.

I wanted to keep this piece a short one. Find ways in which you can learn and improve as an individual, because that is your responsibility and no one else’s. In the same way that you would never let your success be defined by someone else, when something goes wrong or you fail, look at where and how you can improve. This is how you can start to think positively and move forward positively as well.

‘The Secret – The Power’

The Power, by Rhonda Byrne, is another book which falls into the category of The Secret series. I read this book today and I wanted to make this piece a short one. The reason for this is that The Power focuses on the one and ultimate power which humanity possesses – the power of love.

Do you remember the reason for why Lord Voldemort could not kill Harry Potter? The love from Lily Potter protected Harry and carried him through until he was powerful enough to defeat the Dark Lord. Something so trivial for many, such as Harry Potter, intentionally or unintentionally had the secret to life. The power of love!

(I obviously wanted to use the Harry Potter example because I mean, it is Harry Potter after all!)

Anyway, jokes aside, this blog will be short one, portraying to you some of the key principles I learnt from this book.

1) The law of attraction is the law of love. Learn to love. Learn to love in every situation. Love is a very strong positive emotion. When you start practicing love in every way, you view of life becomes that much more positive. You also start to notice all the good in every situation. You strengthen from within, and therefore have the courage to face negativity that much stronger.

2) You get what you give. This is a simplified way of describing the law of attraction, but ultimately the energy which you emit is the energy which you get. I have seen this a lot in the relationships which I have formed whether it be friendships or romantic relationships. My circle of friends have changed over the years based on the energy which I emit. The more I start finding myself and my true potential, the more I start getting friendships which reflect those ambitions of mine. This is also the case with romantic relationships, where you attraction the type of relationship vibration which you emit. If that relationship was unsuccessful, before the blaming the other, look at the energy you were attracting. It’s that simple.

3) I wrote in my previous blog about how The Secret taught me the importance of gratitude. This book taught me that gratitude may not change the life around you, it changes you. Therefore, as stated in the point above, being a grateful human means you naturally will start emitting more positive energy which in turn means you start attracting that positivity. Change begins with you.

The term love is something which we take for granted. It is the strongest and most positive emotion human-kind can experience. Our love should extend from material matters to human-kind. Love, in every shape and form, sends very positive vibrations to all matters of energy around us, drawing that much more positive vibes towards us.

It’s okay to cry

Yesterday evening my emotions got the better of me. My thoughts started to take control of me and I just sat in bed crying endlessly until I had no more tears to shed.

I have spent the past few days spending time with no one else apart from myself. I have been reading books constantly and writing about them. Most of the books I have immersed myself in have been spiritual ones. The main point which they all have been championing is to love. Replace anger with love. Replace anxiety with love. Replace sadness with love. You get the point.

Somewhere, deep down, I had fixated on the fact that we should avoid feeling sad. We should avoid feeling angry. We should avoid all negative emotions. Yes we should, especially if they are detrimental to our well-being let alone others’. Nonetheless, I came to realise yesterday that sadness is a human emotion; it is a human energy.

When I was crying yesterday with sadness looming over, I tried my best to stop this negative energy. I tried to convert this energy into something positive. I struggled. Maybe I was doing it wrong, but the fact that I could not think of anything positive at that time, made me drown myself into more tears.

I cried myself to bed and woke up as a renewed person. My day has been very jovial and productive. This is when it clicked to me that humans are a manifestation of changing energy levels. We wax and wane in energy vibrations throughout the day. We cannot always radiate that energy with happiness and joy. Sometimes it is okay to cry and let out that negative energy because the aftermath of it is a 100 times more positive.

This does not mean however that we should cry and be angry most of the time. No way! Not at all. We should constantly aim to emit positivity, but remember…sometimes it is okay to cry.