Happiness Anti-Virus from the ATM for Happiness
Nature has willed us into being together almost full time again! Lasting together already seems challenging to many. Today, as a result of overthinking, our unhappiness and anxiety are on a high! More than anything else a whole lot of people are worried in anticipation, while many are actually going through the pain and hopefully emerging winners. My prayers go out to those who lost the battle; may their souls rest in peace.
Hygiene & Health need renewed attention.
Namaste instead of handshake is the starting point. Physical distancing is the new normal but the need to be socially connected is more than ever before. A new era of knowing, caring & sharing with people in the near vicinity is emerging. A mass prayer across countries to express gratitude for health workers is an example of things moving. We need to take care to not let loneliness creep in as a mental disaster, which will be a worse epidemic. Each one us can be mindful to have a better quality of cleanliness in public places and I am sure we will be better off. Medication and Isolation when attacked with the virus is the only way out, yet some form of humane care can be a big healer. It’s the mental health that can be such a big terror / healer, when one senior citizen was paranoid about toilet paper not being there in the store and a lady gave her a roll from her bag – a moment of humane care.
Our body needs to be strong enough to deal with some such issues which keep emerging. A healthy body needs a reasonable amount of daily care. Basic exercise, walk, exposure to sunlight and nature is critical; sleep needs to be made up. Our food plays a very important role in insulating our body. It is better to have vegetarian food, clean boiled water and maybe have regime where we have less as the day passes. Each region will have somethings that work for a particular climate – like Tulsi, Turmeric, Black Pepper, Neem, Buttermilk etc. have been consumed in India for years. Boiled water has been used very often as it’s safe. Mom’s kitchen is on 24×7 yet being mindful that she also needs rest is important. Each one of us is empowered with responsibility towards self, family & friends, society & environment to do our bit.
Unhappiness needs to come down and Happiness needs to go up
This is a delicate moment of life. Most businesses are at a low and people are forced to work from home. In such a situation spouses who complained of not having time together are scared of the overdose. Each one has a life of their own and being together too long seems to be creating an ill-at-ease situation. It’s a god sent situation to test our agility to work from home, be together more & all day at home – how good or bad it can be? The older folks are worried about who will attend to them in case their care giver falls ill, or cannot travel.
The time is to first Accept the reality and engage in expectation management; If I am home all day and I want my wife who is also at home to be doing something or the other for me or vice versa it may be too much for both. Maybe setting up a time for mini sessions while each one is on their respective job – spouses working, children studying, coworkers wanting one to one face time with different people, may help – coffee over zoom is safe with a colleague. Women empowerment is being actively discussed; the time is to act on it in real life. Our personal life at home has become vulnerable- during video calls when the baby keeps knocking / crying we do need to excuse ourselves and open the door; this is the new normal. People need to understand that maybe an audio call is overall better in most cases as who is doing or wearing what can be embarrassing. Expectation mismatch is bound to happen, yet how each one accepts it and corrects it will make a difference.
Taking charge of the situation does not mean military rule, or ‘my way or the highway’. It’s more of ‘live and let live’ within some boundaries. So, each day our office hours can be, say, 3 hours morning + 3 hours evening- ‘Do NOT disturb’ time, and the leftover time, we coordinate our chores and tasks. Sharing of resources in a manner that when the other person at home uses the same laptop / printer/ charger so it aids in ease of usability. My kids found it overbearing to take my advice / sermons during the day when normally I was not expected to be home – so a mutual advice exchange time is what I am set up.
Making the most of what we have – We have got the TIME to be together so let’s try to put the phone and TV off for maybe 1 +1 hours daily and chat with a feeling of just appreciation / gratitude for each other. Let’s set things in order at home, in our body needs, etc. One could take up an online course and experiment together like cooking. Enjoying meals and coffee together in a leisurely manner, making time to listen to each other and speak to family & friends, tending to the garden and fixing up the odd jobs pending for months. In these moments together we can make so much that when the outside world opens up our bond is so strong that we long to meet and be with each other more. This is not going to last lifelong. It will also soon pass so cherish your time with near and dear ones & make the most of it.
ATM for Happiness wishes an era of life long happiness.
A – Acceptance
T – Taking Charge
M – Making the most of what we have
I look forward to hear your stories and experiences!
(An alumnus of INSEAD, Naveen Khajanchi is CEO of NKH Foundation P Ltd which is into Leadership Search, Executive Coaching & Training for leaders of large Corporates)