Loneliness

One of the biggest epidemic hitting our generation is not any disease by loneliness itself. It’s time we acknowledge the elephant in the room. Loneliness is a dirty word carrying a stigma of shame. Loneliness does not stem from solitude per se. You can be surrounded by 100 people and still feel lonely. The major reason for this loneliness is the technology and how hooked we are to our smartphones all the time. Most of us have forgotten what it’s like to make human contact and connect with another human being. It’s so much easier to maintain virtual connections, even blocking people online is 1000x better than dealing with an uncomfortable conversation in person.

Reliance on consumption instead of connection is killing us

Some people who are socially isolated don’t necessarily feel lonely, and some people who are lonely are surrounded by people who make them feel more alienated, not less.Having said that Isolation can be killer. A strong physical and mental regime is needed to offset the impacts. Awareness is the first step towards the solution.While it feels like opening a Pandora box of problems for employers to resolve, a well devised ‘system’ can resolve most of responsibilities.

Lack of human connection and warm relationships has turned us into zombies trudging through our day.Life has lost meaning because there is less to experience physically than be intoxicated into a world of our creation. Black mirror is a great example of where society and civilisation is headed.

There is a study that states that loneliness is as a bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. We are responsible to take care of our emotional and mental well being. A large population of remote workers, stay at home spouses and old parents are at risk of suffering from loneliness and depression.As you age it becomes harder to make friends. The need to share with one another is ingrained in our DNA.Our brain is wired to help us make more connections,when something unforeseen happens we have a strong urge to share. This strong urge stems from the underlying need for survival. Our brain knows what’s best for us.

Wherein lies the conundrum: How can you meaningfully articulate the experience of being alive if you yourself are only in tune with the broken clockwork of your own anxiety, the echo chamber of your own skull?

The western world tells us to know ourselves and to be social. Contradicting its own facts we never learnt how to be alone with ourselves. Most of us are so scared of solitude we would rather hang out with people whose company we don’t even enjoy to avoid feeling bored.When you surround yourself with moments of solitude and stillness, you become intimately familiar with your environment in a way that forced stimulation doesn’t allow.

Loneliness is a self inflicted wound.You have the strength to heal it.“Social isolation is the best-established, most robust social or psychological risk factor for disease out there. Nothing can compare.”

Would love to hear your thoughts, share them in comments down below or write to me at theclosetweekly@gmail.com.

XX,Akansha

50 Things to Be Happy About

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Well you don’t really need a reason to be happy. But with the capitalistic and materialistic society we live in , we need “reasons” to be happy. so here is a list. Print it out and add it to your refrigerator. Let the gratefulness warm your hearts everyday.Do what makes you happy and you will never have a dull moment.Own less do more, think less, worry less be happy.Being happy already you will suddenly realise that the things you were always seeking did not matter so much after all…

Let go of things that worry you, frustrate you or make you sad. Practise mindfulness and feel centred. Practise deep breathing in times of panic, anxiety and distress. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at 50 classic “list” things to be happy about. Make your own list of things or just use this list of reasons to be happy (and maybe even spread a little link love).The secret sauce to happiness is being content and grateful for what you already have. Remember on a bad day, ..

“Surrender to what is , make peace with what was and have faith in what will be”

Live each day as your last and you will never have any regrets in life.Do more of what makes you happy and what sets your soul on fire.Happiness is silence and reflection. Increase your proximity from negative people.Live a life where you compare yourself with your past self not others. Start taking control of your life by taking the responsibility for what happened to you in the past and the present. Quit complaining and the constant habit of winning. pageI am also linking a happy printable planner (from Pinterest) for you to later work on. Stop trying to impress everyone, thats the perfect recipe for sadness. Also set daily goals and work on achieving them.

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Here goes the list.

1. For being healthy

2. For being able to see, touch, smell, taste and hear everything around us

3. For having a roof over my head

4. For having enough to eat

5. Being able to follow your passion

6. Having the freedom to travel

7. On giving & receiving kindness

8. Having enough money to get by each day

9. People who you care & love

10. Special Moments and Memories

11. Victories and small wins

12. Blooming flowers & buzzing bees

13. The sound of birds chirping

14. Sunshine

15. Air,Water and access to both

16. Cupcakes & coffee

17. Pretty Shoes

18. Warm hugs & kisses

19. Interwebs make you more connected

20. Hot Coffee in the Morning

21. Umbrella in the Rain

22. Walk by the Ocean

23. Early Morning Jog

24. Chocolate in all forms

25. Lavender scented candles

26. Discounts when shopping

27. Flowers & Ikibana

28. Pottery & Paintings

29. Watching waves in the sea

30. Swimming

31. Doing Yoga everyday

32. Playing with little kids

33. Making your dear ones feel special

34. Feeling Loved

35. Cooking a lovely meal

36. Playing with a Fluffy Pet

37. Connecting & sharing with others

38. Buzzing bees and Cicadas

39. Fireworks on Christmas & New Year

40. Watching your favourite team win

41. Lighting Diyas on Diwali

42. Weekend DIYs

43. Binge Watching on Netflix

44. Movie Marathon on Weekends

45. Game of Thrones all the way

46. Reading a Good Book under the Shade of a Tree

47. Taking a hike through the wilderness

48. Cycling on the mountain trail

49. Watering your Garden

50. For being alive !!

Don’t PROCRASTINATE and live in the present. Wallowing about the past or fretting about the future not only robs your today of happiness it also depletes your energy to take action.

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Hope you enjoyed reading. Visit my website www.theclosetweekly.com for more if you like. And , don’t go without downloading this free printable , link. Happy Diwali and share your thoughts in comments down below, or shoot me an email mailto: theclosetweekly@gmail.com.If you’re on Facebook, please give a thumbs up !

Much Love

Akansha

How to Beat JetLag

Even in an era of perpetual electronic availability, these automated missives land in our inboxes with shocking frequency.

While most vacationing email recipients keep it simple (listing the contact information of their next-in-command and making a vague promise to get back to you by a certain date), some cannot resist the opportunity to inject a bit of their personality into their correspondents’ inboxes in absentia.

Summer vacation kicking in!

Always wonder how flight attendants do it, smile posted on their faces. Is it a vacation hangover? Is my body fooling me? Insomnia fatigue anxiousness is so common.

Scientific term : desynchronizes or circadian dysrhythmia

Makes you cranky, impacts your body, hard time focussing, grumpy, exhausted. Adjust your watch ( if you wear one ), the psychological trick to adjust your brain and ease your transition

Social jet lag is real, you don’t really need to travel to get jetlagged.

When you’re traveling east it gets harder to fall asleep and when you travel west it can be hard to stay up. Caused due to variation in light. Jumpstart your sleep, minimize shock to your body

Sleep early or sleep late; change your clock to the destinations time zone; Stretch your legs and your entire body ( thank you for legroom )

Solutions

First cycle –> body’s circadian rhythm Second cycle –> food clock, starvation, and re-feeding

  1. Meal timings, Space out your meals, high protein breakfast, high carb dinner. Heavy food will make you more sleepy
  2. No matter how painful don’t sleep in ( it will make it harder to fall asleep at night )
  3. Dehydration makes jet lag works avoid caffeine and alcohol
  4. Sunshine — embrace it, fix your body clock
  5. Gets too unbearable, take short naps ( under 20–25 minutes ) any longer will make you groggy, worse than before you went to sleep, making jet lag worse. To reset your circadian rhythm sleep at the proper time.
  6. Turn off all electronics before going to bed ( never happens ), light suppresses melatonin production (sleep hormone)
  7. Ground your self, release-static charge, walking on grass, step onto the pool, connected to the earth, disconnect resolves
  8. Exercise in the morning ( plenty of sunshine ), alert during the day and sleep like a baby at night.
  9. Drink plenty of water, mild dehydration due to air travel, alcohol-based sanitizers, rough soaps, and frequent washing can leave your hands dry, carry a moisturizer. Avoid coffee tea when you land
  10. Be in the moment, don’t compare present and past destinations. Different sleep cycle re-timer.com.

I hope you enjoyed reading, share your thoughts in the comments down below.

XX,Akansha

House Plants

House plants, this post is an excerpt from my 8m² balcony/garden. The pandemic has changed our social lives and it seems we are living in our minds and our homes pretty much 24X7. Spending time with nature can help a lot in alleviating symptoms of depression, loneliness, anxiety, and stress. House plants are super fun to maintain and good pass time when there is absolutely nothing to do. House plants purify the air and improve health and wellness overall.

If you are staying by yourself, house plants could give a good company and add a small routine in the morning. Caring for plants is an extension of self-love and discipline. You don’t need a lot of space, to begin with. House plants are a great asset to any home in non-virusy times too. Let’s get started on turning our rooms into a forest oasis.

Productivity Tidbits

Before we jump ahead a small note on productivity and how our brains work. Our brains are not as evolved as we think. We have a tendency to avoid things that are hard to do, survival mechanisms in-grained to conserve energy. Our minds feel reluctant to do tough things as a measure to save energy and help us survive. This prevents us from picking the A items on our to-do lists. Assign a carrot to your to-do list and cut down items that seem easy to do but aren’t as fruitful.

When encountered with unfairness our mind jumps to fight or flight mode, a response hard-wired in us for survival. When confronted/ put on the spot it’s a natural tendency of our brain to be defensive and be less objective. Human beings aren’t entirely driven by reason and rationale, a lot has to do with irrational decisions and emotion. The split-second difference swaying our decisions, either way, is a good example.

We constantly have to make decisions every day, every minute, every second. The more things you put on auto-pilot, the more productive you’d get. Avoid making your day to day tasks tedious. Decision fatigue is real. Whether it’s deciding what to eat, what to wear, what to buy it all comes at a cost. Keep things that are important to do within your closest reach and you will NOTICE the difference in what you do As Marie Kondo says let go of things that don’t spark joy, apply the same to your daily routine and you’d find for yourself how effective and fulfilling your life would get.

When making your to-do list → be clear to add in an A, B, C, D, E to your tasks, ensure you absorb in your mind how doing things that are going to help you in both the short and long run are higher up in your priority lists. Do them before the “easier” and “brain fulfilling” tasks you chose over in your daily routine. Optimize your energy and you will optimize your life 🙂

A little bit of greenery in your room and outside your house inspires creativity and restores vitality. Some great plants that are low maintenance and hard to kill would be snake plant, pothos, Syngonium, jade, holy basil, monstera bamboo palm. You could add ferns, vines, and even succulents if you wish to get more involved.

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To quote:

“[People] laugh at the stupefying odds against anything accidental growing exactly like this, like us, out of mindless wood… The odds are nothing compared to the first great rolls of the cosmic dice: the one that took inert matter over the crest of life, and the one that led from simple bacteria to compound cells a hundred times larger and more complex. Compared to the first two chasms, the gap between trees and people is nothing at all.”

When you’re a perceptive, quiet human, plant language makes sense. If you listen close enough, you’ll hear it. And the lessons embedded in the leafy whispers are human, too.

I hope you enjoyed reading, please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions down below. Stay healthy! Stay safe.

Akansha

Gender Inequality

Writing this post pains me deeply because so much of it is about personal experience and pain. While it makes me quite uncomfortable to write about this topic I think it’s important to address the elephant in the room. We are living in the 21st century but unfortunately, most people around us seem stuck in the 18th century. Sometimes it makes me wonder if they took a time machine from a time where misogynistic tendencies used to be thought of as chivalry. Time and time again women have been suppressed, mansplained, and even looked down upon in the society and our workplaces.

Our offices are no longer safe for women to work. This problem is further worsened in tech where the gender ratio is skewed all the more. I speak from experience as a woman who is educated, privileged, and shielded from a lot of things that women take for granted. Nevertheless, this is a topic I feel very strongly about, so much of it is about being in your truth, being naked and exposed.

I have faced countless instances of gender inequality and harassment in the workplace and each time I learned that it’s important to step forward and fight for your right. You cant be passive-aggressive or ignoring what is happening around you. If you feel something is up, it is! trust your instincts and take timely action. Despite the sexual harassment and sensitivity training, I see a serious lack of empathy, understanding, and even common sense in dealing with such situations among leaders. I have had pretty disappointing discussions with my team members, managers, and the namesake leaders who need to be educated enough to handle these problems in the workplace. Women must not be told to contain it, or live within boundaries. Enough is enough and there needs to be strict management and policies when such incidents are reported by women. I don’t want to publicly shame some sexual perpetrators but if you’re reading this post you know who you are. Consider this a warning because there is more coming. I have found that our corporate law doesn’t support women when an untoward incident/accident happens. There is a natural tendency to blame women for being too vocal, open, or in some way responsible for being harassed. It’s NOT your fault, period.

Over the past several years a number of high-profile stories of pervasive workplace sexual harassment at “leading” companies has been exposed.Sexual harassment is an issue that really matters. You cant talk about gender equality when women are always treated as second class citizens and objectified. A women’s job is not to “brighten up the room” get an effing plant duh !

Okay I know there are more pressing concerns right now, First off, as we all know, there’s a pandemic raging the planet. 2020 has truly been the worst year of my existence. Not only are we social and physical distancing we are losing on precious time and memories. Unbelievable!

That said, this would forever be a dark spot in my memory a big scar. To all the victims of sexual harassment, my heart goes out to you. I am so sorry for whatever you are going through right now, please don’t blame yourself. Here are four things you can do to help prevent sexual harassment.

1. If you see someone being harassed, don’t be silent. But, call the harasser out and tell him to stop his action. 
2. Speak out. Or if you can, make a campaign about stopping sexual harassment.
3. If you hear people excuse sexism by saying, “boys will be boys then, and girls will be girls” just call it out. 
4. Don’t be afraid to raise your voice because your voice matters, really.

Remember, every little action counts. We can do just a smalls step to bust gender stereotypes. For instance, remember that chores have no gender. Maybe, your family often assign tasks in a very old-fashioned way without even realizing it. For girls, they’re the ones who take care of domestic things like washing dishes, cooking, setting table while for boys, they do more physical tasks like mowing the lawn or climbing ladders. Next time teach your boys some household chores- let them do the laundry, cook food because when you are living on your own not only do these life skills come in handy you are setting the standard for generations to come.

I think that’s all for now. I wish I could talk more about it. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great day, and be safe

Much Love

Akansha