QuaranThoughts: Self-Care in the Time of Corona

So it looks like we’re in lockdown for the longish haul.

At best, social distancing and self-isolation can save us from the grips of the worst pandemic we’ve seen in this lifetime. At worst, we fall prey to the virus one way or the other, as mental stress and fear of the unknown take their toll. Self-care has never been more important. And while I’m by no means an expert on the subject, I hope these few tips and inspiration do help us find some respite over the coming days!

Tuning Out & Switching Off

I don’t know about you, but my screen time has definitely skyrocketed over recent weeks, whether due to endless scrolling down social apps or a feverish need to consume the latest news about the crisis at hand and prepare for disaster. Needless to say, the impact of our high-alert state is detrimental in more ways than one, feeding into anxiety and disturbed sleeping patterns.

The antidote however, is surprisingly simple: just turn it off and tune out from it all – the news, the notifications and the constant noise. It’s OK to hit pause and stop stressing about the things we can’t control.

Improving Eye Health In The Age of Increased Screen Time

What’s more, swapping screen-time for an old-fashioned book at night helps limit our exposure to blue light from laptops, TVs and phones – a huge factor affecting the quality of our sleep and that constant feeling (not to mention appearance) of tiredness.

Leading nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar recommends coloured foods to improve eye health at this time – think mangoes (yes please!), sweet potato, cashews, karela and ragi (finger millet). While wellness expert Vasudha Rai has shared an easy DIY mask to help bring your glow back, making use of just three staple household items you’re likely to have lying around (check out the tutorial in her IGTV, here).


Eating Good Food That’s Also Good For You

While there’s no 100% guarantee for preventing infections or viruses, we can do our bit by eating well and improving gut health. The immunity boost aside, a better diet will also keep us fresh and feeling at our best (or as best as we can be) during these challenging times.

Rather than reaching for those zeitgesity superfoods (let’s face it, acai is going to be a bit hard to come by for a while!) – I’m turning back to our ancient wisdom and practices, which are as simple as they are marvellously effective.

Fibre and antioxidant-rich sprouted moong for instance, is nourishingly-wholesome and can be tempered into a substantial salad or Buddha Bowl. Textbook pairings of rice with pulses or legumes form a complete meal packed with protein (the humble khichdi luxuriating in spiced ghee has become my go-to comfort food of late). Adding fermented pickles to each meal can do wonders in supporting digestion. And of course, there’s nothing quite as potent as a Golden Latte, i.e. haldi doodh at night!

For more on fermentation and gut health, have a read of my article in Indian Express, here | You could also try this recipe for an Immunity-Boosting Grain Bowl, or up your haldi fix with Golden Cocoa Chai.

Immunity-Boosting Grain Bowl
Immunity-Boosting Grain Bowl

Dining In Is The New Going Out

Lend a sense of occasion to supper – at least once a week – to escape routine and make your evening a bit more special. It doesn’t require much – just dusting out your favourite crockery or dinner set, lighting a candle or two and putting a bit of thought into the presentation of your food, however humble the dish might be.

You’ll be surprised by how far even the smallest effort goes in transforming a mundane meal into an elevated experience. Explore all the Kitchen Inspiration you need to keep your spirits high, here

Small Rituals & Cosy Corners

With the days blurring into one, it’s the small rituals which structure and set apart the day. Try and carve out a corner for yourself; whether you’re working from home, undertaking an online course or simply picking up a book over a cuppa – adapt your chosen space to make it your own and fit your needs.

If you’re looking for inspiration to style your home with rejuvenating touches, my dear friend – interior stylist and home blogger – Janavi of Walls and Things is also sharing heaps of helpful tips and tutorials over on her Instagram page.

Find and cling to joy. Little fizzes of heart-filling joy. 

This one sounds fairly obvious but it’s not always, especially if you’re stressing about steep dips in productivity. I for one, have stopped setting myself over-ambitious lists of things to do. All things considered, it’s time to let go and be present, finding joy in doing whatever makes us happy during these unsettling times, whether its waking and baking or making our nth cuppa Dalgona coffee for the week. From virtual art tours to Quarantinis, explore things to do in lockdown here.

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