Over the last few months, the world has witnessed the unimaginable- the COVID-19 outbreak bringing it to a halt. The lockdown, resulting from the spread of the pandemic has made us confront the harsh truth that the Earth wants to reclaim what’s rightfully hers. So, taking a cue from Rahm Emanuel’s words, ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’, we too need to make a start with the lessons that the lockdown is teaching us…
Take time out to smell the roses
Yes, it’s time to decelerate and reconnect with our inner tortoise; something that author Carl Honore so beautifully says- “We need to be proud – not ashamed – of doing less while, of course, focusing on what’s important.” With the lockdown showing the way, our priorities need to change, insists clinical psychiatrist Dr Sanjay Chugh talking about the need to create more happy times for ourselves and our families. “Remember to take a chill pill, to take time out to put your feet up and watch the world go by too.”
Become travellers, not tourists
Now that the Earth (minus the excessive carbon footprint) has started healing itself, we need to let the trend continue. And travellers can do their bit by including lesser-known, under-the-radar destinations, instead of the oft-visited, ones on their itineraries. Slow travel needs to become part of our agenda, insists avid traveller and orthopaedic surgeon Dr Naveen Talwar. “It will be worthwhile to stop and savour the bounties of nature that your destination opens up besides enjoying the local cuisine, talking to locals etc to up your travel experience.” Sustainable travel and eco-tourism is the need of the hour so we must take off for places closer to home. Besides avoiding air travel, let’s opt for eco-friendly modes of travel like electric trains and cars, and stay in green hotels. And yes, look at eschewing the use of plastic bottles besides leaving the place as clean as we found it. “All this is essential to keep the Earth happy,” he adds.
Stop taking work too seriously
Even though WFH is the new norm, it has taught us that no one is indispensable from the workplace. So, while it’s okay to slog at the office, it is also imperative to treat yourself to some me-time after office hours. This could include not just spending time with the family, going to the movies but also sitting out in the park to hear the birds chirp, catch up on your reading, listening to music or even playing board games like ludo- all of which are therapeutic and fun.
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Another exercise known to calm the nerves is rustling up dishes that remind you of your favourite destinations – be it Mexico or Morocco, Kerala or Kashmir; or yes, even something that harks back to happy times – strawberry cake from one of your birthdays as a kid or chhole-bhature from the neighbourhood bazaar.
Desi food is the new cool
This one’s pleasing the moms as more and more youngsters are getting down to appreciate traditional food. What’s more, they’re coming to realize that staying away from junk food is possible. The social media too has witnessed a happy proliferation of home chefs offering a smorgasbord of dishes that are inspiring the millennials to go to the kitchen and cook stuff like dhokla, dal dhokli or dum aaloo. The reasons that desi khana is becoming such a hit, according to food blogger Deepali Bhasin, is that it’s our gene food and most of its ingredients are easily available on the kitchen shelf.
Household chores are not a bore
The forced quarantine with no outsiders, not even house helpers, is letting us discover the joys of doing simple household chores. A little division of work is all that’s needed and we can, as many do in countries abroad, say bye to the maids and their tantrums. After all, mopping has always been touted as being good to contain the expanding waistline.
Clean environs can be a reality
The COVID-19 scare is letting people appreciate the importance of living in healthy and clean environs that, they now know, are easily attainable. The repercussions of the lockdown have unfolded many pleasant scenarios – from the air getting cleaner to rising oxygen levels in rivers like the Yamuna and Ganga, waters at Har ki Pauri looking sparkling clean and healthy. And when a rainbow gets spotted in the city skies after many years, we know that lessons from this corona crisis must not be allowed to go forgotten.