So we have a Pandemic in our hands. It doesn’t end there. I have to cook and clean all by myself. The days where I had to worry just about my work deadlines and the bills seem like a distant dream. Now, I worry about deadlines, cooking (and make sure I haven’t left the stove on after cooking), laundry, and cleaning as well. I know I won’t ever have a career as the circus juggler looking at how I am already juggling tasks and messing it up.

The other day I had a video conference to attend and I did what every normal person does. I wore a white formal shirt and my oldest worn-out shorts beneath because they can see only my half profile anyway right? Right smack into the video call, my stove whistled and I realized that it was on for more than an hour. I paused my video and I rush towards the kitchen. In the process of making sure I didn’t burn my dinner for the day, I ended up spilling it all over my white shirt. I heard my boss calling me and to mortification, I had left the video on and turned off the mic. When I finally thought the day couldn’t get worse, my boss started yelling at me for leaving the meeting without giving him a reason. My shirt was stained, my dinner was burnt and my boss was mad at me. I could kiss my promotion goodbye and if all that wasn’t enough, the pipe which was connected to the washing machine started leaking and flooded my storeroom. That was definitely cherry on the top. I was in tears already. It was chaos. I took a deep breath and calmed myself down. No use crying over split dinner, after all. I started cleaning up the mess I created in the kitchen when I got a text from my colleague.

“Loved your shirt. Please send me the address and the name of the store you bought it from. It’s fancy!” was the text. I groaned and started laughing. Only if she knew.

I learned something that day. We will have bad days. We will have downs, sometimes, more than the ups. But it is up to us how we go with it. I realized stressing over a hundred things at a time is just going to mess up everything and just add a few more greys on my head. Whenever you find yourself overthinking, stop. Easier said than done but organize whatever you’re thinking about and think of them separately. Introspect on finding the solution rather than worrying about the problem. Many of us are living alone and find ourselves going nowhere except grocery runs and that’s even more lonely. Sometimes, loneliness gets into our heads and makes us sadder than we ought to be. And it is okay to not be okay. Everything doesn’t have to be sunshiny and full of rainbows.  It’s okay to be caught up in a storm of thoughts. Take a breather. Flex and roll your shoulders. Sit up straight and relax. Allow yourself to relax and then take deep breaths, close your eyes, and while you’re at it focus on the breath. Do this a couple of times, and you will feel the difference. You are much calmer now. Now, call your family, your best friend, anyone! After the call, you will feel much better and light-hearted.

Lessen your workload and submit it before the deadlines. Stop procrastinating. The more you procrastinate, the more you feel as though you have a ton of work that needs to be done and by the time you get to it, you will be stressing out. But there is no harm in taking a day off to just gather your thoughts and strengthen yourself from the fast-paced hustle you’re always running to. It’s absolutely okay to say no, to cancel out on a virtual play date with your friends because you are not up for it and you’re weary and just bone tired. A cup of coffee or tea and look outside the window, into the skies and just breathe, it’s a great stress buster.

This being said, the part where we are constantly idle, sitting in one place, caged and surrounded by four walls also gets to us. We get restless with all the pent up energy. That is when cleaning comes in. Remember that time when you thought, ”Oh no, look at my closet, it’s such a mess. I’ll clean it when I have the time.” Well, now you have the time and it’s time for some therapeutic cleaning. Cleaning uses up your pent up energy and your house is much cleaner than it used to be. If your house is already clean, then it’s time to work out and bust out some extra energy. Don’t groan. There are many people who work out at home and feel amazing. In fact, working out is strongly advised for a healthy mind and body. Trust me, you will notice the change. Your skin starts glowing from the sweat and post-workout glow and after a good, steaming bath, you feel energized and ready to conquer the world. Or the day. Either way, you are utilizing your time efficiently and making the best out of it. 

So, what makes life beautiful amidst the chaos? Catching up with old friends? Having a cup of tea while it rains? Curled up in bed reading a book? Looking down at the weighing scale and surprised at the weight loss? Submitting before the work deadline? Running in the rain with wind whipping throw your hair? Laughing at something your pet did? Calling your parents and gossiping with them?

It is the little things that make life beautiful. The little things that bring us joy and happiness but are a pretty big deal to us. Live is short. Live in the moment and take one day at a time.