As you guys are aware, I have recently started practicing yoga. My teacher was a SAHM (stay-at-home mom) who suddenly found herself with a lot of free time with the kids all grown up. Her child forced her to try yoga and that’s how she got her Iyenger Yoga certification, which brought about a strong positive mind-shift for her. Added to that was the feeling of doing something with her life and helping others too. Giving back as they say!
So recently she requested me to change the schedule of our class as she wanted to try a Calisthenics class (I actually had to google it to figure what it was). She was as excited as my kid is when he discovers something new. Her enthusiasm was palpable and I realised this wasn’t the last time she would be trying something different!
And that’s when I realised, that this is all part of self-love. Doing things for yourself, learning things, investing in yourself. It’s not a selfish act at all, but an act of self-care.
So, what are some of the things you can do to invest in yourself?
- Activate your left brain- Skills and capabilities: Recently, I met someone, who like me, had shifted to SG 2yrs back and since then had been busy settling in. And then she reached a “what next” phase. In India she had an amazing job as an interior designer, but here she was slowly moving into oblivion. Just the thought of that scared her so much, that she took it upon herself to find something she liked. The slate was blank and she could start afresh. She took up a course on writing articles and blogs for architects. She knew she would have an edge on it since she was an architect herself and it made her happy. Personally, I’ve always believed in learning a new skill to grow professionally. Almost every year I identify a course in HR. Be it facilitation, coaching, behavioural inventory etc there is so much to learn in my field that I always feel the need to know more. So, this year, since I am on a break, my husband pushed me to not stop. I finally got myself registered for an NLP program. Am I excited about it? Of course!! After almost a year in lockdown and no job, this is definitely something that will get me stimulated.
- Take care of your body and mind: I can’t write enough on this. How I wish I had done this earlier, maybe.. just maybe I wouldn’t have had to see this day. But, its never too late you know. There is never a better reason to start other than feeling good about yourself. Eat and exercise right, be it walking, pilates, Zumba etc. When I moved to Singapore I realised just how much Singaporeans value fitness. I mean, the one thing during lockdown the Government spoke about was exercise (you need not wear a mask during exercise). It’s that ingrained. Take time to meditate. With the high stress levels and mental fatigue, this is a key life saviour for you.
- Look at some of your limiting beliefs: And it’s now, more than ever that I realise how this battle is so much of a mind game. Get your mental game right and you can face anything. So, when I started therapy, I wondered what could there be to figure. I have always felt strong and confident. But as the sessions progressed, so much unravelled. We are all complex beings and we all have self-limiting beliefs which hold us back from our true potential. They influence how you respond to situations or see the world. Like filtered glasses. So which type of glasses do you want to wear?
- Activate your right brain: Try something creative – I think one positive outcome of the covid crisis is the increased time people have devoted to their passions. I see so many IG posts on painting, jewellery making, pottery, soap/candle making and more that people are getting into. And it’s fun isn’t it? To do something outside the realm of your professional pursuits. Here ratings don’t matter, just how much you enjoy it! Honestly, I started blogging for kicks. Did not think I would like it so much. But guess my friend knew better. I love the time I spend here. Its time away from my kid, so it better me worth my time right? It so is!
- Time to break some bad-habits: With so much focus on getting better and trying to achieve self-mastery, why not work on those irritating habits which you know are causing you so much guilt. Smoking, excessive drinking, lethargy, lying, social media… the list can be quite long. Breaking a bad habit can be quite a transformative thing, and it’s not something that can happen overnight. But once done, it can change your life!
Carol Dweck a Stanford psychologist, noted that people have two types of mindsets: Fixed mindset (people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits) and Growth Mindset (people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work).
People with a growth mindset keep striving towards excellence by constantly learning. They are able to face challenges far better than people with fixed mindsets.
So what kind of mindset do you have?