I Fixed My Habits And Now Get The Best Sleep

Green towel

Have you experienced that feeling of waking up at nights and struggling to get back to sleep? You feel anxious and panicky. Especially, if you have to work the next day. Checking the clock frequently at night worsens the situation as you are worried about losing hours of sleep. I’ve been there and I’m sure you’ve been there too.

There are millions of people who are struggling with insomnia and other sleep disruptions. Having said that, it’s comforting to know that having a good night’s sleep, is primarily under our control. Did you know that the quality of your sleep is largely dependent on your own lifestyle choices, food habits, the emotional state of your mind, amount of exercise and your sleep environment?  It’s up to us to take charge of these areas. Healthy sleep starts right with us.

I discovered that the days I was disturbed about something, my sleep routine would go haywire. On the contrary, the days I was relaxed, I would have sound sleep. I realized that the emotional state of my mind played a vital role in attaining sound sleep. I dealt with my day to day stressors and made peace with them. Studies also prove that when we are stressed, the hormone ‘cortisol’ is released in our bodies that creates a state of alertness which is not what we need while sleeping. Sleeping has a lot to do with our state of minds.

Sufficient physical activity throughout the day made me tired enough and I could fall asleep without much of a hassle. The days I would laze around and not indulge in any form of exercise, I would end up being awake at nights. There’s a connection between sleep and exercise as exercise decreases stress levels, making it easier to sleep. The level of physical activity throughout the day is well under our control.

Continue reading here -> I Fixed My Habits And Now Get The Best Sleep

Note: This post was first published in Sheroes

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Kalpana Lajmi Hospitalised: Remembering Her Contribution To Indian Cinema

Kalpana 2

Film director Kalpana Lajmi, was recently admitted in a suburban Mumbai hospital after she complained of intense weakness. She travelled to Navi Mumbai to attend a function and fell weak the very next day. The talented director is battling kidney cancer. “Today morning my heart rate dropped and I felt uneasy. I am a kidney patient and both my kidneys are not functioning properly”, she said. She’s been battling kidney cancer for the past six months.

It was heart-breaking to hear about Kalpana Lajmi’s fight against cancer as the masses have always perceived her as a strong female director. She never shied away from creating movies on subjects that were close to a woman’s heart. Daughter of painter Lalita Lajmi and niece of film maker Guru Dutt, she made her first debut as an assistant director under veteran film director Shyam Benegal. Movies like ‘Rudaali’ featuring Dimple Kapadia, ‘Daman’ featuring Raveena Tandon and ‘Darmaiyaan: In between’ featuring Kiron Kher and Tabu, made her one of the most talented female directors of her time. Most of her movies were women centric, unconventional, broke stereotypes and struck a meaningful chord with the masses.

Her movies became the voice of those women who were victimised by social atrocities. The movies centred around patriarchy, marital violence, gender biases and caste systems. The characters in her movies be it Dimple Kapadia in ‘Rudaali’ or Raveena Tandon in ‘Daman’, were portrayed as strong female characters. Immense efforts were made by her to portray women in a strong light in a period when terms such as patriarchy, gender bias, marital violence, caste prejudices were not much talked about or were considered taboo subjects.

She recognized talent and had the knack of tapping the creative skills of female actors. Two female actors namely Dimple Kapadia and Raveena Tandon won the national film award for best actress under her direction. Her movie ‘Daman: A victim of marital violence’ was highly acclaimed by critics and was distributed by the Indian government. And not to forget, her own personal life was also a center of much media attention.

It’s tragic to know that a female director who worked hard to unravel social atrocities that primarily affected women, is herself battling a serious disease today. Her contribution to the film industry and to the society as a whole has been immense. The good news as of now is that Kalpana Lajmi is stable and according to Doctors she’ll be released from the hospital soon. Many actors like Salman Khan and Alia Bhatt have extended financial support.

Battling kidney problems is no joke and the process of dialysis can be energy draining. The brave 61 year old director has mentioned to a leading publication that she’ll fight till the end.  Here’s wishing her a speedy recovery and all the best for her future endeavours.

Image Source: Youtube

Is Violence In The World Related To Lack Of Human Touch?

The recent shootout in Las Vegas, by gunman Stephen Craig Paddock, came as a big shock to me. Not because, it was the worst mass shooting in U.S history.

I was surprised about the age of the shooter – he was 64 years old. For some reason, I assumed that the killer would be much younger, since it’s always been the hot blooded youngsters who indulge in these shootouts. Which got me thinking – why is our society turning so violent?

Recently, my eyes fell upon an article that revolved around ‘the power of human touch’, through which, I gained some of the answers. According to American psychologist James Prescott, origins of violence in the society are closely linked to human touch or bonding between a mother and her offspring. Lack of healthy physical interaction with the child can affect behavioural patterns. Children can even grow into mentally unstable individuals.

We often underestimate the power of human touch and its significance in our lives. We are unaware of how it affects our lives at various levels. For instance, I personally feel wonderful and more secure when I’m hugged by my husband, by my son or by family members. I’ve seen a difference in my son’s behaviour when I hug him or give him a pat on the back when he solves mathematical problems. He turns calmer and there’s an immediate positive change in his behaviour.

Continue reading @ Is violence in the world related to lack of human touch?

Note: This article was first published in Sheroes.

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How #MeTime Helped Me Gain Control Of My Life

SheroesA couple of years back, I never knew the significance of ‘me time’. However, it didn’t take me long to understand it’s importance in achieving my personal development goals. The first few months of my married life were awesome. I left my job and relocated to Bangalore. It was a complete new set up and a new way of living –  new family, new friends and new relatives. The period after marriage can be a turning point in many women’s lives as it involves a lot of adjustments.

I tried to fit into the roles of being a perfect wife and a daughter-in-law. Soon, I became a mother. Yet another role to add to the list.  It was during this period, that my father’s health began to deteriorate rapidly. But I was constantly receiving advice from all directions on how to be a good mother. There were high expectations and there was pressure to perform my best as a mother, even when I was going through a stressful period.

I was multitasking and the whole process was exhausting. It even affected my sleep and this caused my stress levels to go up. Simultaneously my father’s health was distressing me. These negative circumstances led to a complete burnout, as I was stressing over things that were beyond my control. We sometimes get so caught up in the roles we play that we don’t realise we have a life of our own too. To divert my mind from all the stressors, I began reading a lot and I learned how important it is to invest some time in myself and my personal development goals.

I made it my new goal. It was not an easy task though. I tried to complete all my household chores on time. My family took turns to look after my son. We also made arrangements for a new maid. I was blessed to have her, as she took over most of the household duties and even helped with looking after the kid. These changes gave me ample time to indulge in activities that I loved the most like reading, writing and listening to music. Relaxation was brought back into my life. ‘Me time’ was the first step towards healing my mind.

Continue reading @ How #MeTime Helped Me Gain Control Of My Life

Note: This article was first posted in Sheroes.

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