I know it’s been a disorienting week for many of us, having had to stay indoors all day, every day. I struggled when I first began working from home. Over a decade, I learnt to manage my health, appetite, sleep cycle, motivation and productivity. I didn’t realise it would turn out to be a useful set of skills for a global scare.

Isolation forces you to face your self, including parts that you may be used to escaping. It can be quite overwhelming when you do it all at once like many of us are having to, in lockdown. It can eat away into our self-esteem and sense of perspective. It can make everything seem dark and hopeless.

I’ve found managing motivation is as important and tricky as managing physical health. We are used to motivation coming from outside us, with structures & habits laid out for us. How do we maintain perspective when we have to hold the frame ourselves? With small steps. Here is one thing that helps me.

I embraced vanity as a value. Dressing well every day makes you care about your personal hygiene (step 1 to God health) and the person in the mirror (the only company most have right now). It makes you have to accept parts of you that the world hasn’t been kind on. It leads you to self-acceptance, the foundation for confidence, stability and peace of mind. It has a way of energising me to tackle daily duties and focus on the future. It lets me feel I’m doing the best I can and it makes it easier for me to accept what is beyond my control.

This is me today. I bought this saree a couple of weeks before lockdown. I’ve been getting blouses stitched all winter in preparation for a summer of sarees. Today I realised it can still be a summer of sarees. I’m very privileged to live in a moderate climate so can manage without air conditioners. Nothing beats a cotton saree for comfort, convenience or appropriateness for everything from sweeping the floor to getting on a concall with a client to hanging out on your sofa binge-watching Netflix. Thanks to the internet, I’m connected to most of my world.

I’m showing up for it and myself with style.


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