Let’s Reboot. Happiness is Within

This article is part of the series #SupportEachOther, a campaign through which PRCAI aims to bring PR professionals from diverse verticals and different levels of experience onto a common platform for discussion. By spreading awareness and the use of storytelling, we aim to destigmatize mental health issues within the PR industry and start a dialogue to help and #SupportEachOther, in the midst of various professional challenges we are confronting because of the COVID19 pandemic crisis.

Coronavirus infection has been declared a pandemic, leading to a nationwide lockdown. We have a lot of free time now. It is therefore necessary that we utilise this free time with family to enhance the happiness quotient, instead of brooding and excessively worrying over what’s going to happen.

In such a scenario, mental illnesses like anxiety and depression are sure to coming knocking at our doorstep. Forced lockdown, social distancing, uncertainty over availability of daily essentials and last but not the least, cancelled contracts and imminent slowdown in economy, apart from the fear of getting infected, may drive us crazy. Add to this a steady dose of fake news, viral videos and fear-mongering, and we find ourselves literally on the edge.

However, this may just be the right time to look within, examine what happiness means to us, and how finding that is the real purpose of life.

Some of the following ideas may help us on how to make the best use of this time.

Me-time – Life is so rushed-up in the 21st-century that most of us wish to have a day with no big to-do list. We always wish for a 20 to 30 minutes of peace and a ‘Me-Time’ – the time where we can follow any of our interests or anything which we love to do like painting, drawing or listening to music etc. May be now that peaceful “Me-Time” we have been seeking is no more elusive, let’s start doing these things which we always wanted when we were busy. Devote some time to doing breathing exercises or meditation. It will not only make us happier and less anxious but also increase our productivity.

Digital Detox – Offline is the new luxury, the smart phone or the gadgets meant to ease our life have brought some more troubles also. Constant notifications/inflow of messages, steals our focus. It’s almost a reflex that people have to look at their mobile phone screens every now and then, so much so when our mobiles are out of battery even for a short while, we feel restlessness and frustrated and have an urge to go online again. The dichotomy is many of us wish to plan a vacation with no network connectivity, but at the same time, we find it difficult to switch off the cell phone on our own. So why not try to minimize our screen indulgence and do this digital detox ? Sometimes you just have to unplug from everything to find the real you.

Bring Back the Books – “There is no friend as loyal as a book,” said Ernest Hemingway. Now is the best time to read all those books which we always wanted to but never got the time. Something very magical can happen when you read a book, so, let’s pick a great book of our choice to give a chance for that magic to happen.

Family Time – As the famous saying goes “The best thing you can spend on your kids is time”. It’s your time to catch up whatever you have been missing in the daily rush. Sit with your kids and hear out their stories. Know more about their friends and their emotions. Share your own feelings, both anxieties as well as aspirations. Let this time be your family bonding time.

Bring on Yesteryears’ Fun – It’s time to revisit your childhood, bring family games like Carrom, Chess, Ludo and Monopoly back in your living rooms. A friendly game of cards or a game of Uno with your loved ones will surely leave you with everlasting memories to cherish.

Health is Wealth – In these times, we need to invest in our mental as well as physical health. A healthy person is able to enjoy life to its fullest, simply because the body and mind are in harmony! The easiest way to do that is to eat a nourishing diet, take up some physical activity or yoga and spend a few minutes every day in meditation. This would surely give us more happiness than any other material thing.

Look at the Bright Side – There is no doubt that the world is scary right now and people are dying. That is our reality. No amount of good can really make-up for an unnecessary death. However, there are some positive outcomes as well, e.g., animals are resurfacing and enjoying their flexibility, the amount of garbage we are throwing on the roads is reducing, air, Water, Noise pollution levels are dropping, humans are united to fight a common enemy – for human welfare, not personal profit. The pandemic will accelerate a line of new protocols, technologies, and ideas for our future, we’ll have emerged with a new sense of appreciation, newly found humility, and adaptive, useful skills. This is a boon in disguise.

Stay Connected – They say – “Out of sight, out of mind”. This is the time when we need to stay connected with friends in the PR, Media, Advertising industry and the clients. Everybody may not read our mails or be able to take our phone calls, but if we stay connected, they will remember us when the Corona pandemic period is over. Business models may change, but the clients will be the same. My father used to say – “If I don’t blow my own trumpet, who else is going to do it for me ?” Hence, it is important that we keep on reminding our friends that we are still there, to support them and to serve them.

We should remember that Coronavirus pandemic is a short-term obstacle so we need to look beyond it and plan for the future. In a way, this pandemic has opened up interesting avenues as we have been forced to be more imaginative in exploring alternatives to stay connected and continue doing business.

My only submission to you friends is to maintain a schedule, sleep well, eat healthy food, drink water, and stretch or exercise. Stay safe. ***

P. K. Khurana
CMD, QuikRelations & Founder, Wow Happiness