7 Ways How Pets Can Help Your Mental Health4 minute
Nothing can beat the joy of coming home and snuggling with your pets. No matter how hard your day was and one glimpse of your pet and all the stress starts to go away. Because we don’t need to tell our pets how we are feeling, as soon as you enter the house your pet is ready to encounter your distress. Studies say that animals have a strong sense and understanding of emotions. So you don’t need to explain to them as you explain it to your human counterpart.
They help with your mental health as well as physical health. Even if you want to just get in your pajamas and stay in your bed while sipping your coffee. Your pets take you out on walking or hiking.
I have owned pets from my childhood, ranging from dogs, cats, cows, rabbits, horses and so on. Here are 7 key findings on how they keep your mental and physical health and helps you overcome emotional distress.
- They help you overcome your loneliness- Either you are having a bad day or you are just feeling lonely in general. Your pets are always there to calm you down and cheer you up. I remember my school days when I had my first breakup and I was feeling lonely as the whole world had turned on me. I was just lying in my bed and my pets (especially dogs, cats and rabbits) would come to my bed from time to time snuggle with me and push me out of bed and show me that this is not the end there is much more to come. And believe me, they didn’t leave me for a minute until I was feeling okay.
- They help you stay in the moment- Pets’ lives are always in the moment. Like humans, they never care what happened in the past and what will happen in the future. In other words, they help you become more mindful. In the psychological term, they bring one’s attention to the present moment, i.e. Mindfulness. Pets also help distract youngsters and teenagers from what’s bothering them. And spending time with a pet helps them to learn how to be cheerful and be in the moment.
- Pets love us unconditionally- Pets love their owners unconditionally. For example, no matter how bad you did in your exams or how your athletic or social skills are. They don’t need such man made reasons to love you. They are just happy and cheerful to spend time with you. Studies say that such unconditional love is very good for mental health as it stimulates the brain to release the chemical, dopamine. Basically, it helps you sense pleasure.
- They keep your heart strong- Not to brag but this is true that they just don’t help with your stress but also with your physical health. Studies have proved that pets help you lower your cholesterol, blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Means with all this combined effect you are less prone to experience a heart attack or stroke. Even if you are recovering from such an incident then your recovery rate is much higher if you have a pet to help you recover.
- Pets provide a sense of purpose- A pet provides you with a sense of purpose and responsibility. Because when you own a pet, you are never alone and you have to look after them. Which helps you organize your daily routine and also fills you with responsibility. It helps improve your mental health problems like anxiety and depression. Taking responsibility for your pet also helps improve your social skills. Which improves your relationships with your human counterparts.
- Pets offer empathy- I remember when one of my family members died when I was very young. We were having a hard time coping with it. So if someone would start crying or having an anxiety attack. Our pets would gather around and will start distracting us with putting their paws on our feet. Or they used to come and sit in our laps and cuddle. And it really helped people from going into severe depression. So always have a pet around, you never know when you might need them.
- Pets help you make more friends- Pets are an excellent way to improve your social interactions. As an adult, it is always hard to make friends. But if you have a pet with you then it is like an icebreaker and he or she is like your wingman. Suppose you are walking with your pet and someone just stops to pet your dog or cat. And just like this, you have a common topic to ta;k about. You will get easily comfortable with other pet owners. So for even introverts, pets are like a knight in shining armor, to help you interact with strangers. Studies also show that a pet owner is more likely to know his or her neighborhood better.
So if you have a fuzzy friend already then it is time to get too close to them and appreciate them more. If you don’t own one then you can just walk to a shelter near your home and bring one this new year. As a parent, if you do not want a pet at home, then you can take your kids to shelter from time to time so that they can encounter compassion and unconditional love. So from now on whenever you will walk to your pets never forget to thank them.
Feel free to drop a comment on how your pets help you with your tough times.
10 Toxic Relationship Signs - What You Need To Watch Out For!4 minute
Relationships are not like a fairy tale you read in a book or see it in a movie. No relationship is perfect, it has its ups and downs. But you should also be able to identify if you are in a good relationship or you are in a toxic relationship. Every relationship starts at a good point. Where there is passion, compassion, and love. But as soon as you start to go deeper in a relationship then the true color emerges of your partner and then you are in a dilemma, is it good or bad? Because this is the same man or woman I loved.
It is not necessary that a weak person only ends up in a toxic relationship. Strong and independent people also end up in a toxic relationship. And some even continue to stay in one for years just hoping that things will change. But always remember that you cannot expect mango from a guava tree. If your relationship makes you feel cared for, respected, loved and free to be yourself then you are in a good relationship. On the other hand, if your relationship makes you feel drained, neglected and left out as your self-pride is being stripped down then you are in a toxic relationship.
Here are 10 signs to show you that you are in a toxic relationship and it is time to let go
- All take no give- when you feel like you are the driving force of the relationship and your partner is not putting any effort into it. Even after pointing it out multiple times, your partner is not ready to change then it is time to let go. Because it will only drain your energy and fill your mind with negative energy.
- Controlling and excessively jealous- When your partner doesn’t let you be yourself. They are always controlling your daily life. Even the sight of you hanging out with friends or staying online till late night makes your partner furious then you need to rethink your relationship.your privacy matters and just because there is a new person in your life. That doesn’t mean that you have to let go of your old life. It is like just being in a prison. It will slowly kill the essence of your soul.
- When there is no privacy- self-love and self-care is the driving force of a soul. And every person has its own environment where he or she feels comfortable in that structure by themselves. If your partner keeps evading your privacy, going through your phone or text history, reading your social media chats. Your partner gets mad just because you liked someone’s pictures on social media. Then it is a toxic behavior. You are an adult and you don’t need 24/7 supervision.
- Constant judgment- everyone wants a person who brings out the best in them. But if your partner is always criticizing your every action in the relationship even when it is not needed. Because when you defend yourself then they get offended and try to explain that they are just trying to help. So always beware of such control freaks who play nice but in reality, they are tearing you down.
- Lack of communication- when there is too much lack of communication in a relationship. Whenever you are trying to talk on some matters and your partner just shuts you out or they become silent. Then it is a toxic relationship. Because without communication there is no relationship.
- Mutual avoidance- when you are your partner keeps avoiding each other. For example, you are eating together and you both are just pretending to be busy on your phones. so you would not need to engage in a conversation. Then your relationship needs an evaluation.
- When you are not able to say “NO”- saying ‘no’ in a relationship is a healthy practice because you cannot agree on every point your partner says. And a loving partner will respect your ‘no’ and appreciate you for it. If you are accepted in a relationship for just saying yes to everything. Then it is time for you to say NO to the relationship itself.
- When you feel very insecure- In a loving relationship, partners always appreciate each other, make each other feel loved, complementing each other. But when you are in a toxic relationship you always feel insecure around your person then it is time to let go.
- Physical or verbal abuse- if there is any kind of physical or verbal abuse in the relationship. Then you should now that it is the end of the line and it is time to break the ice. And run away from the relationship as it will bring severe mental problems.
- When there is no trust, only lies- Trust is a key factor of any relationship, if there is no trust then there is no pint of relationship. Lying just takes away the trust of the relationship. And mistrust in a relationship can turn even healthy people in toxic people. So when you feel it is enough and it cannot be reversed then it is time to break the relationship. Or it will break you.
So these are the important signs to evaluate yourself if you are in a toxic relationship.
There might be an endless reason if you end up in a toxic relationship. Love and happiness always don’t go together. There are times when you have to make sacrifices in a relationship. But if those sacrifices eat away your self-respect happiness and pride, then you are not in a healthy relationship. Because a loving relationship brings a better version of yourself. If you are with a person who makes you feel suffocated then it is time to let go. Because you deserve to feel safe and happy in a relationship.
Feel free to share your experience if you have ever been in a toxic relationship.
Trekking For Beginners - All You Need To Know6 minute
Trekking is the new craze among millennials. If you have ever been on a walk in the morning, you see how refreshing it is for the rest of the day. Now imagine you are walking in the exotic Himalayan mountain or mystic rain forests of Kerala, or the sensual beauty of the seven sisters in the northeast. Now you can feel how much energy boost you will get and an excellent chance to connect with nature as well as you.
So trekking is basically to go on an adventurous journey typically on foot. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Sometimes it is essential to get away from our hectic life, to discover a new dimension of nature. It works like magic for most of us, and it recharges and prepares you to come back to your busy lifestyle again and fight it with a whole new level of energy.
So, if you have you been planning to go on an adventure to hike to trek, Then you have come to the right place, and I am here to guide you through it and prepare you mentally for this incredible journey which you will encounter.
But first, let’s discuss the basics of trekking. You should at least know what you are getting into. So that you can choose what to try for a beginner, let me tell you what are the types of trekking so you can evaluate how much preparation you will need.
Types of trekking
Trekking is a very generic word for the type of trekking. There are three types of a trek, i.e. easy, moderate and hard one.
Easy trek- Generally an easy trek involves about a couple of days and with easy terrain. It mostly includes a stretch of 5 to 6 kilometers a day. A good example will be Ooty Katagiri, which can stretch over a weekend.
Moderate Trek- This type of trek needs a certain level of stamina as it includes some days walking in more tough terrain. You might get steep ascend as well as descend. It brings more challenges for the trekker. An excellent example for such trek is the Hampta Pass trek in the Pir Panjal range.
Hard Trek- Such treks mostly stretch for a week, and it is the most difficult one as this type of trek requires physical stamina as well as mental stamina. It involves deep valleys and high altitude (15000 feet and above). The trek to Everest Base Camp which reaches up to a height of more than 17, 500 feet is one such trek.
Preparing yourself for trekking
There most important thing which you need to prepare before going on a trek is building stamina. To prepare yourself for trekking, start walking one month before going on a trek. It will strengthen your leg muscles so you will not get cramps often. If you are a smoker, then it is time to quit smoking right away as it will be a huge help. Because when you go on a high altitude, then your lungs need to be at its prime to inhale proper oxygen. Because if you do not do so, then you will suffer from loss of breath and it will be difficult to keep up with the group, and you will become a burden on the group. I am telling this to you from my own experience, so time to say bye-bye to smoking.
These are a few things you can include in your daily life to prepare yourself.
- Walk 4 to 5 kilometers a day. And some cardio as well.
- If you go to the gym, then include some shoulder and back exercises to make them strong as you will be carrying a backpack.
- You can try skipping to train your leg as it helped me personally.
- Try breathing exercise- inhale and exhale. Minimum 10 minutes a day, it will prepare your lungs.
Things to carry while going on a trek
This is a tricky part because most people get confused about what should they carry on a trek because it is not like a typical vacation which you plan. Because you might have to carry some of the things while you are trekking(depending on your trek). So don’t worry, I am here to help you with the list of things you should carry with you.
- Good rucksack with back support.
- Tent and sleeping bags (depending on the temperature range of the place).
- Layered clothes as in the mountains temperature flux are unpredictable. So pack light as well as a heavy jacket and a raincoat. Because in mountains rainfall is a usual occurrence.
- Shoes- Invest in good trekking shoes because it will protect your foot in the harsh terrain. You wouldn’t want to have cuts or rashes on foot as it will be difficult for you to walk.
- Full track pants to protect from unnecessary scratches and insect bites.
- Water bottles- 2 liters bottle will be fine as you will need to keep hydrating yourself.
- Flashlight with extra pair of batteries.
- Camera or cell phone to capture your beautiful moments.
- You can carry a Swiss knife as it will be helpful in tricky situations.
- Sun-glass and sunscreen and a hat.
- Sanitizer, tissue paper and wet wipes ( or you will have to use tree leaves which I will strongly advise not to use from my personal experience.)especially because you need to save drinking water because you will not get a toilet up there.
- Medicines- if you have any essential medication, carry it with you. You can also keep paracetamol and cetirizine for cold or flu.
- First aid kit- If you are with a group, then they will have a first aid kit, or you can also carry some bandage and cotton. Also, bring moov or volini spray in case you will hurt yourself accidentally.
- Food- chocolate and energy bars you can carry for quick energy. You can also carry dry fruits, glucon-d and biscuits.
Some basic hacks to keep in mind
While you are on the trail, these hacks can help you manage yourself well as it has helped me so far-
- Always pack light- Always pack light as you will be carrying these things with you so organise yourself well and take only essential things. Just pack a couple of pairs of clothes and quick to dry clothes will be better.
- Distribute the loads among your fellow trekkers.
- Carry a length of sturdy rope and swiss knife as it will help you in a tricky situation.
- Carry a stick as it will help you walking and will keep you balanced.
- Always drink water in small quantities always try to keep your mouth wet. Or you might start developing shortness of breath and chest pain.
- You can also pack some packed games or a football or volleyball to enjoy your camping site.
- Do not litter- always carry plastic or carry bag with you and keep your garbage in it because the ecosystem up there is very delicate, and it is our responsibility to keep it clean. Because we will be responsible if the next generation will not be able to see the beauty we are experiencing.
- And some extra cash as it will help you in need.
- Always ask questions to your local guide feel. Proceed ahead only if you are satisfied and clear. It will help you understand the demography and culture in that area. Always keep an open mind, never judge.
- Always avoid any clashes with the locals as you will have a disadvantage in their area. My experience says people are friendly but keep in mind if something happens.
So keep these things in mind, and I believe that you will come back with a rich and loads of lifetime of memories. As a beginner, choose an easy trek to start. Ask many questions to your guide. My last advice will that do not think of it as a race grasp the nature and enjoy it. Sometimes just sit and stare at those valleys. Take it slow and steady, and nature will embrace you with open arms and will take you in a trance. Happy trekking.
How To Develop A Positive Attitude5 minute
“The more you feed your mind with positive thoughts, the more you can attract great things into your life.”
― Roy Bennett
Positivity is something that we all should inculcate in our daily lives that keeps us going through the day. Smile more, worry less, more love, less hate are all the things that one will feel when he/she learns to develop a positive attitude within themselves. In a busy world like today, the idea of having a positive attitude is not considered important because many of us consider it not important and hence, it is left completely neglected. There are many things to follow for a positive attitude to build up and develop, the process is gradual but the results are amazing.
Here are a few tips on how to maintain a positive attitude:
- A Positive Morning-
We all love our beds so much that mornings have never been our best friend, Mornings are an important part of the day and it is very essential to start the day on a positive note. Early morning routines should be something that you should enjoy doing, something you would love to do like going out for a walk, making breakfast or a long hot shower. This way mornings become a relaxed therapy and there is no hurry to start the day, this gets us pumped for the day and having a good and positive morning leads to having a positive day ahead.
Practicing meditation in our day to day life has a lot of benefits, meditating helps us to think clearly and maintain a calm composure even when in crisis. Most of us perceive meditation as something that is related to yoga, but not many of us know that meditation has a lot of benefits that help us get through hurdles in our everyday life. It gives us clarity, focus and of course a lot of positivity.
Today’s generation is so busy in their 9-5 jobs that they completely forget about their physical health. Why is physical health important for having a positive attitude? Let me tell you why, exercising and maintain your body is as important as it is to take care of your mental health. When we exercise, we boost our physical and mental energy in relieving stress, energizing your mood and also has a positive impact on your cognitive skills. Therefore, exercising has an impact on us directly or indirectly in some form and keep us pumped throughout.
- Laugh more-
We don’t laugh because we’re happy, we are happy because we laugh. - WILLIAM JAMES.
They say laughter is the best medicine and it indeed is, being humorous or having humorous conversations lifts up your mood instantly in any situation. Many times, we tend to crack lame jokes to make serious issues or topics to be taken in a very light hearted manner. Laughing and embracing humour is very important as it helps you deal with many obstacles from your everyday life which can be as simple as a grammatical error and as big as a messed-up project or presentation. Laughing at times can get us into serious trouble sometimes, nevertheless people who laugh more cope up easily in from a crisis as their mind remains calm and composed throughout, whilst they come up with a positive solution for the problem. Laughter is very contagious, hence keep spreading smiles!
- Have a Hobby-
Sometimes, work or college can be very hectic and totally exhausting and that is why it is important that we all should have at least one hobby or thing that we want to do in our free time. As the saying goes, An empty mind is a devil’s mind, keeping ourselves free leads to negative thoughts creeping into our mind and the unnecessary thoughts taking control over us, which is why we should keep ourselves busy by doing something that we love, by doing something that not only teaches us about the thing we are interested in but also the learning and fun that goes into it. This way we learn to love ourselves even more.
- Learn to Accept Rejection-
When we succeed in something, it gives us immense pleasure and we celebrate but at the same time when we attain a failure, many people just cannot accept it and sometimes end up taking harsh steps. Learning to accept rejection is very necessary, because we only teach people to win and succeed but do not teach them to accept failures the same way in which they accept success. Rejection brings in a lot of negative emotions and going through it with a positive attitude will give you a positive outlook in life whenever you fail. Turning your failures into lessons is another positive attitude that one can develop because rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.
- Talk positively about yourself-
We all are different and unique in our own ways, and there is no one perfect in this world because everyone is flawed. The words that we use have a lot more power than we think. How you talk about yourself is how you will turn out to be. We often degrade and put ourselves down, we tend to make ourselves look and feel perfect but that is far from reality and accepting ourselves the way we are is important, not for anyone else but for us, for our own body. Always stay positive, talk positive and Glo positive!
- Have a little Me-Time-
We all forget how consuming our everyday routines can get and how it has a toll on us, not only mentally but even physically. Amidst all our hectic schedules, having a little me-time and self-care is a must. Most of us are so busy in our jobs, working non-stop, meeting deadlines, interacting with people and what not… becomes a very tiring process right? This is when you take some time out for yourself and pamper yourself. It can be a hot long bath with scented candles with slow music, pampering sessions, cooking for yourself, going out for movies or just staying home and sleeping. All the people out there, cut yourself some slack and go get some me-time for yourselves.
- Maintain a Gratitude Journal-
There are a lot of things that we do in a day, some can be bad and some can be good. A Gratitude journal is maintained to write down all the positive and happy things that happened to you in a day. We obviously cannot forget the negative ones, but making mistakes is a way of life and everyone learns from their mistakes, similarly the main aim of having a gratitude journal is to include all the positive and small little things that gave you happiness. A gratitude journal helps you in to remain positive because you mostly tend to ignore the things that effect you and only focus on the things that bring you happiness and a good vibe. So, to all the people out their thinking about how bad your day was, stop thinking and start writing.
- Surround yourself with positivity –
Last but not the least, is surrounding yourself with a positive environment that consists of a lot of positive people. There is no point of just you having a positive attitude whereas your surrounding is filled with negative vibes, we should be around people who themselves have a positive attitude and believe in spreading it to everyone, not only will your perceptions about things change but how you think and talk about everything will gradually turn positive , Nothing makes us happier than spreading smiles and wearing one too!
Everyone has their own ways of being positive, these are a few from our side. Tell us more about how you maintain a positive attitude right below in the comments section.
GLADYATOR: Meet the twins making a mark in the sustainable fashion field.3 minute
In a time where Climate change is being debated upon, there is a company which takes the most used thing, and makes it safe for the environment, your clothes. Coral Doe was started in 2018 by Aqsa and Tuba Sajjad to make comfortable clothing that is sustainable and ethical. They intend to be 100% sustainable by the end of 2023 and are working well towards it.
The company and the team intends to go a step beyond and create awareness among its users about the need of the hour, sustainable fashion.
We spoke to Aqsa, Coral Doe’s co-founder, and here is her take on being an Entrepreneur and her aspirations.
- Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
For me, it's about getting to do something I love every single day. It may sound cliche but as a person who suffered from depression, anxiety, and mental health issues, it was very important to my well being to have a reason to wake up and work hard every single day. Coral Doe has brought meaning to my life and has given me something to work for.
Plus, the thought of working for someone else's dream has always been suffocating. It only made sense to become an entrepreneur.
- What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
Gary Vee. He's a huge motivation and encourages you to focus on all aspects of your life: professional, personal, and all others.
- What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
Growing my business to 2000+ customers in under a year has been the most rewarding experience. Sometimes, I truly can't believe we did this.
- What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
I read somewhere: These 5AMs will make you a legend one day.
This has stuck with me since the day I read it. But it's important to take it with a grain of salt. Sometimes, hard work and waking up at 5AM isn't the way to go about it. Sometimes, you have to work smart rather than hard. Also, another good advice is to keep at it and to try to sustain your business in every way if it's something you love. But also to know when to quit. Not all businesses are sustainable and the world isn't ready for every idea yet.
- What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Word of mouth is always the best way to market your brand. Instagram content and ads have also been great for us.
- What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well.
Every sale and every customer matters, as a small business owner. It's always lovely to see customers going out of their way to support, review, and comment.
- Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business? If yes, please describe.
Gary Vee's videos are a brilliant resource.
Any tool that'll keep your finances organized is important. Invest in a good accounting software. Finances are everything.
- Have you faced any failures? How did you overcome that failure and what did you learn from it?
Everyone faces failure. You either learn from it or you go backwards.
- What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I go to the gym and I read a lot of books. When you have your own business, it's hard to draw boundaries with work. Work never stops. It's always important to force yourself to take a break from work.
- What is the Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
Expanding into new markets.
Learning more and more business literature.
Diving deeper into sustainable manufacturing and trying to move other brands towards it too.
- If you were to give an advice to a 16 year old you, what would you say?
Find a supportive circle of friends. Invest in people and friendships. It'll go a long way in life.
- How can I be a good leader?
Put your team first. And lead with compassion.
- The last question, what keeps you up at night?
The thought that maybe I should be doing more and working harder (Not a healthy thought at all. I always have to remind myself to give myself credit)
How to be a successful intern6 minute
Internships are like a trial period for an employee that a company runs to understand what that person does and to assess what more he or she can offer to the company. For freshers who are just out of college, or for women who are returning from a break in their career or people who are undergoing a shift in their career, normally have to go through this. This probation period is the period where the company judges whether you are cut out for that role and that company or not. On the other hand, for the intern, it’s the best way to figure out whether he/she really wants that role.
But, trust me. Internships are not easy and are tedious since you have a lot to do and a lot of people to prove to. Here are some of my tips to ace your internship:
- Blend well with your coworkers:
The most important part of an internship or even a job is to develop relationships. Meet your coworkers and start mingling. You will eventually blend into the office culture and understand how the office works. You will also find yourself in a pickle every now and then and you may need to know which coworker to work with to get the help you require. Blending in is the most important part of your career. You will need to work with people of different genders, different personalities, different profiles, etc. while respecting them at the same time and people skills is the most important feature that workplaces require, right now.
Organize your day-to-day work requisites. Plan out each day accordingly to meet immediate requirements. The defining factor of an intern comes from the way he or she prioritizes what has to be done right now and what can be done later on. Also, the intern’s reliability is one thing that is defined over time, so you have to make sure you convey properly what you can do and what you cannot do.
- Learn from your peers:
Watch and learn from your peers. Active learning is the make or break of an intern’s career. If you are really interested in the field you are interning for, you should know what are the actual requirements for the job. You should research and learn those fields and be implementative. In case you don’t know how or what to even study, then the best and fastest way to grow is learning from your peers. Ask them all kinds of stupid questions. Ask them what to learn and how to learn. Ask them if they could mentor you and help you at times you are feeling some sort of difficulty. Watch them how they do the job and learn the professional skills required. Don’t feel shy or don’t feel embarrassed when you mess up. After all, you are an intern and you are here to learn. If they expected you to be that perfect, you would be an employee and not an intern.
Many, many interns are not professional, mainly because they are totally new into the field. And, that’s fine. But if you do not develop any professionalism by the end of your internship, regardless of how perfect you are in terms of your work quality or your knowledge base, they will not convert you to full time. Work ethics is something that needs to be picked up and worked on simultaneously. So please try to take it slow by being a little passive until you pick up on some professionalism and work culture.
You can’t be idle just because you finished your job. Key element for an intern and one of the judging factors to convert an intern to a full time employee is “How productive he/she is?”
In the world of corporate culture, or any work culture as a matter of fact is, productivity comes hand-in-hand with how much work you did. But, the judging factor comes with how much work can you actually do based on your skill sets and talent. Once your done with the task at hand, reach out to your team members and understand where you can help them in case they need help. Constantly deliver your thoughts and ideas to your team members. This acts as you being proactive and also shows your leadership skills to lead and motivate the team.
- Organize your day:
Organize your work. I cannot stress enough on this. Without the ability to prioritize your work and work accordingly, you can never reach the fullest potential that you have or showcase your true quality. Try different approaches on how to organize your tasks at hand. You can have a daily tasks list for that or if you have a team working with you and there is no organizational structure, go a step ahead and try to set up an agile system by making use of Kanban or scrum. Set sprints and reach the targets effectively.
- Time management skills:
Like mentioned before, prioritize what do you exactly want to do right now. Many times, you may get yourself involved in work that is not of immediate necessity while there is a pile of work that needs immediate attention. Work effectively and prioritize correctly.
- Project management skills:
Sometimes, you will find yourself receiving a lot of work and most of the times it is more than what you can handle. As an intern, it is okay to feel overwhelmed and you can always question if they are pushing work that is beyond the scope of your responsibilities. But, if there are times where you have to handle many projects at once, you need to keep track of what’s happening in each project. So, my suggestion would be to jot down everything. Document everything that requires attention from your supervisors. This shows what work you are doing, how much have you accomplished and how much are still pending. Work accordingly to reach your targets.
- Go out for a coffee with your peers:
Well, of course, this is just another bonding methodology. But the twist here is, they are outside the office. Get to know them on a personal level, their dreams and share everything you have to offer. This is a grand gesture that acts as the extra mile. It shows that you are a people’s person and you are interested beyond just the work limitations. This is a great bonding experience.
- Showcase your work and skills:
Remember when I told you to jot down everything that you do? Those tasks that you have completed, those tasks that you have picked up and are working on, all of these have to be converted into Key Performance Indicators and Objectives and Key Results for the team. They should align with the company’s vision. This shows to what extent are you harmonically working with the team and how you are keen on learning more and reflects how much more that you can offer.
Now these are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more factors that affect your role in the internship. It might be something as simple as work culture, or mentorship, etc. But, if you follow these, it will definitely show that you are serious about your work and all the things that you can offer you are real. The HR department will definitely love you!
Coronavirus Heroes - Being 8 Months Pregnant Didn’t Stop This SHERO From Delivering COVID-19 Test Kits To The Nation2 minute
In the battle against coronavirus, India has been criticised time and again for a poor record of testing people. Amidst all of this, there is change set to be brought about, a large part of which is accredited to the one and only virologist - Minal Dakhave Bhosale.
Ms Bhosale headed the team that designed the coronavirus testing kit (called Patho Detect) in India and is also the R&D chief of Mylabs discovery, Pune. She had just been informed of a pregnancy complication in february, right after which despite personal circumstances, willingly took on the assignment of designing the coronavirus test kits.
Up until now, India had to import COVID-19 kits from Germany at Rs.4500 per kit, but the molecular diagnostic company has been successful in creating a kit that is now able to test 100 samples and costs Rs 1,200 - literally a quarter of the cost of COVID-19 testing kits that were being imported.
Besides being relatively much lower than kits imported from outside, the team also achieved COVID-19 testing in just two and a half hours compared to other tests that took no less than 6-7 hours.
What is most fascinating about her story is that Ms Bhosale managed to complete her assignment on time and while being 8 months pregnant, only a couple of hours before she delivered her baby daughter.
In the words of Ms Bhosale (to BCC) : “ It was an emergency, so I took this on as a challenge. I have to serve my nation”. A true inspiration to women across the world and a real team player - a thousand salutes to the women who put her nation first in the most critical of situations.
Minal Dakhave Bhosale- A real life hero, A SHERO, as one may say.
Re-Defining Menstruation3 minute
Your monthly visitor. Aunt Flo. Code red. For decades, learning the secret language of how to tell someone you’re on your period has been a rite of passage as much as getting your period itself. And the kids these days are getting creative. Ever heard of shark week? Arts and crafts week at Panty Camp? There are a million and one ways to tell our friends, family, boyfriends, and colleagues that we’re on our period. But why? Getting your period is a natural, normal thing, and we should be talking about it in clear, direct language.Here’s why you should say, and say it proud " I’M ON MY PERIOD"
What is a period/menstruation ? It is when blood and tissue from your uterus comes out of your vagina. It usually happens every month. During your menstrual cycle, hormones make the eggs in your ovaries mature. When an egg is mature, that means it’s ready to be fertilized by a sperm cell. These hormones also make the lining of your uterus thick and spongy. So if your egg does get fertilized, it has a nice cushy place to land and start a pregnancy.This lining is made of tissue and blood, like almost everything else inside our bodies. It has lots of nutrients to help a pregnancy grow. If pregnancy doesn’t happen, your body doesn’t need the thick lining in your uterus. Your lining breaks down, and the blood, nutrients, and tissue flow out of your body through your vagina. Voilà, it’s your period.
For millions of women worldwide, menstruation is seen as a mark of shame. Many are told not to discuss it in public, to hide their tampons and sanitary pads. The stigma is universal, rendering women and girls vulnerable to health problems and gender discrimination.The many stigmas around menstruation weigh heavy on female identity and are one of the core issues to discuss in regards to perpetual gender inequality.Menstruation stigma is a form of misogyny. Negative taboos condition us to understand menstrual function as something to be hidden, something shameful. It’s interesting that so much embarrassment, awkwardness, and shame surround a natural bodily function experienced by half the population at some point in their lives. We don’t hide toilet paper away, yet some women still get flustered if a tampon drops out of their handbag, or we might buy a floral-patterned tin to hide our sanitary pads.The stigma and its myths carry with it an oppressive notion that menstruating women are unclean. What perpetuates this are the hushed tones around menstruation, the euphemisms for it and the shortage of education and open dialogue about it.
While the global move to have sanitary pads easily accessible to the under-privileged shines a spotlight on the issue, and how it infringes on girls and women’s human rights, while demystifying sexual reproductive health and menstrual health management, there’s still room for a broader conversation. The stigma around periods and the lack of proper information means many girls rely on what their family or friends tell them, which is often inaccurate and can perpetuate menstrual myths. While we continue to keep silent on the subject of periods, women and girls will not be able to get the facilities and support they need to be able to deal with what is a normal part of life, hygienically and with dignity and hence, we all need to play our part in opening up the conversation.Speaking about an issue is the only way to combat its silence, and dialogue is the only way for innovative solutions to occur.Normalising menstruation as just a healthy, positive part of the female life cycle is really important.
Bhasha Mukherjee - Miss England 2019 Gives Up her Crown, Resumes Work As a Doctor2 minute
A selfless woman who has returned to medical care to cure coronavirus patients. Her crown hangs in the air as she is among the doctors working tirelessly to save the world from a pandemic.
Bhasha Mukherjee took a career break as a junior doctor to compete in the Miss World pageant, in which she represented England. She has returned to the UK to resume her medical work as the country's cases of coronavirus continue to rise. The contestant, who was crowned Miss England in 2019, will return to the UK to continue her medical work.
Miss Mukherjee was struck by the coronavirus pandemic during a humanitarian trip to India. She told CNN that she was in India as part of a some social work for which she is an ambassador when she began sending messages to workers on the front lines who were in trouble because of the health crisis. As the coronavirus situation at home in the UK worsened, she received a message from her colleagues at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, England, telling her how difficult the situation was.
Mukherjee arrived in India in March as the coronavirus situation in the UK began to worsen. "I felt that wearing the Miss England crown was wrong at a time when my colleagues were at the forefront of the fight against coronaviruses. We kept them informed of the situation and how it was progressing, "she said.
Mukherjee contacted the hospital's management to tell them she wanted to return to work, immediately.
"Even in humanitarian work it felt wrong for me to wear the crown of Miss England while people around the world were dying of coronavirus and my colleagues were working so hard" said Bhasha.
After an adviced period of self-isolation, she is now ready to help her colleagues in the fight against the deadly COVID-19 as an emergency doctor at the Royal London Hospital in London.
Personifying selflessness, Bhasha Mukherjee proves that fame does not stand a chance against her duty to the nation.
Gallant Captain Swati Raval Rescues Stranded Indians During Coronavirus Pandemic2 minute
What did Captain Raval do to get the attention and appreciation of even PM Narendra Modi himself?
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the Prime Minister's complete lockdown initiative, hundreds of Indians have been left stranded in different parts of the world. On 22nd of March, AirIndia released a statement claiming that they will be pulling out all stops to evacuate those Indians who happen to be stranded in different locations hit by the coronavirus pandemic. One among the determined crew set to take out this rescue mission was Captain Swati Rawal.
Mother of a 5-year-old and commander of Air India 777, Captain Rawal flew 263 Indians from Rome, Italy- the current epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic - back to India, putting her very own life at risk. She is also now India’s first women pilot to have operated a rescue flight.
Swathi Rawal has been a commercial pilot for over 15 years now, although her initial dream was to become a fighter pilot- something that was not widely encouraged for women to be at the time. To the nation, Captain Rawal will always be viewed as a true fighter.
The Prime Minister and other senior leaders of Air India also took to social media to share their thoughts on the rescue and evacuation of Indians from Rome. A number of other members of the Indian air force who evacuated Indians shared tweets of encouragement as well, and for all the right reasons.
We salute you, Captain!
Tina Dabi - IAS Officer Saves Bhilwara From Becoming The Epicentre Of COVID-19 In India2 minute
One Of the youngest officers in Bhilwara, 26-year-old Tina Dabi and her team saved their district (and possibly the country) from the deadly coronavirus spread. Here’s how:
To prevent Bhilwara from becoming the coronavirus hotspot of India, Tina says that she and her team were instant to act upon the situation.
On the 19th of march, Bhilwara saw its first positive case, traced it back to Brijesh Banger Memorial Hospital, a private hospital that could emerge as the epicentre of this deadly crisis. After having tested the doctors and staff positive, the district administration decided to completely shut down right away, much before the nationwide lockdown had been declared on the 25th of March.
As soon as the order was passed by the collector of district Rajendra Bhatt, Dabi said that she and her team went around the whole city, shutting everything down and even convincing and scolding some people. It wasn’t an easy task to request people not to panic due to such an emergency, but it had to be done.
“We had just one mission in mind and we had just one target that we just need to stop it … We were sitting on a ticking time bomb where it could reach any number. There was actually a possibility of massive community spreading,” says Dabi in an interview.
Despite some problems on the ground level, the Bhilwara model was a success because it was implemented well. The administration made sure that essential supplies were running and delivered to people at their doorsteps.
Admitting that this could possibly have been one of the biggest challenges Tina would have to face in her lifetime, she says “We never get this opportunity to serve so many people to handle a crisis of this magnitude. I think the Learning experience that is going to come from it is going to be very rewarding for me throughout my career and I am looking at it as a matter of pride.”
A woman that sees challenges as opportunities to face head-on, Officer Tina Dabi’s approach to handling extreme situations is truly commendable.
6 Countries That Witnessed Flattening Of The Coronavirus Curve: All Women-Led3 minute
The coronavirus pandemic has had a grip across the world and the countries efficiently handling the situation to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 spread all have one thing in common: they are all led by women!
It is said that women are better at handling crises. And these women leaders of all the below-mentioned countries are the strongest examples. Some facts to think about:
Headed by Angela Merkel, Germany seems to be beating the coronavirus curve with a ratio of 95% recoveries of the total closed cases.
Merkel urged her people to practice social-distancing as early as the first week of March. Germany is approx. testing 500,000 people per week, a number far more than any other European country and is also boosting the supply of ICU beds and ventilators.
A New York Times article mentioned how Merkel addressing the press "was a reminder of the woman who for much of the past 14 years has been the rock in European politics. She is the leader who reassured savings account holders during the financial crisis; who held the euro area together in the sovereign debt crisis; and who was celebrated, at least in many quarters, as the defender of liberal values after she decided to welcome over 1 million migrants in 2015."
Led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand has also seen a significant drop in the number of cases reported. A headline from the Washington Post goes something like this “New Zealand isn’t just flattening the curve. It’s squashing it.”- and this explains a lot.
Jacinda Ardern’s policies relied on a single powerful statement: “Act like you have coronavirus” - to convey to the nation, the importance of staying home. She told them that “Every move you then make is a risk to someone else. That is how we must all collectively think. That’s why the joy of physically visiting other family, children, grandchildren, friends, neighbors is on hold” that brought in a powerful perspective on how the virus must be dealt with.
New Zealand was one of the very first countries to force arriving travelers into self-isolation and to ban large gatherings which contributed immensely to curb the spread of the virus.
Although the number of cases hasn’t slowed down in Belgium, their death rate has significantly reduced to 50% and they currently have a recovery rate of 67% in closed cases. Headed by Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès, there was strict lockdown enforced as soon as the death toll reached 10 which led to stopping the spread of the virus on time, if not early.
"Citizens are asked to stay at home to avoid most contacts, except for going to the doctor, to shop for food, the post office, a bank, pharmacy, petrol station or to help someone in need," she said. She also issued a warning, "Businesses could be fined if they break the new rules, and foreign travel that is not "indispensable" is banned until at least April 5."
With similar precautionary actions imposed in Finland, headed by Prime Minister Sanna Marin, the daily death rate has dropped since April 6th. Out of 300 closed cases, it has seen a recovery rate of 88%. The government has even banned public meetings of more than 10 people and imposed the complete closure of public services until the 13th of May to fight the novel coronavirus spread.
In Iceland, the efforts of Katrin Jakobsdottir have seen a solid 99% recovery rate with 688 recoveries out of 694 closed cases and have also successfully managed to flatten the curve considering there has been a drop in the number of daily cases in April 2nd - a number that ought to be commendable by all other nations. The country has also introduced emergency measures worth 8% of the GDP to combat the impact of coronavirus.
Even Denmark, headed by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has flattened the curve of COVID-19 spread and recorded a drop in the number of cases (from 390 to 233 on 9th April). They aim to gradually relax the lockdown by opening up daycares and schools initially instead of all services at once.
Denmark's response to the COVID-19 pandemic was applauded worldwide as a supreme example, especially due to its numerous economic measures.
6 women representing 6 different nations to fight the same cause. And all seemed to have succeeded. We guess it’s true what Michelle Obama quoted in a speech once, not so long ago: “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”
50 Ridiculous Things That Every Woman Has Heard7 minute
There are myths that sound like they could possibly be true and some that we tend to brush off in good humour. But most of these come as mind-altering statements that stick. Myths in gender differences arise as a result of nurture not nature. There’s a fine line between humour and mockery and it’s imperative to stand up to the latter.
Absolutely ridiculous things that women hear every day:
1. Why do you need a second degree?
Women are supposedly “lucky” today because they can pursue higher studies and even get a job after. But a second degree suddenly feels like a lot of freedom given to girls according to your friendly neighbourhood Aunt. “All this studying is only going to get your wedding postponed beta, don’t waste your youth on insignificant degrees instead of colourful sarees”
2. No one will get you married to their son if you’re seen outside with another guy
I don’t know of a single unmarried girl in India who hasn’t heard this at least once. Apparently, with no logical explanation, of course, going out with two boys is sometimes “less fishy” than going out with just one. “What will people think sweetheart?”
3. It’s okay to go out in groups only if it has girls
This one has got to be right on top of this list. The “Logical Indian Dad” is never going to agree to send his daughter out on a trip (or even otherwise) with a group of just boys. Apparently the problem is not with the gender, the problem is with the lack of both genders that cancels your trip. If only our country’s employment policies thought the same way.
4. You have to get married before your brother
Old one, but still so prevalent. I have witnessed families who don’t mind their sons waiting until their hair is grey just so that their little sisters get married first. I’m sorry aunt Sunita, logic left the room when you walked in.
5. Your bra strap is visible
I’m pretty sure if you’re a female and you’re reading this, you’ve been told to hide your bra strap or pull up your top because it’s too “deep” at least once. So we’re okay with men wearing boxers to supermarkets but a peep at my bra strap and you’re offended?
6. Don’t have sex before marriage, you will turn impure
The things that parents will say to their kids to prevent them from having sex is truly comical. Impure? Couldn’t they come up with better myths than this?
7. You nag me all the time
I think it’s practically impossible to have not been addressed as a nag by the opposite gender at least once. It’s ridiculous how logic in a high-pitched voice can render a man speechless.
8. You will protect the reputation of this family
Women are often fed this from a very young age that boys build reputation and women are responsible for protecting it by staying in their “limits”.
9. You can enjoy this slim figure now, pregnancy will change everything
I could swear that most women who opt out of pregnancy do so because they’re fed with absolute rubbish like this. In reality, women are more than capable of getting back to their pre-pregnancy bodies with little effort and exercise.
10. I’m not getting in a car with you
Whoever spread this rumour of women being bad drivers, fun fact: Men account for 73% of all worldwide road traffic deaths, three times the rate of women. (Mic drop)
11. You can’t change a tire
Umm, no Divesh, maybe I would just rather have you do it for me, ever thought of that? Women might have learnt to change tires, but it is unlikely for society to change their opinions.
12. Don’t lift too much, muscle is not for you
Muscle is important for the well-being of all humans. NO exceptions. But for some reason, women grow up fearing the weights section at a gym because all their life they’ve been told that muscle makes them look bulky. (?)
13. Don't sit like that
Most women hear things like “Don't sit with your legs positioned apart”, “Don’t sit with one leg on the couch and the other leg on the floor” and “Sit upright”. Sitting a certain way is considered to be rude or “not female-like” behaviour as though our biological compositions were to define the way each gender must stick their posterior to the couch.
14. You get too emotional in an argument
In the middle of a reasonable argument, it's not uncommon for women to come across these last (s)words that people save up to use at the end like “You get too emotional”, “I can't deal with your emotions” or “There are too many emotions in the room for me to think straight”.
15. Are you PMSing? (In the middle of an argument)
God forbid a woman showed signs of the least bid hunger, sugar cravings or stress, the general assumption is that she’s PMSing. Sure, these are natural symptoms of PMS but it is offensive to women to hear people draw these conclusions almost instantly because just anyone can be hungry or stressed, right?
16. You can’t take a joke!
Inappropriate comments, highlighting insecurities comically and teasing - are all surprisingly let off easily in the name of a “joke”. Astonishingly, the famous “you can’t take a joke” only applies to the female gender (?)
17. You’re living with him but not married? That’s Illegal
As I said, the older gen has gotten excessively creative in drawing out lies around social stigmas. It’s preposterous how people will convince you that you’re defying the law and not just the lord if you so much as talk about a live-in relationship. Talking about the law it is important to keep yourself abreast about laws for women in India.
18. Divorce is not the solution
I’ve heard women say that they’re schooled about how divorce is not “ideal” even before they got married. The stigma around divorce is so large, that some will actually go to heights convincing a woman to stay in an unhealthy, stale equation rather than file for divorce. The point of fact is that divorce exists for a reason and it is perfectly normal to have not predicted the fall of a long term relationship.
19. Keep your man happy
A lot of women hear this time and again as very sacred advice to a successful relationship/marriage. It’s awfully sad but it's true.
20. Are you bothered because you're hungry?
I could think of a million reasons for an individual to be bothered in a heated argument, but apparently everyone’s favourite assumption is “she must be hungry”. I could swear that there isn’t a single female who hasn’t been asked this at least once.
21. You don’t know how to cook? That’s ridiculous
The statement is ridiculous. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing how to cook if you don’t have to. It is always good to know how to cook, it comes in handy, sure. But it’s silly of people to mandate their 13-year-old daughters to learn the art while their 2o-something-year-old sons get a free pass.
22. You drink whisky? (!)
Even when people ask this in a surprisingly proud way, they’re still surprised. It’s as though women are fine with a glass of shiraz or a vodka cranberry, but a scotch on the rocks is like a bolt from the blue. Alcohol belongs to the one who’s paying for it, it doesn’t discriminate on the basis of gender. Grow up, uncle Mahesh!
23. Motherhood is an unmatched experience and there is no greater joy
Motherhood is an undoubtedly wonderful experience, but not one that has to be forced upon women nor is it the sole purpose of the female gender. So give women a break because there are a million joys in the world, and motherhood just happens to be one of them. An optional one, to be precise.
24. If you want to colour your hair, do it after marriage
One of the most absurd things young girls are told is to hold back from doing permanent damage to their bodies before marriage. I’ve come across girls whose mothers are okay with hair colouring/perming only once they’re married. It's as if all of your beauty is meant to be spent on this one single day of your life.
25. When are you getting married?
“It’s about time we start looking for a boy for this beautiful princess, no?” and the worst one of them all - “You’re 30 and unmarried?” - make for the silliest intrusions in a woman’s life. This family function classic has got to stop.
26. Do you want me to hold/carry that?
First off, there’s a difference between offering help to someone who seems like they need it and asking someone if they need help just because they’re female. Offering to carry a woman’s shopping bags is just absurd. (Although chivalry can be nice sometimes, so this one is excused)
27. Stop being dramatic
The common stereotype that men are more laid back than women is indirectly associating the characteristic (of being overly dramatic) to being a girl. Not only is this offensive to women, but it also contributes to less expressiveness in men and is cause for trouble. It’s 2020 and a lot of us still can't stop hearing this.
28. The way to people’s hearts is through their tummies
While this might be true, most women hear this in the most nonsensical contexts. It is advised that they please people (their in-laws in particular) by learning the art of cooking delicious food.
29. Have children, It’ll solve all of your marriage problems
Have you heard of this “statement of wisdom” from the elderly when you go to them with a marriage problem? I sure have. It is rather farcical to assume that 3 people can cooperate together in harmony when 2 could simply not.
30. Girls shouldn’t smoke, it’s bad for your skin
This side-splitting piece of advice can only be giggled at. Smoking is injurious to health - no genders excluded.
31. Are you one of those feminist-types?
Say one aggressive thing about women’s equality and this question being thrown at you is a guarantee. It’s like you can’t have strong opinions without being positioned under a “Type” anymore. Oh, the catastrophe!
32. You’re too pretty to be single
Snoopers are everywhere but more about your dating life. The issue doesn’t stop at that. People have the most asinine things to say sometimes. How the factors “pretty” and “single” are logically co-dependent is beyond my comprehension, to be frank.
33. You’re too precious to be dating
Another series of silly comments consisting of reversed opinions as the previous, but equally pesky include things like “He’s not good enough for you”, “You are better off alone” and the most comical of them all “You’re too precious to be dating”. If this comes as advice from a close friend, these might still be valuable, but coming from an outsider with no context whatsoever? That’s ludicrous.
34. You girls only like Romcoms
Another classic stereotype. Tell people you’re a horror/sci-fi fan and they look at you like you’re alien. Some women might love rom coms, but it's silly to make such an obnoxious generalisation.
35.You look better with no makeup
To wear or not to wear (makeup) - that is the question, isn’t it? But the problem is you don’t even get the chance to answer this yourself because someone is always very enthusiastic to answer it for you.
36. Maybe you should try wearing some makeup
-yours truly, next-door neighbour aunt. This one is particularly annoying because it’s the kind of advice you’re least bothered to receive. “Haldi helps for dark skin beta”, “Try wearing some lipstick”.
37. Why do you only have guy friends?
It's not unusual for women to only have friends of the opposite gender. In fact, more often than not it’s absolutely coincidental and OK. There isn’t a rule of thumb dedicated to stating the ratio of male and female friends a woman must keep, although it seems as if (many) Indian parents have their undisclosed rulebook about the same.
38. You take forever to get dressed
This is not entirely true, we take forever to undergo a process that includes essential skin care, picking out a suitable outfit and then getting dressed. In all this time, the typical male would only try and fix their hair.
39. Do you really need therapy or just new clothes
It's silly how this one usually comes from another female. Thank you for your analysis girlfriend, but maybe I do, in fact, need professional therapy instead of stuffy closet space.
40. You do the shopping
It is a known fact that brides tend to have issues with their to-be partners before the wedding day because the general assumption seems to be that “women are better at shopping”. Time to discard this oldie, is it not?
41. You’re a modern girl now
Anyone with a change in cities has to hear this from their older relatives at least once. Seemingly strange that of all things, driving oneself around and living alone makes you a “modern girl” - stuff that is usually considered to be the bare minimum for a male.
42. Men don’t have to look good as long as they’re rich
Another unsaid rule of thumb by which many Indian parents live by even today is that a girl must be her prettiest, most talented self but a boy is good as long as he has a great income. (Which is pressurising to both genders equally) Most traditional Indian arranged marriages act upon this age-old, imbecilic concept.
43. The more you cut your hair, the faster it grows
This is one hundred percent false. Your hair grows from the roots and hence a haircut doesn’t nearly affect its growth. A hair trim one in a while is still recommended though, because it helps get rid of dry, split ends.
44. The earlier you get your period, the earlier you’re likely to go through menopause
Nuh-uh. In reality, the average age a woman hits menopause is around 51 years, and this has nothing to do with the age she attains puberty or the number of children she has.
45. Try this diet
If you haven’t heard this at least once, you’re truly one of the spared lucky few. Eating healthy is a choice, but more often than not people will take responsibility for reminding you that some FAD diet could help you drop off some extra pounds. (Even when you don’t ask for it)
46. Obesity is about willpower, not biology
First things first: Everything in your body is about science. Even things like love and happiness are results of chemical reactions. It is inaccurate when people say that your weight is about your willpower. In reality, obesity happens to be a complex disorder with hundreds of contributing factors.
47. You’re lucky to have landed this job/ You’re too young for a promotion
Every time someone of the female gender announces a promotion, it is inevitable that a few around would think of it as an extraordinary event. This one might not even be all that ridiculous, because stats say (according to a study conducted by TechRepublic) that women are 21% less likely to be promoted than their male coworkers in the same position.
48. It’s not mandatory to look pretty, but it sure does help
And not said with tongue in cheek. People are honestly convinced that women with an attractive exterior (conforming to societal beauty standards) have unfair advantages and can use this to climb several ladders in their lives. Farcical, isn’t it?
49. It is odd for you to have multiple sexual partners
The most ludicrous argument supporting this statement: “Men were meant to fertilize multiple women biologically, so they could help carry on the human species. Hence it is okay for men to have multiple sexual partners because it is what nature demanded”. But nature “demanded” this. Past tense. The continuation of species is hardly the purpose of a homo sapien today. Sex is more than a species multiplier, ask the condom manufacturing industry.
50. You must have done something
The worst of them all - the blame game. If we could get a dollar for every time a woman was blamed for being “too nice” or “a tad bit provocative” or “leading on”, I swear we could fill that gap between male and female paychecks.
Subtle cues about “manly” and “female-like behaviour” right from the time we’re born are so engraved inside of us, which has got to be the worst impact of these absurd statements. The next time you hear any of these questions or comments, put your foot down and toss an unforgettable answer - you’d be doing us all a solid.
21 Must-Know Laws for Indian Women6 minute
Women in our nation have reached great heights of success, yet most of them are still not aware of the most common laws for Indian women laid down by our government.This article attempts to help educate about the laws for Indian women.
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Women in our nation have reached great heights of success, yet most of them are still not aware of the most common laws for Indian women laid down by our government. Whenever a wrong is done, often we let the matter slide because we don’t want to deal with police and courts. If each one of us knows our rights, instead of being terrified, we could actually fight the wrong. This article attempts to help educate about the laws for Indian women. The term Police itself is so misunderstood by us. POLICE stands for Public Officer for Legal Investigations and Criminal Emergencies.
Ever partied too loud or too late for the police to come and intervene? Or have been in a situation where the traffic police have threatened to take you to the police station? Well, they can’t!
- When women interact with a Police Officer- Women cannot be arrested after sunset and before sunrise. If arrested, they have to be presented before a Magistrate within 24 hours and should be kept in a prison separate from the male prisoners. The arrest and search of your body can be made only by a female officer.
- If any form of questioning is required with the Police: If the police officer wants to do any investigation or question you further about any complaint you may have filed, he needs to come to your home and do such questioning at your residence. The police officer cannot call you alone to the police station or any other place of his choice.
- When Woman endures sexual harassment or a sexual assault at the workplace: Each one of us has had that sneaky boss of ours eyeing us in a manner that made us uncomfortable. Or in an interview, a sexual favor was demanded in exchange for the job. Whether verbal or non-verbal, such action is not acceptable. All such complaints are to be filed within three months of the occurrence with the Internal Committee at your workplace. If there is no Internal Committee, you can file all such complaints with the Local Committee in the town where you work or reside.
- Women have a right to Equal Pay: There should be equal pay for men and women for the same work done by them in the same position. For example, Two team leads with equal experience, should receive the same salary irrespective of their gender. No gender discrimination can be made even during the hiring process. This has also been guaranteed under the Indian Constitution.
- When a woman works night shifts- There should be proper security measures taken by your employer if your job demands night shifts. This includes your travel to and from work. No woman should be made to work alone in a night shift and has to be necessarily placed in a group.
- Woman’s right to say No and Sexual Assault: When you are touched sexually without consent, or forced or coerced to establish any form of physical relationship, it is sexual assault. If any form of threat is made to you to get the consent, it is not consent. Stalking, eve-teasing, Voyeurism, acid attack, outraging a woman’s modesty, showing pornography etc. are all considered to be sexual assault and sexual violence.
- Woman’s Right to Privacy: The identity of a sexual assault victim is to be kept confidential under all circumstances. Your statement may be recorded by before a Magistrate without being overheard by anyone else. Even in the judgment, the judge refers to you as the ‘victim’. All the Bollywood movies where cross-examination is done in open court, it is only entertainment purposes. The reality is very different.
- Medical Examination in the event of rape and sexual assault: A medical test to establish rape should be conducted within the first 72 hours of the incident. It is to be performed by a female doctor. The test establishes any sexual activity performed on the woman and helps to detect the rapist if any semen sample is found in the victim’s body. Rape is a crime and not a medical condition.
- FIR in case of Sexual Assault: There is no time limit to report rape or sexual assault. A case may be filed in any police station that the victim wants to, in the presence of a female constable. This is known as the Zero FIR. Section 375 and 376 of the IPC deal with rape. In certain cities like Delhi, a woman may report a sexual assault online or through a registered post letter to a senior police officer.
- Woman’s Right to Free Legal Aid: When reporting a sexual assault, if you do not have a lawyer present, you may ask for legal aid and the police officer has to provide you with it.
- Right of Abortion: Abortion is the right of a woman. Hence, no parental or husband’s consent is required to abort. Under normal conditions, until the 20th week, the woman can abort and if there is any risk to the life of a mother, abortion can be done until the 24th week.
- But without the woman’s consent, abortion is illegal and a punishable offense. During pregnancy, under no circumstances can any test be performed to find out the gender of the baby. This is a crime.
- Right against cyber crimes: With the advent of technology, it has become much easier for criminals to hide behind their digital screens and harass women. Cyber Stalking, Identity theft, Online Defamation, Morphing pictures, pornography, etc. are all crime.
- Cybercrime complaints may be filed online at https://www.cybercrime.gov.in/ or in your nearest police station. You may file a complaint anonymously as well.
- Rights of a married woman: The Supreme Court in India has said that every married woman should be treated with dignity and respect. You are entitled to live in the same house as your husband and to be maintained by him. Any act of bigamy on the part of your husband is a punishable offense.
- Woman’s right Against Domestic Violence: If your husband or any other man in your house hits you, you can file a Domestic violence case. This may be filed with or without simultaneously asking for Divorce.
- Right to Property and Streedhan: All the gifts received by you before and after marriage ceremonies or during childbirth, is your personal property and no one can take it away from you, not even your husband. You have an equal right in your father’s property as well. Similarly, you also have a right in your husband’s property after his death.
- Woman’s right to give divorce: Divorce is always a second chance at happiness and everyone deserves to stay happy. If any cruelty is being meted out to you, you can ask for a divorce. Adultery, Bigamy, religious conversion, insanity, missing for over 7years, or non- consummate the marriage, are divorce grounds.
- If your husband has committed rape, bestiality or sodomy; on any other person, it may be a ground for divorce provided you can prove it. Marital rape is considered in India only when the age of the wife is less than 18yrs.
- Note: It may be noted that the marital laws in our nation differ with respect to the caste and faith of a person.
- Right to Maintenance and Alimony: In the event of judicial separation or divorce, a woman is entitled to maintenance from her husband for herself and her children, as long as she does not remarry. The amount depends on your lifestyle under Section 125 of CRPC and decided by a judge. Alimony is a one-time payment of maintenance.
- Right to Child’s custody: Ideally for a child below the age of 5yrs, the mother is the natural guardian and the child should remain in the mother’s custody. A female minor child is usually placed in the mother’s custody always.
- A right to Maternity benefits: Becoming a mother is one of the best feelings in the world and it should not stand in the way of your success and career graph. Every expecting, adopting or surrogate mother has the right to maternity benefits. It may be claimed for up to 26weeks and post this, if the nature of the job permits, you can opt for work from home. During the period of maternity leave, you cannot be fired or demoted. Even if the mother dies during childbirth, your heir is entitled to the payment of any maternity benefit that is due. Even at instances of miscarriage, it is supposed to be paid. Some common queries were answered by the Ministry of Labour & Employment which may also be helpful- Maternity Benefit Laws
- Woman’s right to Live-in relationship: Any sound woman above the age of 18yrs has the right to choose her partner whether to get married or be in a live-in relationship with. Live-in relationships are legally recognized by the law. And children of such couples also have legal rights against the father.
- Right against Dowry: Both giving and receiving dowry, whether in the name of gifts or anything else is strictly prohibited. If you are being tortured by your in-laws in the name of dowry, you may seek divorce and legally imprison your husband and his family.
National Commission For Women
The NCW is a government body in India that aims to voice the rights of women in our country. It has advocated and fought against archaic laws. It strives to ensure the safety of women, both inside and outside their houses.
If anyone of you have any further questions regarding your rights, you may click the link below to seek help for all such matters: http://www.ncw.nic.in/helplines
The website also provides the space to ask your questions online as well. http://ncw.nic.in/
The National Women Helpline number is 181.
My Personal Experience:
Being a lawyer, I have encountered many women who wanted to file for divorce or get an abortion or wanted to file a complaint in general for any atrocity meted out to them. But more often than not, they would not go through with it despite living horrendous lives. Their biggest fears involved only one question- What will the people think? Log kya kahengey! And how would they support themselves and their children after the incident? But all these fears are unnecessary as there are enough laws in our nation to protect the interest of women.
India, the land of Durga, Kali and Saraswati, ironically is famous for being one of the most aggressively dominant patriarchal societies in the world. But since Independence, one step at a time, an attempt is made to bring change. The laws though abundant lacks awareness.
Women have traveled a long way from being uneducated and married at the age of 10yrs to now becoming the CEO’s of some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Battles are being fought day in and day out in against patriarchy but most battles are yet to be won.
Once the rights are identified, it shall become increasingly easy to get these rights implemented. One step at a time and we shall be in an equal state with the men in our society if not superior. This is where feminism begins. This article hopes to be a step in the direction of achieving that.
10 Key Terms That Define The Feminist Movement6 minute
You might be wondering why feminism is so powerful a subject because it doesn’t seem to have much impact on your personal life! But since you stumbled upon this post, you might as well educate yourself with what is potentially one of the most mighty movements of the 21st century
Besides being social media’s most targeted topic off late and for quite some time now, what is the significance of this topical term? Why are there protests, rallies, debates, emotions, tattoos and voices emerging around the Feminist Movement so persistently, day after day?
If you’re reading this, chances are
- a) You’re new to the concept and wish to familiarize yourself with all those buzzwords hanging the feminist movement that you simply can't seem to comprehend while in a conversation (courtesy, the media) ;
- b) You don’t entirely get WHY feminism is so powerful a subject because it doesn’t seem to have much impact on your personal life
- c) You stumbled upon this post and you might as well educate yourself with what is potentially one of the most mighty movements of the 21st century
Either way, before we get into some of those complex terms in a feminist’s dictionary, it is imperative that you fully understand who a feminist is, rather than declaring yourself to be or not be one. (weirdly tempted to continue with … that is the question)
WHO is a feminist?
Let's detangle this once and for all. A feminist is an advocate of women’s equality. They stand for women having equal rights as men and wish for all genders to be treated the same, despite any biological differences that they may possess. So don’t go assuming that only women can be feminists. You don’t have to be a person of colour to identify the atrocities of black suppression, and you most certainly don’t have to be a woman to want equal rights for them. If you believe in equal pay, look down upon objectifying women, and truly believe that the right to decide what’s best for a woman’s body is solely her own - you are a feminist. (even if you didn’t claim to be one up until now) If you call yourself an “Equalist”, you are in all true meaning, a feminist.
Now that you sort of understand who a feminist is, you probably think it’s silly to have an entire movement around the cause because in reality, isn’t this the bare minimum of co-existing as an entire species? Equality? It is embedded in our constitutional rights, employment agreements, HR policies and textbooks - why is this not obvious already?
Here’s why. The thing is in a patriarchal society like ours, it is almost impossible to shift the mindset of individuals to collectively incorporate textbook concepts into everyday lives. For them, this is like the shattering of an entire belief system. But it is a belief system that is wrong nonetheless and has to be called out for its inanity. It is hence that a movement so powerful that goes against this age-old belief system of patriarchy with full force needs to be given way to. It is AS essential as feminists make it to be, if not more.
10 key terms that define the feminist movement (that you may stumble across and may very well be left astray if you don’t know their meaning) :
Even though you’re probably already well-equipped with the meaning of this term by now, it's imperative that you know what true feminism means. But before this, there are two things you must closely look at. Gender Equity and Intersectionality. Sound Complex? They’re not. Stay with me.
Gender Equality Vs Gender Equity
While it may seem friendly and palatable by design, the term equality doesn’t do full justice to feminism. Here’s an example. If there are 2 participants in a 200-meter race and one of them is already located at the halfway mark of the race track, would it be fair for the two to compete against one another? Equality just goes until here. The end goal is equality, yes, but how do you get there? Now assume that the participant who was at a disadvantage, is given a head start to catch up with the other, and then a judgement is made. Wouldn’t this seem only fair? It is. This is equity. Equity is a means to get to the end goal, aka, equality. And this is no different for gender equity. It is no secret that women are at a current disadvantage in social strata. True feminism is the advocacy of gender equity to attain gender equality, eventually.
What is Intersectionality?
In very simple terms, intersectionality is the idea that social injustices (racism, sexism, casteism, etc) are often interrelated and tend to influence one another. You couldn’t possibly separate these layers of oppression and focus on just one issue while disregarding another. Let me elaborate. A white woman might face sexism at her workplace, a black woman could experience sexism and racism and a transexual black woman in the same scenario could experience racism, sexism and transphobia.
Intersectionality is the idea that you can't just focus on sexism and leave out the other two simply because “it doesn’t concern you” - that's not true feminism.
All in all, true feminism comes from being aware of gender equity and intersectionality as both of these are key components of a feminist mindset, not just gender equality.
In the words of Kimberlé Crenshaw, a lawyer and civil rights advocate who coined the term intersectional feminism, “If you see inequality as a “them” problem or “unfortunate other” problem, THAT is a problem.
Emma Watson’s 2014 speech on gender equality calls upon men and boys to help end the persisting inequalities faced by women and girls globally.
Understanding Radical Feminism
You might have heard the term “radical” before feminist one too many times by now. Radical feminism is a philosophy that emphasizes on the roots of sexism, aka patriarchy instead of the gender (male) involved. A radical feminist is interested to demolish the structure of patriarchy instead of the laws that hold it. So to equate radical feminism to man-hating is to assume that men and patriarchy are politically and psychologically, inseparable...
In the simplest language, they don't hate the player, only the game.
Traditionally speaking, patriarchy refers to a society where men are considered to be the dominant gender. A structure that divides gender into male and female and hands over power to the former. Such possession of power can be witnessed in a household, workplace, social groups or the ruling party government. We’ve all been witnesses to the patriarchy for years now. History is evidence that men who were older, wealthier and white (in many countries) had the most power. All other categories of individuals gained voting rights and citizenship much later.
Not only does such a structure position the male gender on a pedestal, but does so at the stake of putting women at a disadvantage - structurally and systematically. You might disregard this as an age-old tell-tale, something that belongs to history. You might have proof in support of your arguments, proof being mothers that head households today, females running large companies, but women in power are still, subconsciously seen as amusing diversions from the norms.
When someone asks a child to think of a doctor or a lawyer, they immediately think of a male. Outspoken men are seen as strong personalities but powerful women are cold or bossy. Gender is binary. Both genders have fixed roles and responsibilities. The opinions of men hold more weightage than of a woman. All of these instances are the consequences of a patriarchal society.
Sexism by definition means the discrimination of one gender by another or a belief that because men are genetically superior to women, the discrimination is justified. A belief like this is not only bad but also scary because it happens to be an unconscious one, more often than not.
Kate Millett, the author of Sexual Politics says “It is interesting that many women do not recognize themselves as discriminated against; no better proof could be found of the totality of their conditioning”
Like racism, in sexism, the differences between two genders are visualised in a way that one is superior to the other. The act of being sexist towards women is the act of viewing them as inferior and a method used to maintain male domination in a patriarchal society.
The discrimination or oppression can take many forms: economic, political, social or cultural and the acceptance of this oppression by women is more frightening than the oppression itself.
Journalist and Author Caitlin Moran has a way of solving this problem. She says “I have a rule for working out if the root problem of something is, in fact, sexism. And it is this: asking 'Are the boys doing it? Are the boys having to worry about this stuff? Are the boys the centre of a gigantic global debate on this subject?”
And if this isn’t handy enough a tip, her brilliant views on feminism are not to be missed in her finest piece of work: How to be a Woman
You’ve probably already heard of this one since it's all over the internet. Every woman has witnessed if not experienced a man explain a concept to her in the most condescending of ways, and thanks to Rebecca Solnit, author of the book Men Explain Things to Me, we now have a word for this absurd act. Don’t get me wrong, free gyaan is always appreciated, but when it comes with a combination of false assumptions, condescendence, inaccuracy and overconfidence, that’s when there’s a tad problem that arises.
No one could explain this better than Kim Goodwin in his flowchart that went viral (and for good reason).On behalf of all women, we sure do owe you one, Kim.
After gaining popularity, mansplaining gave rise to a whole different set of words (that aren’t in the news as much, but still worth a laugh or two), including “Whitesplain” - which is white people explaining things (again, out of context and unnecessary) to people of colour and “Manterrupt” - which is a word used to describe the act of men interrupting women in conversation.
An ingrained prejudice against women to the point of deep dislike or hatred for the gender - That’s misogyny. How is this different from sexism? Sexism is structured. It’s a belief that men and women have different roles to play.
While there is the creation of a significant disadvantage to one gender by a sexist mindset, a misogynist is plain blunt toxic. They are usually men who are subject to toxic relationships in the past, either with their mother, a girlfriend or sister, that makes them a subconscious hater of the opposite gender. A Misogynist will tend to reinforce stereotypes against women and will get off on this discrimination.
The worrisome part about one is that you can't spot a misogynist at first sight, but thanks to Psychology Today’s article on 12 ways to spot a misogynist- you can attempt to clear all and any doubts on the subject.
Misandry is one of my favourite concepts to highlight primarily because it brings out the true meaning of feminism. People often confuse feminism to be “hatred of the male gender”. This is far from the truth. Misandry, on the other hand, comes close. The word was probably invented to clear the air about feminism being a righteous act, not one of spite. The right word choice to describe a man-hater is a misandrist.
Misandry is basically the hatred for or prejudices against men or boys that manifests itself in many ways. This could include defamation of men, violence against men or any act of sexual discrimination against men. Just like how misogynists stand by patriarchy, a misandrist strongly believes in a matriarchal structure, one that completely switches all power over to women.
There are debates on why misandry and misogyny should not be treated the same.
Katherine Young’s novel Sanctifying Misandry is the work of a genius, to say the least where she challenges an influential version of modern religion, one that undermines sexual equality and promotes hatred of men in the form of misandry - the sexist counterpart of misogyny.
7. Hostile Sexism
Ambivalent sexism is a theoretical framework that divides sexism into two components - hostile sexism and benevolent sexism.
Hostile sexism is openly misogynistic. This means that a hostile sexist is likely to picture a woman as a manipulative, weak and unworthy being. They also view feminism as an attack on men and traditional values and are against it in full force. With overtly negative stereotypes about women, hostile sexism is highly dangerous to the female gender.
8. Benevolent Sexism
Benevolent sexism, on the other hand, is a more subtle form of sexism (still highly damaging, nonetheless) where men view women as innocent, fragile, nurturing beings that need to be taken care of. They aim to keep women beneath men in the social hierarchy but with the aim of protecting and preserving them. This is sometimes worse than hostile sexism because it can easily be confused with friendly behaviour if not identified. It’s what most people would casually call “chivalry”. Sorry to burst your bubble ladies but if he insists that it's his “duty” to get the cheque all the time, you’re most definitely dating a sexist.
9. SWERF, TERF and White Feminism
Short for Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminist, a SWERF is someone who supports the empowering goals of radical feminism and calls herself/himself a feminist, but doesn’t extend this support to sex workers primarily due to the belief that sex work (including prostitution and pornography) tend to objectify women and go against everything that feminism stands for.
TERF (Short for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist)
As the name suggests, a TERF, similar to a SWERF is spotted as someone who identifies with being a radical feminist, but disregards transgender women and are of the belief that they belong to the male gender. Since they’re convinced that trans women are men who cant coexist with their feminist ideologies, they don’t include them in their beliefs. In fact, TERFs are sometimes so unaccepting of the transgender, they believe that they shouldn’t have any rights at all.
The abbreviation TERF went more viral than ever, once J.K.Rowling tweeted something that left her fans shocked
Think of the feminist movement. Now exclude all women of colour from this movement. That’s basically what white feminism is. Advocating for the rights and struggles of only white women and alienating women of colour, intersex, trans, queer, lesbian and all those who belong to a cultural minority resembles the virtues of a white feminist.
The issue with white feminism though, for the longest time, has been the unintentional nature of its practice. White feminists aren’t exactly racist, they just tend not to take into account the struggles and experiences of women of all backgrounds for the different types of inequality they face. And this isn’t true feminism, is it? Feminism can’t be exclusive. It has to be intersectional to be true.
These terms were coined to express how integral a role intersectionality plays in defining true feminism. A white feminist, A SWERF, a TERF or any other similar term that shoots up in the near future (courtesy, social media & social activists), that indicates exclusion of an individual in feminism based on their caste, colour, religion or sexual orientation - are NOT true feminists.
10. Toxic Masculinity
Toxic masculinity: A traditional masculinity ideology or social science that stereotypes men to behave a certain way and belittles the ones that don’t. “Be Macho”, “ Be Red-blooded”, “Be a man”, “Men will be men” are the most obvious of the terms that we get to witness within the four walls of our homes, on advertisements and billboards, in schools, at workplaces and inside most male-female relationships. The idea that associates masculinity with negative personality traits like aggression, violence, unemotional, sexually dominating is harmful, even to the male gender.
The most common outcomes of toxic masculinity witnessed in a man’s behaviour include hiding emotions, using violence to indicate power and putting on a hard front at all times. The problem with toxic masculinity is that it is so deep-rooted into our lives, that we’re sold on concepts of “Gillette: The best a man can get”, “Durex: Time’s Up”, Imperial Blue: Men will be men” and I could go on, but you get the point. It is one thing for men to biologically have a broader build than women that make them more able for laborious tasks and another to infiltrate generations upon generations with the subconscious idea that men are always, at all hours, undefeatable. This is mighty frightening.
While this article covers pretty much all you need to know about feminism and the keywords surrounding it, there’s never enough perspective you can gather around a subject that you’re truly in awe of, right?
If you feel strongly about feminism, you’re going to want to put these books and movies on your “Must Watch/Read list”:
Some of the Best Books Written Around Feminism:
- Feminism is For Everybody by Bell Hooks
- Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
- Men Explain Things to me by Rebecca Solnit
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
- The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
- Unbought and Unbossed by Shirley Chisholm
- Women, Culture, & Politics by Angela Davis
Movies that are unapologetically (and beautifully) Feminist:
- Set It Off (1996)
- Hidden Figures (2016)
- The First Wives Club (1996)
- Roma (2018)
- Nine to five (1980)
- The Color Purple (1985)
- Frida (2004)
- Little Women (1994)
Quotes written on feminism that never fail to give you the heebie-jeebies:
- “I'm tough, I'm ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.”
- “Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.”
― Cheris Kramarae
- “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”
― Gloria Steinem
- “She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city”
― Roman Payne, The Wanderess
- Life is not a competition between men and women. It is a collaboration.
― David Alejandro Fearnhead
- The only thing required to be a woman is to identify as one. Period. End of story.
― Amanda Lovelace
- What is feminism? Simply the belief that women should be as free as men, however nuts, dim, deluded, badly dressed, fat, receding, lazy and smug they might be. Are you a feminist? Of course you are.
― Caitlin Moran
- I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.
― Audre Lorde
Healthmeplease.in - A Holistic Approach to Wellbeing2 minute
2020 surprised us all and definitely did not go according to the plan!
I had grand visions for 2020 as I was to step into my 40s this year. Contrary to the usual perspective of welcoming the 40s with apprehension, I felt like I have never been this ready to begin a new phase in my life. Having explored every aspect of self, including physical, mental, and spiritual wellness holistically, I felt prepared to embark on this journey and wanted to help women embrace the 40s in the same way.
And so, I had conceptualized #acingthe40s for HealthMePlease.in and was excited to inspire my audience to enter the 40s gracefully – well prepared and in the best of health and wellbeing.
The campaign started with an aspirational goal to equip women entering their 40s or those already there by sharing my wellness journey and recommendations for holistic living.
While it was to be launched in April 2020, the shoots had to be canceled with the never-ending lockdown.
But, I went ahead with the idea more so as a celebration of my quarantined 40th birthday on my IG page in the form of IGTV Series.
There's nothing quite like adversity to spur innovation.
I decided to launch #acingthe40s with the limited resources available indoors, and I was surprised by how much it resonated with the audience. The series I was looking forward to creating was relatable to women now more than ever, and the positive feedback from the viewers kept me going.
I established myself with a brand-new identity and pivoted my entire communication strategy to address a mid-life woman's challenges and inspire her on a path of mid-life wellness.
Despite not being a leading health and wellness influencer in terms of numbers, I managed to carve out a niche, engaged, and captive audience.
Today, I am best known for my holistic views on health and wellness, innovative recipes, and unique brand collaborations with renowned industry experts. Healthmeplease.in has created a community inspired to lead well-rounded lives by expanding their wellness horizons to encompass all dimensions.
I have also been building a 40s Survival Kit on my grid, comprising life essentials to help women transition smoothly from midlife crisis to midlife wellness. Via this campaign, I aim to empower women to be better prepared and confident to brace our mid-life with exuberance and grace.
With this objective in mind, I have been creating exciting content, giving a glimpse of my lifestyle and life experiences while also inspiring viewers to adopt healthier lifestyles.
Breaking the 40s stereotype
#Acingthe40s is more than just a campaign. I believe it could be a platform encouraging women in their 40s to see midlife wellness in a whole new perspective.
40s can be the new 20s, in fact, even better than the 20s, if done right. With today's advanced healthcare support and extended longevity of our lives, there is much ahead for women in their 40s to look forward to. At 40, we are more mature and financially independent than ever before. With our life experiences behind us, we have clarity on what we want from life and how to accomplish it!
This segment is a niche audience with high purchasing power that remains underserved even today. Women in these age groups have more time at hand and are often looking for ways to enrich, expand, and add meaning to their lives.
Given the opportunity in this space, I feel Healthmeplease.in is rightly positioned to serve the audience well while challenging wrongly accepted myths by widening their health and wellness perspectives. The topics addressed through this platform are purely from my research and personal experiments with lifestyle and revolve around:
- The health and nutrition changes women tend to face in their 40s
- Dietary must-haves for women in their 40s
- Workout recommendations for women in their 40s
- Lifestyle recommendations for women in their 40s
- Health and diagnostic tests women should get done periodically from their 40s
- Book recommendations to feed the mind in their 40s
- Alternative healthy recipes that nourish the body inside out
- Skincare regimen for that flawless skin even after the 40s and more.
Let's collaborate, and transform lives!
As someone who has learned step by step by experimenting with tried and tested methods, it took a lot of research, efforts, and patience to get where I am today. It was not a smooth ride, but together we can make it easy for others. As I work through my 40s, I plan to share my journey through this platform to educate, engage, and empower women to traverse their mid-life with more confidence and exuberance.
This 90 year old entrepreneur is making waves with her potli bags - upcycled and handcrafted with love3 minute
If you find it hard to inspire yourself, then here's a story that's going to do the trick! Meet Latika Chakravorty, a grandmother who became an entrepreneur at the age of 89 with the support of her family. Her incredible story will inspire you to find your passion no matter what your age is.
And that’s not it, she will also remind you that age is just a number and how old or young you are shouldn’t stop you from doing what you want to do.
She was born about 90 years ago in Dhubri, Assam. She was married to Krishna Lal Chakravorty, an Indian Survey Officer, and after her husband died, she lived with her son, Capt Raj Chakravorty, an Indian Naval Officer. This guided her to a life of travel. On her trip through the length and breadth of India, she found some stunning saris, kurtas, and assorted pieces of clothing, each with its own special story. And these very pieces have been handcrafted into one-of-a-kind handbags by her.
She's always loved sewing and designing new items from old. And she's now focussing her energy on designing and making handbags or potlis using her natural creativity and 64-year-old sewing skills.
So how did the business start? "Around four or five years ago, once my daughter-in-law Sumita asked me to create a potli bag which matches her suit. Suddenly, I found that I had a natural talent for making bags. That's how my bag-making started," Chakravorty says.
Then she started making potli bags, much loved by friends and family, and started giving it to people she knew and loved on birthdays and special occasions.
Chakravorty would not have begun her venture, had it not been for the support she received from her family, especially her grandchildren. In fact, her story is an inspiration that many families of professional and talented seniors should pursue, not only to utilise their skills but also to protect their heritage.
"Thanks to my grandson, Joy who is largely responsible for my business venture to kickstart. He saw me working on a potli bag when he was on a visit from Germany last month, and he thought I should have an online presence. He also created the website. Later, my grand-daughter Priyanka and Joy shared the message through social media, Facebook, FB and Instagram. Rana, who is my grandchild living in Auckland, New Zealand, was my first client” she recollects.
With creativity running in her blood, it's no surprise that she had zero reservations about going into business at the age of 89. Surprisingly, the energetic senior seems to have been looking forward to it, with her family.
‘’In fact, unlike most of us who can only work out a design after we have all the materials with us, she can look at a piece of fabric and immediately form a design in her mind," says Capt (retd.) Raj Chakravorty, Latika's son. Because of her age and the fact that she does this out of passion, Chakravorty is not aiming for a big rush in orders. However, she has her share of customers and admirers, who visit her regularly, and she often features them on her Instagram profile.
"Most of my orders come from my family and friends who have settled abroad, or from my grandson's friends who live abroad. We had to cancel certain orders from overseas because it was too expensive to send them by courier. It's a new business, but revenues are steadily rising. Often people come home and buy stuff. But much of the time, I am pursuing this project because of my legacy to leave behind for the future generations."
Many of the raw material she uses are exquisite saris, kurtas, and diverse items of clothes, each with its own special story. And, in many ways, her family feels that each of Chakravorty's bags tells the tale of a particular time and place in India.
SKRAP- Eco-friendly solutions for the planet3 minute
The journey to save our planet starts with one bamboo straw. Sounds Impossible? Stay with us.
The story dates back to 27 January 2016, a massive fire broke out in Deonar, one of the largest dumping grounds in Mumbai, spanning 326 acres. It took firefighters more than a week to contain the massive fire that created a dense layer of smog in the vicinity, making it almost impossible for people to breathe. Among the many people who were facing respiratory difficulties, there was Divya Ravichandran. Back then, Divya worked in private sector and had to stay indoors for days to shield herself from air pollution.
It was evident that the city required a more effective waste management strategy and something had to be done to encourage more people to adopt sustainable solutions.
Hence, Divya visited the landfill site, and the first-hand account was both an eye-opener and a turning point in her life. The sad state of waste management in the city then prompted Divya to begin taking responsibility for her waste by opting for waste segregation at the source. To do the same, Divya got a composter and began composting wet waste, which mainly included food waste. As far as dry waste such as paper, plastic covers, metal, glass was concerned, she would collect them separately and send them to the recyclers at the end of the month.
Gradually, by trial, error and observation, Divya managed to transfer zero waste from her residence to the landfill site. Once her home was converted into an almost zero-waste-to-landfill zone, Ms. Ravichandran says she realised that the conversion was quite simple, and she started helping friends and family do the same for their homes. At the same time, she also quit her job at Deloitte and was thinking about starting her own business. "It seemed to make sense to start something focused on efficient waste management after the Deonar fire" says Divya. This led to the birth of Skrap in 2017.
How are they bringing about a large scale impact?
They have partnered with offices and events such as marathons, music festivals and business conferences to support them on the zero-waste path, and their clients include Bacardi NH7 Weekender, SBI Green Marathon and Insider.in. At Skrap, they have a huge team of volunteers for activities, with each person in charge of something. They're spread across the venue and wear green jackets that make them recognizable and let the people around them know that there's a squad that's actively looking at waste management at the event.
In the case of large events, Skrap has an end-to-end waste management process that begins four days before the event, right from the moment the stage is set up. The process continues until the stage is dismantled and a comprehensive report about how much waste has been created and how it has been used is shared with the organisers. She says, "YouTube FanFest, for example, was a one-day thing, but the waste disposal process lasted seven days." There's very little you can do with the waste that is combined and not sorted at the source.
But the key to the Skrap process is clear messaging. "We don't use the term wet and dry waste because we feel that sometimes people don't know the difference," says Ravichandran. For events, though, to make it clear, there is a division between food and recyclable waste, and there are eye-level signage bins along with colour coding and bin liners. When the waste is transported to the sorting area at the end of the day, an additional team of waste pickers from one of the NGOs that Skrap has partnered up with conducts the second degree of segregation. Quite interesting, though, is the attempt made at the planning stage by the promoters of the event to reduce landfill waste at the source. Skrap advises on materials that can be used on stage, on banners and, in particular, on materials that can be used by food vendors at the gathering. "Plastic can be recyclable, but if it is tainted with food, it is not taken by the recyclers. What we are suggesting is that only biodegradable plates and cups be used and suggestions are given to food vendors where they can be purchased, "says Ms. Ravichandran.