‘I’m Tasked To Optimise Myself’

Vrinda SHANDILYA responds to ThinkWellness360 questionnaire. 

Your view on beauty?

Beauty has nothing to do with one’s physical attributes; also, appearance. It is, in my view, a reflection of one’s thoughts, ideas and words, too. Our fixation and obsession for beauty, also fair skin, and ‘fixed’ body types are unjust. It’s, indeed, heartening that colour bias, or criterion, is no longer the norm in advertising. Beauty is a dynamic concept, no less. I ‘chase’ beauty in the little things of life. From the blossoming of a flower, to a lovely sunset, or the tiny freckles on one’s skin that tell a story of all of this, and more. The bottom line is simple: the best thing we’d all do, in our own tiny ways, is elevate the idea of all that is beautiful with love and appreciation.

Your ‘take’ on fitness?

Fitness, in my perspective, encompasses physical as also the mental aspects. There is, however, a ‘catch.’ When we don’t prioritise mental, or emotional, fitness we’re missing a piece of the puzzle. Being physically fit allows your body to be like a car to ride through life, while your mental fitness is the fuel without which you just can’t go ahead. In today’s world, where most people are anxious, depressed, overwhelmed, or frantic, it is important to take a step back and disconnect. Disconnecting from people, family, work, and other negative thoughts, for a while, and from time to time, would be a useful prescription to maintaining sanity. I also believe that it is important to take regular breaks, from work, or other activities, to avoid burnout. We would also do well to identify adverse triggers and address them before they raise their ugly heads. Well, it is okay for one to indulge in a fancy diet, a fancy workout in a fancy gym, once in a while — without compromising on our mental fitness. Remember: taking care of our mental health is as simple as going for a walk.

Your view of health and wellness?

The concept of being a ‘healthy’ individual is inherently subjective — it varies from one individual to the other, just like your signature, or fingerprint. In our fast-paced world, it is essential for each of us to designate a personal pit stop for self-renewal. This entails making conscious efforts to reducing binge eating and excessive screen time. This isn’t all. Our health and wellness are significantly influenced by the food we consume, the content we engage with and the environment we inhabit. One crucial aspect of achieving the right balance of our mind, body and soul involves distancing ourselves from toxic relationships — be it people, work, food, as also self-doubt. This is a small, big step — it recognises the ‘source’ of our ‘toxicity’ and assists us to actively take measures to eliminating, or reducing, their impact. Creating a personal space for yourself is just as important —  it helps you to recharge, refresh, and cultivate habits that contribute positively to your life; also, career. Or, in other words, to moving closer to and achieving a more holistic state of health and wellness.

Your ‘take’ on work-life balance?

I’ve learned, as someone in the early stages of my career, that the idea of being ‘the first to arrive, and the last to leave,’ is a misconception perpetuated by certain employers. What’s important is fostering a healthy work environment that respects personal time. Overworking can take a substantial toll on one’s physical and mental well-being and also morale — this may cumulatively impact work-life, life-work performance. Establishing clear boundaries is a top priority for me. While it is essential to be mindfully present and supportive at work, during working hours, achieving the ‘right’ balance between work and personal life is crucial. It’s essential to evaluate one’s priorities and mental health, more so when a situation forces a choice between one’s sanity and work commitments. Striking the right balance, therefore, holds the key to long-term professional success and personal fulfilment.

Your mantra to beat stress?

Stress is a ubiquitous part of our lives; also, career. While it is, perhaps, next to impossible to completely eliminate every source of stress, we can certainly develop better — maybe, ‘bespoke,’ or personalised — ways to managing it, from the ground up. The first step involves identifying the ‘root cause,’ or trigger of stress. Once identified, it’s crucial for us to either get rid of them ourselves, or find useful ways of coping with them. While eustress, or good stress, can be beneficial, one ought to be cautious when ‘bad’ stress begins to erode our mental peace and balance. This a clear sign that we need to take prompt action. A simple, yet effective, approach is to reconnect with activities we enjoyed as children, such as colouring, dancing, walking, swimming, or indulging in our favourite hobbies. They ease the stressful ‘grind’ of our daily life and help us to regain our physical, mental, or emotional, equilibrium.

VRINDA SHANDILYA, an alumna of Symbiosis International University, is a research consultant. She is currently upscaling her professional abilities through the Stoa Program, while honing her management skills. She has a background too in supporting start-ups — assisting them to scaling up their social media presence and strategising and ‘jazzing-up’ their marketing content. She also actively contributed, during her college days, to Enactus Club, showcasing her passion for innovation and social impact. Her leisure pursuits include finding joy in calming walks, music, and exploring her culinary skills. She lives in Navi Mumbai, India.

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