The way forward post lockdown

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With lockdown and “social reclusivity” coming to an end people are at an interesting cusp of trying to reconfigure their sedentary lives back into action mode and also to deal with the repercussions of what they have endured mentally, emotionally, physically and financially all of which has most certainly taken it’s toll. Many relationships have broken down irreparably and many have been strengthened. Many people feel they can’t return to the life they once led and are considering changing courses even if it means downsizing. My surveys have shown that most women are looking forward to meeting friends and focusing on health and beauty and eating their favourite foods at their favourite restaurants.

Surprisingly, amongst entrepreneurs and business leaders, it seems that despite needing the income streams to start, the enthusiasm to return to a corporate environment has thinned. An overwhelming number have realised that quality of life is crucial and many term the lockdown “the great reset”. How you emerge from this lockdown is crucial. I read a lovely quote recently that stated “The quality of our emotions determines the instructions that our heart sends to our brain”. A positive state of mind will generate positive emotions and lead to positive decisions. If you are operating from fear and insecurity your decisions and outcomes will be based on the same. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and for the best, and those who haven’t used this opportunity to restructure their lives they are bound to perhaps live eternally their mistakes. This is a crucial junction of your life that determines whether you move forward with enthusiasm and a new set of eyes that recognises the mental, professional, social traps and ruts that weren’t working for you, that you have the ability to change it all and that the time is NOW. The rhythm has been broken an you are out of the spiral. For example, do you really need that fancy car that bogs you down with massive EMI’s? If the purpose of a car is to take you from point A to point B does it make sense to spend so much on a logo and to be stressed daily about it? On the other hand, if life is short and you’re a car enthusiast does it make sense to not invest into it? Buy it not for others, or to prove a point or “keeping up with the Joneses” but simply because it’s a passion and dream come true while you could.

Same could be said about where you live geographically, the need to downsize, or change jobs, to focus more on work or perhaps on amazing life experiences. What the lockdown should have done is given you clarity on what matters to you. You are the architect of your life before you get sucked back into anything make a list of what the last 5 months have taught you, what changed, what needs changing and what matters most. Pin this list up by your bedside, or in a diary you access daily. Open your arms and embrace a future you look forward to.

1. We had a nasty fight some seven days back and he has now blocked me everywhere and has ended the relationship with me saying we are now free to date other people. I am debated by this, what do I do?

A lot is said in a state of anger that is not meant, or sometimes a fight is purposely triggered in order to make something known and for having a supposedly valid reason to move on. Give the relationship some breathing time. Use the time for reflection on what you really want for yourself and what kind of relationship you deserve. If he reconnects, tell him your apprehensions with being in such an unstable relationship, and if he goes ahead and moves on be grateful the wrong person has left a space for the right person to walk in to.

2. Because of the lockdown, we have been fighting nonstop over trivial things and issues that have already been settled on the past. How do I deal with all of this?

The lockdown has been very difficult for many to deal with. Emotionally, mentally, physically and financially the exhaustion is certainly taking on a toll and the lack of stimulation vis-à-vis friends, outings, exercise or new environments makes many insular and focussed on petty things and the past. You need to sit and discuss the psychosis with each other and make a decision not to victimise each other. Lockdown is almost at it’s end, so focus on creating a road map for the future and have a keyword like PRESTO, which is used every time someone revisits the past and ensure the conversation ends right there. Make this keyword fun, and most importantly respect it and walk away from the conversation whenever it pops up.

3. I’ve been happily married for five years. My wife and I are what a quintessentially young working couple are like in Mumbai. Every alternate weekend we make it a point to visit our parents for lunch, a routine that we’ve been following without any hitches. But, of late, I find myself in a new situation and have been having sleepless nights over it. A family friend’s son has shifted to my parents’ colony with his wife. So, my parents has asked them to join us whenever we visit them for lunch. However, I now resent the couple’s presence because the man keeps on flirting with my wife. I am afraid of losing my temper. How do I handle this situation without being misunderstood by my wife?

It’s never what happens, but your reaction that shapes your journey of life. Many men may flirt with her, what’s important is how your wife responds to it. Discuss it with her and ask her opinion of how it should be handled. That way she feels won’t be defensive and will be a part of the process in how it can be very nicely put across to him. I suggest a jovial but firm manner so no ego or discomfort is experienced by anyone and a message is sent out loud and clear. He has a wife, so she will pick up on it and do the needful as well.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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