Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Dear Dad - You too can be a Hygiene Super Hero!

The very definition of hygiene seems to have changed between the time we were kids and the time we had kids. When we were kids, I washed my hands for a few seconds and I was done. If some kid did this without being told, he was the best kid ever. Today’s children know different. Washing hands includes soap, rubbing the inside and outside of the fingers for a good fifteen seconds, not to forget nails and fingertips. Travelling? They know not to start eating till Mom whips out the hand sanitizer and everyone has got a good squeeze. Going to a public toilet makes the family look like DeCaprio’s crew in the movie Inception.

How did today’s Moms imbibe all these changes and Dads didn't? Remember I'm a dad too so I don't have the answers. What I do know is most of us weren't inculcated with these hygiene habits and we sure haven't inculcated it now. For example, every time we come back into the house, I tell the kids to come with me and wash my hands. However, if I walk in alone, I never wash my hands immediately. The kids can spot these double standards and interpret that this rule is not important. So it is very important for us to change our hygiene habits first.

Once this is done, Dads can focus on making cleanliness and sanitation fun. Isn’t that a Dads secret weapon – making things more fun than Mom? When the kids throw their dirty clothes all over the place, I turn it into a basketball game where they get to dodge me and dunk the clothes in the laundry bin. The same goes for paper cuttings. When it comes to washing hands, we loudly belt out the Dettol Ho song. If one of the kids falls and gets a scrape, the other one knows to run and get some cotton and Dettol antiseptic liquid because that is what Daddy used when he was growing up.

Last but not the least, it’s also important to be a strong back-up for your wife.
· Keep an extra bottle of hand sanitizer in the car in case she forgets to carry one and starts panicking.
·  Add some skin protection cream and mosquito repellent to make a complete pack.
·  Make an extra effort to keep the house clean so she doesn’t have to pick after you and the kids.
· Reinforce good habits by example such as eating meals at the table without any gadgets around, brushing teeth before sleeping etc.

Who knows, you may see your wife with the look that says – My Hero!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Bust stress at work with meditation

Recently I was suffering from allergic cold and my doctor prescribed anti-allergic tablets. After taking it at night, it practically turned me into a zombie the next day. This continued and I knew this wasn’t working (those of you who know me must be thinking that this is my own venture and I could just put my head down or my legs up and catch a snooze).

Now I’ve been a fan of meditation ever since my sister introduced me to Yoga Nidra. It really helped me to sleep at night. Meditation came to my rescue again here. I tried a 5 minute meditation video and it really worked. I felt refreshed and calm and ready to start work. That’s when I had a realisation. We don’t ‘start’ work when we physically reach work, it starts in our minds a long time before. If you are like me, you must be starting this around 4 a.m. in the morning. Often my sleep breaks and then I drift into a semi sleep, semi office ninja mode. This continues till it is time to roll out of bed and the morning routine starts. I still find myself thinking about work all through-out - my work-out, loo time (of course right?) and dropping the kids off to school.

When I finally reach work, I’m in a bit of a frenzy. Where to start, whom to call, what tasks to prioritise? I discovered this was the perfect moment to meditate. Now I’ve been doing it every day just for a few minutes. It really helps me to calm down and more importantly, center myself. It reminds me that if I’m able to take out time for meditation, I can do my tasks also in an appropriate time.

I use different videos from YouTube, I just make sure they are less than 5 minutes long. I tried Headspace too. A good tip they give is to try and make a habit out of it (like brushing teeth). This again made sense to me because I figured morning time was good when there are less people and less action. On days you are really tired, you could do a longer video (20 minutes or so). That would be better than fighting sleep during a meeting or a presentation.

So try this and remember the key elements –finding a suitable time, keeping it short, using a video which involves deep breathing and centres oneself. Bust that stress and be productive and happy at work. Cheers.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Writing In A Cafe - A Cliche?

I'm trying hard. Believe me. I'm waiting for inspiration. I've had the coffee. I've put music on. But everything around is either bothering me or seems much more interesting than writing.

The coffee cup tray is intruding into the space where my tab is and now I have precariously balanced it on side. The paper triangle advertising the new menu of the café has fallen down twice and had to be retrieved. Everything is running out of battery. I wish I had sat next to the TV which was showing some nice songs on VH1 instead of three loud guys.

People watching – Ah, is there anything better to do than sit idly and fantasise a life for them. There are three occupied tables in the café. The one furthest from me has two girls chatting away busily. The one facing me is OK looking and so the other must be better. Damn if only I was sitting next to that TV. Double damn.

Another table is occupied by a couple. Unmarried by the looks. Likely to marry and then start fighting in a few months. Ha ha, take that. Still, I envy them for the life that I also had. Free( r) to do stuff, withdraw into a personal space, come back when required. But I also wish them the comfort of a relationship, the strength and the security one draws from it and of course, children. The pride and joy of our lives and the masters of our free time.

The café feels better now although the waiter has kindly put on the overhead lights which are now glaring off my screen. The TV has gone off, the waiter has carried the tray away and Apple products are showing a decent battery life.

The three guys on the table have also piped down. When I came in there were only two and a third friend joined them just then. He is wearing an incredibly irritating attire. Sunglasses propped the back on his shaven head, green shirt with top two buttons open, white veshti. He opens the discussion with the declaration that he is the best husband in the world. His wife is harassing him and is also secretly fighting with his parents. He is ok with her leaving him but wants to keep the kids. Then he takes out money from his pocket and pays off the two guys. Then he starts asking his friends which movie has tickets available. I'm bewildered by the change in topics and this is when the ear plugs go into my ears.

I get a call from a friends and I talk for about 20 minutes. By then almost everyone leaves and new people come in. Two pretty women occupy the table left by the guys. A mom and her son come and go and another mom son combo walks in. The café now feels cozy. A glass walled bright place with music and chatter. If only the coffee was better and the food was healthy. Life ebbs and flows. I too decide to move out but the temptation to stay a bit longer is pulling me. So adios my friends. Maybe we will come across each other in another café.