Stress: A tired mind’s misery

Article by: Archana Sathish, Marketing & Communication, Avtar

After a long tiring day at work, what is the usual thing that we all do? Some of us would like to watch TV, some would just crash on bed, and many of us won’t even feel like doing anything at all.

Have we ever thought why do we do all these things? Personal space and me time are enjoyed by everyone whenever they have time. Again, why? Well it’s all on our minds, isn’t it? We have so many thoughts running through our mind per second. We exert our emotions and frustration in various ways due to stress, work tension. Believe it or not, stress plays with our health and changes us by playing with the mind. This isn’t a good sign. We all crib and cry. “I’m stressed”, “I hate this job”, “Life is so tiring!”. But how many of us actually sit back and think about the solutions for the stress? How many of us have accepted the changes at work, and tried to adapt ourselves in such circumstances? Just close your eyes and go back for a second. What happened today? What made you feel so stressed? Was there any other way than being stressed to deal with the problem?

The biggest problem with human beings is that we can never be wholly satisfied. We always find some fault somewhere. Maybe at work your manager would have given you a hard day and you would have frowned upon the very same. You might blame it on your manager’s behavior or meeting deadlines. And in the end, you end up declaring that you are stressed. And this is why, we need to first understand what is the problem with us before we say “stress”.

Well, that’s not very hard. All we need to do is to stay calm and take a deep breath. Observe what is going on around you.

  • Think twice before you speak to anyone. If something bad is happening around you, think as to what you did first before you land up getting stressed!
  •  As acceptance plays a huge role for all human beings in every scenario, we have to learn to accept situations, adapt ourselves towards changes, learn the new changes with smiles on our faces.
  • Also, we can try out some home remedies to reduce the pressure. Try the magic spell of yoga and meditation or other relaxation techniques.
  • Spend time with your family and friends.
  • Stop procrastination.
  • Plan your day properly and have a good sleep as it’s very important for all of us to give the brain a good rest.
  • Have your food on time.
  • Avoid taking medicines (if not necessary).
  • If things are difficult at work at least make an effort to give it a chance. Try discussing the issues that are bothering you with your manager. May be a small talk over a coffee break will help in breaking the ice.

It’s common for stress to lurk into your workplace and personal life but with a positive attitude you can bring down the pressure and improve you overall work-life balance.


Keeping up with an extended family

Article by: Murugeswari Natarajan, Associate Manager-Diversity Hiring

Like every woman, my marital life had started with pleasant expectations and beautiful dreams. From day one, the relationship with my in-laws was working out well. Being a retired working woman herself, my MIL who I endearingly call, Amma understood my hardships as a professional. Having said that in the later years, I have encountered many conflicts with my mother-in-law, like everyone else. Over time, I have learned to endure. In due course, I realized that this is nothing but my insecurity. It’s part of all our lives. It is surprising that we easily understand the insecurities that others suffer from, but it takes time for us to understand our insecurity.

If we try to identify the insecurities and overcome those, many problems can be solved in advance.

1.      Creating a healthy network

2.      Working out more on your passion

I have learned to do both of these.

As I had mentioned earlier, I perceived the notion that my mother in law was insecure. In the following days, a series of bitter incidents caused me to lose my patience. I sunk into a grave of darkness. And the darkness gradually increased post my delivery. I believe it was ‘Postpartum Depression’. Immediately, a few people around me rose the question of us living as a nuclear family. Yet, I was determined to live with an extended family. Because, in the days that followed, my baby needed support.

During this turbulent phase, my husband offered me a piece of curt but practical advice. He said, “You need to know who you are as a person. Prioritize your aspirations. Building a relationship takes time and effort so don’t hold unnecessary grudges”. His advice pushed me into a new direction of life. I realized that my insecurities and conflicts have affected my overall intention. I decided to work on myself thoroughly. This was one of the main reasons for my early return to work post-maternity.

The solutions I devised for myself were to cleanse my network and spot the supportive relationship to be sustained for the long term. And, the second one was to work out more on my passion. So as planned, I started to keep a check on my network regularly. I have a belief that if we have positively strong supporters in our network, we will be cheerful and will automatically move forward. If you feel uneasy in your relationships or alarmed by people who possess a toxic mentality, get rid of them immediately.

In the personal front too, I adopted a few goals. The first step that I took was to split the duties among everyone in the house. As soon as I figured out what our priorities are, I sat down, set goals, and made plans to maintain the course. I had chalked out individual goals as well as couple goals in terms of our Health, Career, and Finance. So, we have 5 members in my home including my kid. We have 5 personal goals for each and a family goal. The goals we fixed for ourselves gave us success in subsequent years. I always design a family goal that depends on everyone’s responsibilities, it can be achieved only by every member’s co-operation. So we have made the plans intertwined and transparent. At present, the couple’s goal has changed into a family goal. For example, if a family faces a financial crisis, the entire family needs to be attentive in cooperating. In other words, we as a group have transformed our lifestyle slowly instead of trying to work hard to change everyone’s attitudes individually. This transformation has provided us with a lot of time to converse with my family, allows us to listen to each other, and above all, my little one is nurtured in love with her grandparents. Being a working mother I make all the decisions with confidence along with their experienced inputs. We are flattered when our kith & kin appreciate that we drive a family perfectly with ethics.

You can’t get what you want unless you envision it. Give yourself the space to dream what you want. Today’s women prefer to raise their children with grandparents rather than leaving them in kindergarten/day school (until and unless the situation suggests otherwise). This is a good sign. If you learn to accept the challenges, I assure you that your growth will be tremendous in the extended family. Let’s go back to the extended family culture to make our homes a haven.


Personal Branding- A brief outlook

What do big names like Zara, Starbucks, Adidas, McDonald’s, and the likes have in common?

These are iconic and global brand names tantalizing the minds and hearts of young and old for a very long time now. How did they do it? The answer is by building a unique brand identity.

Earlier the term “branding” was used only for business and products. But now with the advent of social media and the influencer concept, a brand can also mean an individual. Thus, the term Personal Branding came into light.

In simple words, Personal Branding is the process of creating a valued professional identity of yourself. It is a culmination of an individual’s skills, competencies, communication abilities, and all the other interesting elements of uniqueness that will help a person stand out.

Personal Branding is especially important for women in a world where glass ceilings are being shattered every day. Indra Nooyi, Oprah Winfrey, Ariana Huffington, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw are the names of a few leaders and influencers with admirable Personal Brands. And they are all women.

Why is Personal Branding important for women?

In a professional world of gender stereotypes and leadership gaps, the need to work on a woman’s branding is a topical issue.

Personal Branding has the power to push a woman from a sea of competition to a land of numerous possibilities. Having a Personal Brand will help a woman distinguish herself from her competitors and reflect a stand out personality of both her resume and personal self. Let’s take a look at the importance and tangible benefits of Personal Branding for women:

  • Creating job and business opportunities
  • Accelerating her career growth
  • Marketing to industry leaders, clients, and influencers
  • Establishing a favorable public image
  • Identifying her as a subject matter expert (SME)
  • Building a network of connections

Developing a Personal Brand is a road map of taking your in-built skills and talents from relative obscurity to visible level of expertise. A few tips to just get you started on how to build a powerful Personal Brand:

  • Be your authentic self
  • Build your natural talent and strengths
  • Use social media networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter

This was just a bird’s eye view on the concept of Personal Branding. Our much sought-after experts at Avtar are conducting a webinar on Personal Branding, it’s importance, strategies to develop, and much more detailed guidance on this topic. Women willing to develop a robust personal brand can look forward to some life-changing takeaways from this session.

Register now: https://lnkd.in/gRwKpy9


Corona or Dalgona?

Article by: Athira Premarajan- Research and Content Development Associate

You know how it works. Fresh today and gone tomorrow. That’s the pace of social media trends. There was a time when a ‘winking beauty’ from Kerala, took over the social space of the entire world. Though it stayed for a little longer than anticipated, it was long forgotten the very next week! Now trending are the frothy Dalgonas. This will forfeit too. So will the Corona.

Rising to the challenge is not new to any human being. We have learned to survive the odds even during the hardest of times. Journeying through the most unprecedented times of the century, we are slowly regaining our world step-by-step. In this process, the role of technology in leading us is huge. It has opened the window of possibilities and opportunities – Learning from home, cooking from home, celebrating from home, invoking from home, working from home, et. al. Among this, the popularity, reach and requirement of ‘remote working’ or ‘work from home’ concept tops the list.

Though it was already in the scene, remote working had not gained limelight until recently. The social stigma that sustained with remote working was long gone within a couple of days since the outbreak. Although, it is sad that a pandemic had to teach us the vast possibilities of the different tools and products made by humankind. Anyway, better late than never! This opportunity has proved the world – both employers and employees, the availability of alternatives. This has made a huge impact in the lives of millions of women – who are trying for a job with flexibility, who has requested for flexible working hours, and for those of who wants to balance familial duties and earn, working from home. Now, just to list out the benefits, how has this window of opportunity given the women workforce a breath of fresh air? Let’s find out!

Time for Dalgonas (*wink*):

Working moms often are seen working tirelessly towards bridging the gap between her kids and her motherly duties. This unexpected vacation has given her round-the-clock chance to bond with her kids, dishing out their favourite snacks and of course, the trending Dalgonas!

Update and Upgrade:

Skill building is an essential aspect of any business. In lieu of the time spent on travelling, working moms can now focus on upgrading skills and knowledge from the vast ocean of courses, webinars and workshops available online.

Multi-tasking and Crisis management at its peak:

Going through sibling crisis is a more complicated task than even the pandemic, a mother would agree. Not saying this would give her a certification but, surely does this innate talent helps in her everyday tasks, especially in her work. Prioritising also falls under this.

Better Control of Finances:

With online services shut, travel expenses hitting zero, and complete home under control, financial matters have never been so much easier. The cognitive capability of women takes a new spin every time while planning the week, accurately listing the requirements, which again benefits them in their work to better plan and process.

In the Comfort of Home:

Productivity is never better when you work from home. Believe it or not, it is proven as well as approved! Nothing better than the comfort of one’s home to concentrate and get creative.

Women are the masters of handling situations. Be it at home or away. In the era where we are proceeding with our baby steps to incorporate AI in every field, our world is not far away in reaching the sci-fi imaginations. Women, nevertheless, we can all agree, are beyond imaginations – their strength, capability, discipline and perseverance, most of which are her innate qualities.

Though the scenarios may differ than what is mentioned above, with the lack of domestic aid and online food services, we sure can find time for doing our favorite hobbies or learning new things. Understand that no one has their day planned accurately. Pull out one hour from those lazy evenings or preferably weekends, to rejoice and explore what you loved doing or what you always wanted to do. Look at the brighter side and make use of this unexpected vacation to procure expected and productive outcomes.


Working Women – The New Investment Gurus

Article by: Dr. Divya Kumar, Associate Manager- Research, Avtar

It was a pleasant afternoon. Our team had gathered at the lunch table and were enjoying passing our delicious lunch boxes to each other. Neha, one of our teammate joined us a little late. I checked with her, whether all was fine. Neha replied with a big smile “Yes, I had been to the bank to close my fixed deposit as it dated for maturity and also wanted to check for other recent investment plans.” Wow! we working women have come a long way.

Women are always great with money. We really know how to save every penny. But it is important to know that SAVINGS is not equal INVESTMENT. They are different. Saving is setting aside a sum of money from our income, for future, predominantly for any unforeseen contingencies. Whereas, an investment is an asset or item accrued to generate income either for short or a long term.

Till a few years back, women relied on their fathers or their spouses to go about their investments or financial plans. Times have changed. Now, there is increased access to obtain knowledge about financial planning and advises from experts through the web world, social media and awareness sessions at offices. The digital wave has ensured every working woman her financial independence and surged confidence in her investments. Working women tend to take career breaks for motherhood or elder care at least once. It is critical being at ease with financial investment by choosing the correct investment tool. So here are some investment tools, listed. The listing is a blend of traditional and more dynamic avenues methods of investments for you to consider:

  • Public Provident Fund is one of the most popular investment plans in India and has tax benefits.
  • Employees’ Provident Fund is considered as one of the best investment options for working women as it allows tax benefits and gathers tax-free savings.
  • Life & Health Insurance cover provides much needed financial security for you and your family. Remember, as your income increases you should increase the insurance cover.
  • Government schemes Kisan Vikas Patra is one of the best short term investment plan as the maturity value doubles the principal amount. Sukanya Samridhi Yojna was launched specifically for the welfare of the girl child.
  • National Savings Certificate is considered as one of the safest investment schemes that can be availed at the post offices.
  • Post-Office Time Deposit/Monthly Income Scheme is considered to be eligible for child investment plans, where a single mother can invest a certain amount for her child’s education and healthcare.
  • Bank Fixed Deposits is another good investment cum savings options that can be availed in both public and private sector banks.
  • Mutual funds are a unique investment pooling entity which enables investors to invest in a wide range of securities in a single platform.
  • Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) is a facility offered by mutual funds to the investors to invest in a disciplined manner.
  • Gold is contemplated as a good investment in Indian society. It is important to note that only invest in gold coins and bond from RBI authorized dealers and banks can be exchanged for higher whenever needed. Purchase of gold jewelry cannot be considered as an investment.

So how can you start your financial planning?

It begins with your annual and monthly aligned budgetary allocations. It is important that your family needs to be alerted periodically keeping in mind future expenses – buying a house or accumulating capital for a business idea that you always dreamed etc.

Next, reduce impulsive spending. Shopping and entertainment are the two biggest impulsive spends. This is largely influenced by pester power (the ability of a child to pressurize its parents to buy a product/item, largely influenced by the advertisement in the media).

Eventually, in due course of time, you will be enabled to channelise your hard-earned money to fulfil your financial goals.

Because  –  “WHAT IS MEASURED GETS MANAGED”!


Do Women Have What It Takes to Be Great Leaders?

Article by: Shobhika Ramanathan, Associate Research Analyst

The topic itself gives us a suspicious question as women are already multi-taskers. But why is there a persisting doubt against them as great leaders? There are many instances where women prove that they have all the qualities to hold the position of leaders.

According to the research done by Harvard Business Review in 2012, with a database of 360-degree reviews, women scored as equal as men in handling leadership positions. The surprising fact is, when the same research was held in 2019, women in senior leadership roles remained relatively steady as same as when the original research (2012) was done. This is one of many such examples.

Gender shouldn’t be a factor determining a person’s leadership qualities – a person’s leadership abilities depend on their strengths and personality traits. Women see leadership roles from a different perspective. One research states that 65% of women describe a leader as one who shares their knowledge to uplift his/her team to reach success. When this attitude of women is put in managerial roles, it can make them stronger and effective leaders.

Let us take a look at why women should be given the throne:

  1. No “Nos” To Multi-Tasking 

Women are used to multi-tasking since their young age. Managing many works at the same time is what she had mastered already. Hence, for her, this is a go-go!

2. Patience in Full Battery Level 

This doesn’t conclude that women are always polite. But they know how to handle a situation or an argument without losing temper. Given any situation, she knows how to tackle them.

3. Already A Winner Against the Odds

Yeah, some people would say otherwise, but being a woman, we know how to work against the odds. You know why? Because we have always faced discrimination and restriction – regardless of which, many women have come out and stood up for themselves and succeeded against the odds in flying colors. They have the drive to prove people wrong, who put a barrier in their way and succeed in whichever path they are working in.

4. High Scale On Emotional Intelligence

The ability to recognize emotions in yourself and others and relate is something that accounts for a great leader. Married or not, a woman always possesses this character. With this power, she can handle all kinds of people with clarity in what she wants for her team and herself.

5. Easy Mingle Policy

Normally women don’t stay alone in any situation. Although she is always with her companions, she clearly knows whenever a decision must be taken. And, it will always be in favor of everyone else on the team. This fact helps her more when it comes to an organization. It gains her respect for being the kind-hearted individual she is and will for sure cheer her to go on.

The above-stated points are only the match’s highlights. The real match is yet to begin. There are for sure many other qualities of women that suits up to the mark, to fit in as a leader in the corporate world. So, come on let us try to understand those boons and reserve her a seat!


How to beat the cultural definition of gender-based roles?

Article by: Athira Premarajan, Research and Content Development Associate

Janaki waited anxiously to hear about her culinary expertise at her new home. She was so proud of herself applying all that her mother had taught her since the day she stopped going to school as she was told it was time for her to learn domestic chores. Leaving her colourful textbooks behind, which mostly had untouched leaves of Ruskin Bond and R K Narayan, she happily obeyed her mom’s advice. Within a year’s span, Janaki saw herself in the new red saree draped beautifully around her – leaving her home – being welcomed to her new family.

“Janaki,” whispered her mother-in-law, “I am glad you got it right. He always likes his Rotis soft and fluffy”. Unexplored still stayed in the dusty corners of her open wardrobe, Bond and Narayan.

Disclaimer: It isn’t a tale. Also, not a real story. But it is an inspired piece from thousands of lives who are still alive today. There are two aspects we can infer from this: The hefty burden of familial duties a woman is bound to carry and lack of knowledge of education. We sure aren’t in Utopia or the Barbarian era. However, some of the ideologies we keep quite are Utopian or Barbarian. It is really not necessary to state the obvious but, time and again we have been failed by traditions and ideologies, which are outdated. Yes, gender discrimination is an earthed topic, still hot on the plate. However, the measures taken to curb it is always off the plate.

Before traversing globally, let’s take our nation’s state on the same. According to studies, Indian women spend an average of 300 more minutes than men doing household chores. Now, is it because men are not healthy enough or they have less than 24 hours as opposed to women? No. It is the centuries-old practices and lack of sensitization that holds responsibility for this data. Even in the families adopting the best of gender equality practices, chances are that certain unknown biases act up, in turn, making women responsible for house chores and caregiving.

Now, how can this be curbed? Is there a written set of rules and norms? No. Have they conducted studies on it? Yes. But here, especially during the time of the pandemic, we are putting out an easier set of activities that the men allies could adopt in creating a better home for your other half.

  • Fix your Ideologies:

The term hereditary, as a matter of fact, is a term that we own up to proudly – for the caste, race, region or any such category we belong to. These come with a couple of tagalongs – traditions, rituals, ideologies – which has been imprinted in you probably even before you turned four! Out of the several good aspects these tagalongs carry, you have been taught or per se experienced certain illogical set of norms meant to be done by a particular gender. A boy usually runs to the grocery store while the girl does the dishes. This stigma apparently has affected several other of our routines inflicting a sense of gender inequality. Fix it.

  • Sensitize your Peers, Correct your Elders:

You may belong to a set of prominent broad-minded thinking peers. However, when it comes to reality topics like washing one’s own clothes or dishes, these forward thinkers would still be at the mercy of their mother or wife. Or for instance, your mother asks to leave your plate on the table after dinner, offer to clean it by yourselves. In two words: Identify and Rectify.

  • Put that down, ‘he’ will lift it:

Well, we cannot alter the biological form we are born into. It is true that several jobs require people with good physical built and sometimes not. And there are certain roles that cannot be fulfilled by a substitute. However, judging a person’s strength based on gender is unacceptable.

Note: Saleswomen and women working in the service industry also feeds their family.

  • Remove the Social Stigma:

Women, often a victim of this, is usually stamped with duties pertaining to house chores. Surprisingly enough, accrediting to the ascribed talents and acquired knowledge, women themselves find it odd when men help them in the kitchen cooking or doing dishes. Nor will they find it easy to involve in financial decisions. The need of the hour here is a ‘Reset Button’. Do you have it ready?

  • If it is Boy, Engineer, If it is a Girl, Doctor:

Bet you remember this dialogue from the famous movie ‘3 Idiots’. Well, it would be boring to iterate it in any other format. This and several other scenes in this comedy epic captures a load of gender disparity issues. Watch it once and think about it. And, prevent it from happening with you.

Good luck and be the driver of change!


Choices women shouldn’t have to make

Unprecedented times. Unplanned for reality. These are some of the descriptors that may be used to define the state of countries, societies, organisations, families and individuals, today. As individuals, micro-constituents of entities that are strategizing to beat the challenge, how about taking the crisis by it horns, embarking on an introspective spiral and contributing to better ways of living?

This is what we at Avtar Women did and we now have this list of Top five choices women (half of the sky!) shouldn’t have to make:

1. To choose between family and a career

This is a global phenomenon. Women’s workforce participation rate is substantially lesser than men’s across geographies, across societies. The male breadwinner, female care-taker family model results in many women (pursuing careers) taking a break at critical junctures involving care-giving – motherhood or elder care. While this may be a choice many women consciously make, in many cases, the decision is not entirely the woman’s. If organizations are to be cognizant of career enabling needs of women and families more supportive of a woman’s career aspirations, this will be a choice any women will not have to make.

2. To choose educational courses perceived to be lighter and easier to pursue a career on

This is unfortunately a choice that millions of women/girls have had to make. Encouraging girls to take up courses that will lead them on to ‘manageable’ careers (that will ensure quality work-life integration) is common place. Why do you have to pursue an MBA or an engineering is a question many girls get asked. This is a choice; we wish women do not have to make. Ultimately, what one becomes is what one dreams, what one is encouraged to dream! 

3. To take a pay cut as they make successful career comebacks

Gender wage gap is prevalent, across organizations, across sectors. While discerning organizations are working towards ensuring gender wage parity, this becomes more pronounced when women make career comebacks. A 2019 research by Avtar revealed that 69% of women on career breaks in India, anticipate a pay cut when they make a career return. If organizations are to critically look at the talent potential of this talent pool and women on their part proactively plan come-backs (undertake up-skilling interventions and negotiate with potential employers), this choice could be nullified. 

4. To take ownership of three Cs, even as young girls

This is how gendered roles are driven when children are boxed to activities at a very young age. When little girls are told that they have to warm up to the 3 Cs – Cooking, Cleaning and Caring pretty early (because that would benefit them in the future), the choice is many a times sealed. This perpetuates gender stereotypes and the gender skew in care-giving continues. This is definitely a choice young girls shouldn’t have to make.

5.  To be silent victims/spectators of body shaming

Multiple researches have shown that women/girls are more likely to be body shamed than men/boys. Often women choose to not react to seemingly frivolous comments on their appearance and body language, to not ruffle feathers. This leads to power equations in gender thrive, in extreme cases leading to emotional and physical abuse. If women/girls do not really have to make the choice of being a silent bearer, we as a society could go a long way in reducing the rate of crimes against women and children.

So these are our thoughts! What are yours? Add on to the comments below.


Quarantine life: 21 fun tasks for 21 days

India is now under 21 days of lock-down. A hopeful and a precautionary step to protect us from the deadly pandemic. Enough has been discussed and written about the virus, so let’s not embark on that journey. Instead, we can plan and transform these 21 days into something exciting as well as apply it as a stress-free therapy for working parents.

Apart from the daily routine work of child-rearing and household tasks in collaboration with office duties, working parents can opt to do these 21 fun tasks for the next 21 days. Let’s begin-

Day 1- Play indoor games

Board games are a savior. If you don’t possess any, then try dumb charades or Pictionary. Hide & seek is another viable option. Family games are absolute fun!

Day 2- Clean your house plants

With the amount of pollution that we survive in, it’s natural for a household to host indoor plants. Take out some good time and clean those greens. Parents can involve their kids in this activity. It will bring them closer to nature.

Day 3- Cook together

Whether it’s fixing a snack for the kids or making dinner (keeping in mind the limited availability of resources), make sure you do it as a couple. These small moments will offer you both a chance to chat and reminisce about your best moments together. In urgent times as such, couples need to be at their best partnership.

Day 4- Read books

In this digital world, kids making it a habit to read books is like a breath of fresh air. Parents can lead the way by reading together with them before bedtime.

Day 5- Organise a movie night

This is everybody’s favorite. A weekend movie marathon with family is always a good idea.

Day 6- Give the physical activity a roll

Spread out the yoga mats and spend quality time stretching your body to give the rest it deserves. With meditation, your tired mind will open up and offer more space to fresh thoughts.

Day 7- Explore ways to save money

With the grappling economy scenario, it is inevitable for couples to discuss and devise methods to maintain the budget and save money.

Day 8- Conduct a family photoshoot

The lockdown has forced people to be indoors. That means everyone in the family is home. So now it can be a good time to get dressed and pose for the perfect family picture.

Day 9- Call up family and friends

Getting to know that everyone you love and care for is safe is definitely the best feeling in the world. So take this quarantine period as an opportunity to call up long lost friends or face time with your extended family. This gesture will impart positivity and radiate immense love among all of you.

Day 10- Watch travel vlogs

Maybe it’s going to take some time to check off your family travel bucket list, but no worries. Watch interesting travel vlogs on YouTube. It can also serve as a learning tool for kids.

Day 11- Spread the joy of color

Kids love colors. So why don’t you let them get messy in their attempt to do something creative? An empty canvas and a box filled with colors are all you need. Let their imaginations flow. Parents try it too. It’s therapeutic!

Day 12- Dance your heart out

What else can be more relaxing than dancing your stress out? Put on some fun music, gather your kids, and let your body sway to the rhythm.  Also, it can be a helpful tip to put your hyperactive children now tired because of the dance party to bed on time.

Day 13- Scrub and mask

Homemade packs and scrubs work wonders on our bodies. But in situations of no access to ingredients, you just need lukewarm water and a loofah. A home spa day is an ideal idle time.

Day 14- Host an English tea party

Sounds fancy but doesn’t have to be a literal garden tea party. Spending a simple but cozy evening with the elders of your family and talking over a cup of chai is a good way to keep boredom at bay.

Day 15- Start a debate

No, we are not talking about picking up a fight. A healthy conversation with your partner on a trending topic apart from the global pandemic is what we meant. Each of you can bring to the table varied POV of the same story. It can be a ritual to keep yourself updated with the world.

Day 16- Tell bed-time stories

Kids nowadays can be least expected to know about the two great Indian epics- The Mahabharata and The Ramayana. With the fast-moving times, parents also lost track of time to make their children familiar with the stories. But now is the time! Bed-time stories can be the passage for the kids to enter into the world of fascinating Indian tales.

Day 17- Do some spring cleaning

One piece of furniture or one room at a time but begin the long-overdue spring cleaning.

Day 18- Learn the name of all your kid’s friends

This is a valid task that we tend to ignore. But your kid’s friend circle tells a lot about your child. Also, your interest to know your kid’s friends will excite your kid too. The more kids you have, the more names you need to remember.

Day 19- Keep a journal

This is an unprecedented time in our history. So make it a habit to keep a journal to record your day to day activities. Your kids can do the same too. They can draw out their feelings if too young to write. This will help them document their lives in a national emergency and remain as a reminder as they grow up.

Day 20- Do nothing

Don’t push yourselves too hard. Living in quarantine can be difficult but not impossible if you stay calm. So on a certain day pause, and take a break. No activities. No hustling. Just your family and you being thankful and mindful of Mother nature.

Day 21- Remain positive

Last but not least, don’t forget to make the list of stuff you are going to do with your family once this is over.

SOMEDAY OR OTHER IT WILL ALL COME TO AN END.


In times of Corona: A working mother’s guide to remote working

Coronavirus outbreak, now declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, is taking the world by storm. Every age group, every gender, and every profession from around the globe is hit by this severe disease. Hand washing is a daily ritual. Social distancing is the mantra to live by. A large public gathering is an offense. Educational institutions are on standby. And working from home is the new normal.

As we can witness the dynamic shift in everything because of the global adversity scenario, couples are also making tough decisions on how to divide their share of unpaid labor. In solution, the lives of a large sum of working mothers are not the same anymore. The kids are at home. The elderly have been confined to indoors. The house help and baby sitters have been sent away on paid leave fearing the risk of contagion. And the working mother is unconsciously left to deal with taking care of the kids, combating this infectious disease to ensure her family is safe with the equal focus of meeting the deadlines at work. In addition to that, the majority of social and health workers comprises of women. They are on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19, thus, putting them at a greater risk of getting infected.

Coronavirus might bring out the ugly side of gender equality. Couples might suddenly find themselves caught in the argument of who is going to be a breadwinner and who can play the role of a homeworker. Instead of a hard core debate on equality, let’s think and devise the solutions to streamline a woman’s daily routine.

  • Reject the work-life balance myth

First and foremost, it’s only fair if we agree that we can’t have it all. Work and life don’t have to be a tug of war. Instead, develop a synergy between the two and bridge the guilt gap when you have to unplug. It is Work-Life integration like no other time.

  • Set a consistent morning routine

Make a to-do list. Schedule your tasks with a proper timeline. Easy to say and easier to do. The hardest tasks on your to-do list should be completed as when you feel the sharpest and focused.

  • Engage your kids in an activity

Before you sit down to officially begin your work, keep your kids busy with some interesting – craft or puzzle activity. This can also act as letting your kids know that you are in a ‘do not disturb’ mode. While cutting down screen time is healthy, allowing them one while you wind up an important meeting is the smart way to do it.

  • Get on the same page with your partner

Just like you brainstorm ideas in a conference room, in a similar manner use your living room to formulate a game plan with your parenting partner to share the responsibilities of child care and housework. The best example: alternate shifts with your partner if he’s working from home too.

  • Ask for help

It takes a village to raise a child. So asking or taking help from a family member or a friend is not a sign of weakness. In times of Corona, just be cautious of the hygiene habits of the individual taking care of your kids. The same goes for relying on a colleague to help with your project if you are away handling mother duties.

  • Communicate

It’s mandatory to be transparent to your co-workers about your necessity to meet your kid’s needs. In between video conferences, it’s suitable to give the other person a heads up on your work from home environment.

Times are difficult. But this shall pass if the best of human nature can rise to the challenge. Your kids and your parents are the ones who need the utmost care during this time. So even with the lockdown and the pressure of working from home, savour the small moments with your kids and the elderly. Take timely breaks, and have a hearty chat with them. Boost their immunity (don’t forget yours). Sanitize at regular intervals.

Every dark cloud has a silver lining. Likewise, in this hassle of work-life integration, your family’s well-being is the silver lining. Because in times of Corona, you need your loved ones to be safe more than a pat on your back for being a superwoman.