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  • Writer's pictureAnjana Rajbhandary

Netflix & yoga: An unconventional love story

2020 was a year of significant changes for the whole world. We started spending much alone time in quarantine questioning the purpose of our lives, or we spent 24-7 with the families that drove us borderline insane.

There was a time when some of us had wished that we didn't have to wake up early for work, and most of us, who still had jobs, got comfortable in our daily loungewear working remotely with regular Zoom meetings where the bottom half of the outfit didn't need to be smart casual. Some of us lost our jobs and worried about the lack of savings, hoping the regular unemployment checks would keep us afloat. At the same time, we applied for jobs and ordered groceries on Instacart or supported local restaurants with Door dash.

Who would have thought that 2020 would be this way? It's strange to think of how the whole world is connected, and Covid proved that. If only this universal connection could have benefited the world; instead, we ended up with the massive loss of lives, employment, personal relationships and a mental health pandemic.

As a mental health professional and a freelance writer, at first, I got bombarded with emails and DMs to help people with their depression and anxiety. Everyone said this is an excellent opportunity for you to help and write, the two things you can do. But can I?

Telling people to stay in touch with loved ones and using FaceTime and exercise daily started to sound monotonous, but what else could people do to remain hopeful and sane. Every day news was filled with contradicting information, depending on your source, about the potential outcome of this virus.

I thought this would be a brilliant time for me to start my novel that I had been planning to write for over a decade with the luxury of working remotely, which saved me three-plus hours a day getting ready and commuting to work. There have been zero pages of my next New York Times Best Seller so far.

Being comfortable in your own home came with negligence of self-care that I would have never imagined possible. Do I need to shower daily when I am spending the whole day by myself? The location of my hairbrush started to become a mystery due to its lack of use.

The ridiculous amount of 'destress' candles started to gain me extra points on my credit card as I lit them before every breathing exercise and two out of seven online yoga sessions that were fully completed. The exciting part of our days became adding things to online baskets, which would be fulfilled when the packages got delivered—a gift to me from me. Taking the whole 'Treat Yo'Self' started to become a scary regular reward.

I have a wardrobe of office and party wear that sadly look at me because I cannot remember the last time they were worn. I should have invested in lululemon when I had the chance because rotating my three favorite leggings is the height of fashion.

Who would have thought that going to the pharmacy or grocery store would be as exciting as it became? Looking at the toothpaste aisle to make the right choice seemed as tricky as choosing a life partner. What if the mint toothpaste doesn't whiten my teeth? Should I get a whitening toothpaste just in case, but I like the flavor of mint? Difficult decisions had to be made every time, which did not particularly help my bank account.

Getting rewards at Ulta and Sephora while purchasing makeup that might potentially never be worn became an addiction. Like many people, I bought hair-cutting scissors to give myself bangs because if there was ever a time to take a risk, it was now. It was a desperate attempt to control some aspect of my life.

Feeling a sense of connection with characters on Netflix shows helped teleport me into fantasy lands, and I could see myself as some characters or their friends. My Spotify account has never been used listening to music and podcasts that constantly remind me that my intrinsic thoughts are not real and that I am strong.

In May, for the first time in my life, I got fired from a job. The psychic in me predicted it, but the future beauty columnist could not understand. What better time than now to start a novel is what the optimist in me told me. During that time of the month, I felt like a loser for losing the one good thing in my life. Did God not love me anymore? Why would he do this to me? I am a good person.

Life is a series of ups and downs, and I never notice the ups. If everything went as planned, I would never struggle, and I would never try to be better. Attempting to find answers in my everyday random thoughts consumes hours of my day.

It gets tiring to focus on self-care when the idea of taking care of yourself stresses you out. Most of us are waiting for the moment when we stare at the clock and the calendars. Tomorrow is another day. Breathe in, breathe out.


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