Please look after yourself! Our favorite self-love ideas
On 21st April, Easter Sunday explosions shook the tiny island country of ours. We were left with fear. We grieved. We looked at empty walls, only to left with sighs. A hollow inside our souls awakened, and we let grim and dark creep into the hollow inside our soul. Pitch black, the hollow inside us screamed. Overwhelmed, we still grieve, but slowly, we are healing.
We’ll never forget it. It will never leave us. It will slip into our distant memory and slumber in our inner soul, but till we bid adieu to the big wild world, we will always think of it. Always. It will always be with us.
However, to all of you, I want to tell you that you don’t need to tweet hundred times a day for some random dude online to label you ‘patriotic enough,’ or for him to tell that you care enough about the big world we live in. All of us weep. All of us. But please take care of yourself. Look after your beautiful heart. Self-love is important.
So I too grieved. I too sobbed. I too cried. I never went through the pain the people directly affected went through. But looking at nothingness, my eyes filled with tears. So then I decided to take care of myself. To take care of my fragile heart.
And I’m writing to you about some of our favorite self-love activities.
- Read books
Read. I know some of you read a lot. Some of you don’t. Growing up, I was this kid in our classroom who sat at my lunch table with a book. But uni started. Life happened. Work happened. I never read enough. It’s not because I didn’t have enough time to read, but I never tried looking for time to read. “Read more,” is a new year resolution of mine in 2019. So I try finding time to read now. Last week, I downloaded a couple of ebooks, switched my wifi off, logged out of Twitter and read. I read to escape. I read to find refuge in Murakami’s Japan and Raj Shresta’s forgotten South Sikkim. And in a tiny village called Yuksom in Sikkim, where only dusty, run-down roads connect it with the outside world, I found solace.
- Listen to our favorite music
I rarely listen to English songs. My go-to is always Bollywood music. I downloaded Gaana when a friend recommended it and kept listening to classics of Sonu and deep, heartwrenching voice of Arijit which surprisingly soothed my weeping soul. And I listened to Armaan Malik. His voice heals me. Armaan has the kind of voice that can talk to your crying heart. Every night, his beautiful voice put me to sleep when the outside yearned for peace.
- Watch a show. Watch a movie.
Nathan loves shows. He watches anything that comes out. But he was deeply saddened last week. The Easter Sunday explosions reminded him of a past he no longer identifies himself with. A past before he was born. So he stuck to Kim’s Convenience and The Neighborhood. I also found myself watching Gully Boy. (I rarely watch movies.)
- Talk to a friend!
It’s been four weeks since I last saw Nathan. I’m at parents’ in Kurunegala, while he is in Colombo. We are 3-hours apart and deeply miss each other. But talking to each other, at least over the phone, makes your day a bit more bearable. I also feel extremely grateful that I have an amazing partner and a best friend to talk to.
Please also be careful about whom you turn to. Whenever the fear for ethnic tensions creeps in, it reminds me that I went to school (and go to uni) with a bunch of closet racists. On some days, sitting in a crowded classroom with lacquer-painted desks, I’ve tried explaining to ‘friends’ that humans – both good and bad – exist in every community. Last week, I saw people I thought the sanest turning into racist extremists. Remember that on gloomy days, when people are hurt, they fail to see the truth. Sometimes, the burning rage within them wins.
- Write. Draw. Sketch.
I write for a living. My writing gives me a roof above my head. My writing keeps me fed. I also write for myself. So this time, I wrote for myself. I wrote about the explosions. I wrote about the fear I felt. I wrote about sadness. I opened my heart in ink about opening my heart in ink. My sister. She draws. She loves it. It keeps her busy and engaged. She chooses colors for a boy walking on the shore while I choose words for a girl swimming in the wild ocean. So do something. Something you love.
This is what we do when we feel grim. We turn to things we love. We also watch the sunset, because boy, who doesn’t love the sun? She sets every day and wakes up again the next day. She repeats her routine every 24 hours, never tired, so the souls like us watch her paint skies twice a day to find a dream.