One of the major cultural differences I’ve experienced is the concept of rest and relaxation. In India, I’ve seen two extremes: those who state they’re tired at the drop of a hat or those who work themselves to literal exhaustion until they get under the weather. The concept of recouping or relaxing on a routine basis-especially for women- is not given the necessary importance. You know what? To me thats weird. Rest is just as imperative as nutrition and exercise for mental and physical wellbeing, and unfortunately it’s taken for granted.
Daily Recoup: Whenever I come home from my day, I need minimum one hour in my room to do my own thing. Whether it’s watching a show, reading a book, face masking, something as mundane as putting laundry away or all of the above; I need that time to myself no matter who is or isn’t at home. It’s actually a daily ritual. That time is helpful for my mental health, and now, I get extremely irritable if I don’t get it. However, most of the women around me don’t share that same view, and either tire themselves to another level or do what is culturally considered “the right thing” of being at others’ beck and call. For me to even be remotely available to others, I need time to myself. Some would say it’s selfish, to me it’s Self Love :).
Sleep: Even sleep is taken for granted. We all love our sleep. We crave it, we look forward to it, but 90% of the time we don’t get enough of it. So many people around me willingly don’t sleep until odd hours, and then still complain about being tired. Unavoidable circumstances aside, whyyyyy would anybody put themselves through that on a daily basis? I’m good with a late night as much as the next person, but on the daily??? No thanks. Around me, I see people are constantly sacrificing sleep due to some social/work/travel commitment or some other obscure reason that’s beyond my understanding. While I totally get that that things do come up, not everything happens every single day that one has to compromise on adequate sleep. It does more to the human body than we think. It’s ok to go to bed a little early. The world isn’t going to end.
So ladies (and gents), just know it’s perfectly ok to take a break and invest in rest!