Knowledge Series, Musings, MyFriendAlexa2021, People

How Much Free Time is Good For You?

Free time is defind as the time when you are neither working nor studing but can do what ever you want. We always try to take out time from busy schedule to do things which give us happiness. A designated free time is all one wants to feel relaxed and happy. As an individual’s free time increases, the sense of feeling good also increases.

But how much free time is good for an individual? Suppose, you have been given a paid holiday assignment, where you can do what you want or whatever keeps you happy and with no end date. How long will you remain happy?

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, too much free time is a bad thing. The research analysed 21736 Americans and professors from Wharton and Harvard universities were involved in this research. They found out that too less of discretionary time is bad and so is the too much free time.

The moment of awe – Sunrise! Being with nature sooths our soul.

It has been observed that almost 120 to 150 minutes of discretion time every day is good enough. We know that time is money and money spent well brings happy feel. Free time every day increases life satisfaction and feeling of well being. Many of us are not happy inspite of having free time.

The problem is, many of us are spending our free time in ways that aren’t really making us happy, says James Wallman, author of “Time and How To Spend It.” You can buy this book by clicking on the link.

Leisure doesn’t improve quality of life unless one knows how to use it effectively”.

Spending time with friends is important.


Leisure time is any time when you’re not occupied with work or chores, paid or unpaid. “It’s the time equivalent of ‘disposable income. So how can we optimize the free time in the best possible way? While there’s no perfect activity that’s best for everyone, some experiences are useless like “junk foods” and others are like “superfoods.”

The “superfood” activities put you into “a state of optimal experience arising from intense involvement in an activity that is enjoyable,” according to the American Psychological Association (APA). Finding activities that lead to increase creativity and happiness is the key.

Experts believe that happiness can be achieved when the skills are being utilized. It results in feeling motivated and has a sense of “total control. Wallman says that any pleasurable activity that truly challenges us has the potential to lead to the elusive fullfilment which so many people are after from their leisure time.

Here are some suggestions to think about to invest your time and energy in:

  • Creating memories through experiences gives us stories to tell and share (on social media :P) gives happiness. For example, going out with a friend might lead to a better “story” than re-watching your favorite TV show alone in your living room. The experiences which developsl connections with other people provides purpose and meaning in our lives. And when you share a story with someone else, it results in developing kinship which increases the happiness even more.
  • Any activity that helps you grow as a person and gives you a purpose to your existence works better for your satisfaction and happy quotient. Learning new skills or capabilities, change your world view, lead to epiphanies or move you toward a greater goal are all “transformational.” This could be anything from learning a new recipe to taking an improvement class.
  • Unplugging from digital devices and notifications when you’re relaxing or spending time with others can help you tune into “real life”.
  • An 80-year long Harvard study showed that relationships,not money, predicted how happy and healthy one can become with age. Spending free time with friends and family members, or keeping in touch on the phone, deepens the relationships. By keeping in contact,it becomes easy to share the happiness with others.
  • Engage in leisurely activities which utilize the skills and passions, because we’re happier when we are fully engaged with something that requires all of our energy. Removing distractions while you complete a task or activity is one way to fully engage.
  • Some moments like watching a sunset or sunrise, spending time with children or visiting monuments improve mood. Perhaps being with nature or family can make you appreciate ordinary moments even more.
  • Being popular and well known in community is one of the traits of human beings care about in their social status. Rather than chasing more material possessions, giving back to the community through volunteering is one way to make the social status more meaningful, and make you feel that you’re playing an active role in society.

Spending time with family is fun.

This post is powered by Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa

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LIFESTYLE, Musings

Flourishing in the Times of Covid 19

 

It has been over a year when Covid induced trauma, isolation and grief entered our lives and overpowered all good things. It has taken away the socialising from human life and they say we are social animal. How long will it take to feel good?

The psychologist calls the combination of physical, emotional and mental fitness as “flourishing”. It’s opposite to “languishing”, which means stagnation.

As of now, we are languishing in Covid created jails and it has been a long long time when we feel to flourish.

“Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you are looking at your life through a foggy windshield”, explains psychologist Adam Grant.

Flourishing on the other hand is to take charge of all aspects of life and feel good about it. It encompasses the simple steps to recharge your emotional batteries, spark a sense of fulfilment, happiness and purpose. It will help in leading a physical, mental and emotional fitness. This is flourishing.

How can we flourish under these tough circumstances?

1. Express Gratitude – Remember our expression of gratitude by clapping for healthcare workers? Expressing gratitude helps us to improve our mental state and thus quality of life. 

2. Try something new – With so many master classes available online, try to learn a new skill. It gives a sense of satisfaction and happiness. Even if you are not so tech savvy, do not worry , do try something new at-home. Like a new dish, or refurbish an old piece of furniture. Just yesterday, I have painted an old brown coloured, faded plastic chair which was 20 years old. And I felt so happy after finishing the product.

 

3. Celebrate – My father’s 90th birthday came in pandemic. We had bigger plans but nothing much could be done under the circumstances. So, we did a zoom party and he felt as if whole family is there with him. Celebrating every small joy/ achievement/ victory/ event or any good thing around brings enthusiasm in life.

4.Find purpose in everyday routine – No, we are not talking about great philosophical things about purpose of life. Happiness comes if you plan to do a something new. Like reaching out to those who matter to you in life or completing a simple impact full task can bring a sense of accomplishments. Something as small as trying a new dish brings in some romance in life. Gardening is another hobby which helps keep in positive frame of mind.

5. Connections – This is the most missed part under pandemic. But whatever modes of communication are available, use them and connect with your loved ones in particular and community at large. With so many social media platforms available to us, it’s easier to connect. 

Let us make an effort to flourish !

 

Some pics are from google search. 

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BOOK REVIEWS, Musings

Book Review – Unspoken: A Bouquet of Short Stories

 

Unspoken is a collection of seven short stories of colorful moments of life. You can immediately relate to the happenings in the story. It appears that you are part of it. The stories are quite captivating in a simplistic way. The writer has avoided unnecessary detailing and focussed mainly on the plot of the story. In a way, the stories are crisp and do not have unwanted details to distract the mind from the main issue.An easy read, these short stories  are clear and are heart touching. They are of various themes like, love, friendships, relationships, life.

Each story is weaved through simple life’s happenings in a natural flow and as one goes through, it feels like being a character there in. The fervour of each story is contemporary and she has touched many emotions and situations which one sees around us in society. More so, they are not run of the mill kind but present a fresh perspective on the situation. 

The stories do not just leave you after reading, they will stay with you. The open ended finishing leaves much to think about. The seven stories leave an impression on the reader’s mind as they all explore human relationships with a fresh and contemporary perspective. Whether it’s about long distance relationships or exploring one’s own sexuality or accepting the children’s choices, the book covers it all.  The stories bring about a lingering question and end with a meaning and resolution. They appear to be real and as if they happened in our life around us. 

In short, these are an excellent bundle of stories.  The book is written in a simple, lucid writing style and it is highly recommended. The writer is young and her fresh views are seen in in her writings. Wishing Sadhna Wadhwa  good luck and looking forward to more !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blogadda WOW, LIFESTYLE, Musings, top post on indiblogger

This Pandemic Has Changed My Home

Top Post on IndiBlogger

As they say, home is where the heart is! I believe home is where the soul is. Home is the place where you unwind, at ease, comfortable and uninhibited. A place to dream and act freely !

If we go by definition, a home may be a constructed house, or some other kind of dwelling, lodging, or shelter. It’s a place  where you come back to. It’s a place where you pack your bag to travel and when you come back, you feel the most comfortable here .

Before the Covid pandemic, people used to spend half of their day out of homes thus giving space and privacy to all family members.

I belong to the retired people category so staying at home was a routine. We are four people of three generations living under one roof.

My 89 years old dad has not stepped out of home since last 3 years on his own. He spends most of his time in his room, though mobile and independent for his age. He keeps himself busy in his meditation , watching his favourite shows/ movies on TV and dozing off and on in between .

Me and RB had decided to be  out of the active work force since mid 2018. I was a freelancer content developer and RB was a practicing CA when we hanged our boots to live a more relaxed life.

Cooking Experiments by Son-Dad Duo

My software engineer son is doing consultancy with different companies in different countries and has been working from home for around three years before it became a covid forced norm last year.

So, even before the pandemic, all of us are used to of spending most of our time at home. The pandemic brought lockdowns and restrictions which curbed the freedom to go out or get food delivered at home or go out dining,  off line shopping, movies, plays, outings with friends and long drives etc.

My first Covid casualty was my early morning yoga class, which I used to love a lot as it was a perfect start of the day. The yoga class had since been started in online mode and I am finding it better than the offline class.

It also gave house helpers much needed paid breaks. It was tough at the onset as I have made myself too much dependent on her. But I am always eager to find ways to solve the issues rather than crib about them.

The maids were banned by society management as per the government guidlines. But three of us have shared the household work and taken the responsibilities / accountabilties of  specific household work. All SOPs were in place and thus daily running of house became well oiled .

Baked Rice- Rajmah

My kitchen had always been a gender free space since long time now as both my sons along with their dad RB makes a good cooking team. Cooking is a life skill and all three ( sons and RB) knows enough to fill their tummies when need be. My sons  had  studied abroad after their 12th class and are well versed in cooking and planning a meal. Cooking for them is a stress buster activity.

As pandemic started and with no kitchen help, it was too much for me to handle all the three meals. This leaves me with no time to do my kind of things. So we divided the work. Now, dinners are organised and cooked by son – dady duo. In my family, breakfast and dinners are major meals while lunch is mostly non cooking options of fruits and salads, leftovers or bread kind of assortments. I had the responsibility of laying a full breakfast on table. I am a morning person, so breakfast is my favourite meal and I enjoy cooking it too.

The routine cleaning is also done with every one’s help. Let me be very clear about it, with no helping hand, we could only manage to do the basics and all other household works have been on hold. My household help rejoined in May 2020 and it was a day to rejoice. She has again been asked to go on leave with the commencement of second wave.

I had started going out for late night walk with my son around 10 in the night as there were lesser number of people so less interactions and more distances. Yeh kahan aa gaye hum ….

I have added some gadgets to help me in managing the essential household jobs. I have a dishwasher since a decade and it has proved to be a great boon in these times. A robotic vaccum cleaner brooms the house and a smart spinning mop proved great help in mopping the whole household. Washing machine has also become the basic necessity now.

Dusting is something which I have not done since long time now but forced to do in the absence of dear Kokilaben, my helper. I will not tell lies— I avoid doing it many a times. 😛

I find atta kneading very boring so I had added an atta kneader . No one in the family knows this art. Thus, house hold jobs are taken care of with the help of gadgets and division of work.

Another addition to my gadget galore is foot and leg massager as it really helps to warm up calf and foot muscles which are underused. 🙂

Our small balcony garden !

Not going out and being at home 24×7 puts lots of mental pressures on every one. We have dealt with it by dividing our personal and family time. This freedom to be your own self helps in keeping mental peace. Keeping in touch with extended family and friends also helps. One of the family activity is gardening. Besides, we have a daily session of cards after dinner and a long session of scrabble on Sundays.

With time, every one in the family has set up a routine. Every one has found a favourite corner too to do his/ her things. Though there are times when it feels suffocating to be at home and we just go out for a drive when the sun is still shining. Since I live in the outskirts of the city, there are still many vast fields and green areas around. Driving through nature relieves tension and opens up mind.

I miss the human interactions, dressing up and a well kept home everything which we used to take for granted !

Who knows, when will the life will come back to normal? But hoping the next year will be like 2019… open, free and full of sunshine!

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

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Blogchatter A2Z 2021, Down Memory Lane, LIFESTYLE, Musings, top post on indiblogger

Retired Life

Top Post on IndiBloggerRetirement brings shivers in a man’s heart and more so in his wife’s. But no one seems to be concerned about her. Everyone is unconcerned about the changes that will bring her world “topsy turvy”. 

If you are a working wife, chances are you are still going to the office, leaving the whole house to the “old man”. 🙂 (What else to say about a retired man?) The only change you will find is entering into a not so clean house, which is a very small price of his retirement as compared to the upheavals in the life of a stay-at-home wife or work from home professionals like me.

I remember a very unusual advice from my mom, when I told her about my decision to marry the man, I was dating. He was 10 years my senior. He didn’t look 10 years older than me. We both looked good together. I remember, whenever we entered any get-together, people always turn their necks to bestow admiring glances on us. 

But mom, my girl Friday warned me about the future. My mom told me, you will find it very difficult to handle his retirement as you will still be working, fully independent,free from household juggleries and a free bird. That would be the time, when children must have left the nest to find their own place in the big world. A prophecy from someone who was dreading her husband’s retirement after  few years. 😋. Papa retired  6 years after my marriage. How true she was, I realized it when it happened. 

I didn’t see it coming the way mom saw hers and also warned me too. I didn’t give it a thought then. It was still few decades away, I thought.  Anyway, when one is in love, the thought of spending lots of time together is nothing but more love. 

The decades gone by in a jiffy and it’s time for his retirement. I am writing from my own experiences of seven years now. 😋

I have opted to work from home from 2007. Market in online education was nascent then and there were many opportunities to choose from. I had my fingers in both the pies of being a professional and stay at home wife. The boys had flown away almost around the same time. 

As a stay at home mom or homemaker, the whole household is yours the moment children and husband go out to their “daily outings” of school/ college and office at least five days in a week. This is the time when one feels  being the real “ queen of the house”. You can do any changes at home without any interference or approval from anyone. Least of all the master of the household for the simple reason that he spends most of his waking hours outside and when he comes back, there is nothing much to be done in the day to day running of the household. I loved this situation as it gives me total independence and control on household affairs. On the first day of his retirement, his waking hours at home gives him all the time to poke his nose into all the affairs and I remembered mom and her prophecy.

The first casualty of his retirement was the freedom, solitude and my “me time” at home. I was working as a freelance professional and strictly followed my office timings. With him at home, “chalo Yaar chai peete Hain” sessions were affecting my time schedule of the day. My evening walks had gone for a toss and were replaced with evening long drives. They were somewhat romantic when we started but after a few rides, they became a fertile ground of starting a fight. The only solace was that it was a new one every day. Repetitiveness bores me to death. 😄  

Wise men or women have rightly said that “too much intimacy brings contempt”. 

The tussel of keeping a clean house started the moment maid rings the bell and he gets up from the ringing of the bell. The daily bone of contention is to stop him from walking on the freshly mopped wet floor. But his belief in “ chodte chalon nishaan” is killing my belief in a clean shining floor. 

It has been ages since I saw a neat and clean bed throughout the day. The moment it’s cleaned, he takes the newspaper and then perch himself there, slipping a little with time and then falling asleep. To counter the wrinkles on my bed sheet, I opted for fitted bedsheets. It has saved me at least to make bed every now and then. 

Another fertile battle ground for us is the selection of plants and placement of pots in our small balcony garden. Our plants now grow on our fights and not on fertilizer. It was decades ago when Dr. Jagdish Chandra Bose proved that soft music helps in keeping plants happy and  healthy. I can prove that a healthy fighting atmosphere around the plants helps them grow healthy. Being a smart operator, I thought of using this unfounding situation to my advantage. After all, everyone needs a routine. So, we have come to some fix some new rules in the household. 

  1. Everyone will make their own bed tea.
  2. We have divided the plants and took full ownership in the assigned area.
  3. Each one will take full responsibility of one meal complete with planning, inventory and guiding the cook.
  4. We started doing a lot of individual stuff.
  5. Developing creative hobbies.
  6. No interference in the household styling because I am too good at it. 

These simple rules have sorted most of the issues of having a retired husband at home.

I have learnt my lessons over the years but now life is good.

Now with the “Work from home” mode, I think many households are facing the same situation. I guess, these rules may find some relief in their day to day life. 

This post is powered by BLOGCHATTER.

 

Photos are from Google.

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LIFESTYLE, Musings, People, top post on indiblogger

Personalized Gifts

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We all love to receive and give gifts. With the festive season round the corner, planning for this years’ gifts have already started. The kind of treatment 2020 has given to us, humans, we all are looking forward to have some fun and happy days ahead. Though we all are still not so sure about the turn of events in future, things are somewhat coming to normal.

How do we select gifts?

Selection of gifts is based on few parameters –

  • Who is the recepient?
  • What is the occasion?
  • The budget.
  • Importance of the occasion.

A personalized gift speaks volume about the relationships. It’s always pleasure to receive a customized personalized gift. It takes special efforts to customize a gift for someone. In the days of e-commerce shopping, Amazon has come up with many options from where you can cutomize personalized gifts.

An engraved wooden photo is an excellent option for a customized personalized gift. It can be gifted on birthdays, wedding anniversary or any special day. You may click on the following links, which will take you to engraved photo frames or plaques.

https://amzn.to/2R09f45 ,

https://amzn.to/2GzKI47

Wooden engraved personalized clocks is also a great option.

https://amzn.to/3jPIbBc

3D photo crystals is another way to bring in special moments in the life of your loved ones. You will have many styles to choose from.

https://amzn.to/2FatIR2

Personalized wall clock with photographs is also a wonderful way to celebrate relationships and life. Click on the following link to have may options.

https://amzn.to/2ZasCfA

You can create photo books to have a memory for a life time. Check out at the following link about the different kinds of personalized p[hotobooks you can create.

https://amzn.to/3i2DEKZ

A personalised cubit photo lamp will be cherished throughout life.

https://amzn.to/3jPeHTP

Personalized photo cusions can be ordered by clicking on the following link.

https://amzn.to/3m1NeAv

https://amzn.to/2F0vcha

Wanna buy a beautiful name necklace with name for a jewellary lover, click on the following link: https://amzn.to/3jVjfZ7

How about having a unique stuffed wooden frame? Click on the link to order

https://amzn.to/3jSljRE

A photo puzzele game ..have a look here

https://amzn.to/32Uaw28

I hope these options will help you in selecting a personalized gift for your special one!

Happy gifting!

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LIFESTYLE, Musings

THE TEN BEST PRODUCTS FOR YOUR PETS

Top Post on IndiBlogger

Having a pet at home is good for the whole family. The most important advantage of having a pet at home is the health benefit they bring in. They increase the opportunities of going out and socializing. Regular walking and playing with pets decreases the high blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride levels etc. They also help in managing loneliness and depression. It’s also seen that children who grow up with pets are more compassionate towards animals and otherwise when they grow up. 

If you are planning to bring a pet into your family, you must seek answers to these questions which will help you to know the responsibilities that come with keeping a pet and if you will be able to manage them. 

1.  Normal age of the pet – You need to understand the time frame of responsibilities.

2. Food and diet – It needs planning, more so if you are a vegetarian family. It needs efforts , financial burden and planning. They are as choosy as children.

3. Optimum exercise required – Some one from the family has to take responsibility of accompanying the pet for it’s daily routine exercises.

4. It’s adult size – To understand the space constraint due to an adult pet member in the family.

5. Vaccination and veterinarian cost – Taking your pet to veterinarian is a task which requires efforts , time and money .

6. How much time you can spare for the pet – Your pet demands time to cuddle, play and going out. Sparing some daily time from your routine is mandatory.

7. Will I be able to take care of it all through it’s life – Once you adopt a pet, it should be a commitment for it’s life , come what may.

8. Acceptance from the family members – Adopt a pet ONLY if your whole family agrees.


When you adopt a pet, do not forget that it’s a lifelong commitment. The little one gives you unconditional love and deserves the same from you.

Few months ago, I read a heart breaking news from Bengaluru, where a family has thrown away a pomeranian with a message hanging in his neck that he is not a good dog and is having an eye to the bitch next door. How wierd? The little one was thankfully adopted by a dog lover.

Bringing up a pet has the same responsibilities as bringing up a child. Just as one sets up a nursery for a new born baby, you may want to set up a pet corner in your home. The basic needs of the pet is to have a sleeping place and a dinner set and lots of love. 🙂

In the days of home deliveries, you need not go out and search for all these goodies.

You can buy a beautiful bedding for your new love by just a click here.

You can have the eating and drinking set for your pet by clicking here.

As the little one grows, you may be needing some pet toys to play with your new furry baby.

If you are a pure vegetarian, it’s advisable to give your pet ready to eat dog or cat food. There are two categories. One is dry food and another the wet food.

So what will you do to save your car seats when you want to take your pet for a car ride? Here is a hammock which will save your car seat from it’s hairs.

You will be needing bathing accessories too. What kind of accessories will make life easy for both of you?

A massage cum bathing glove, shampoo, conditioner will make the basic toiletries for your loving pet.

And last but not the least, the leash and harness is always needed to take it outside, specially for dogs.

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