All posts tagged: Mental-Health

painting of a woman

On Validation Seeking

Have you ever said (or heard someone say) “I don’t care what the world thinks. I do what I want, and I don’t need the world’s approval.” This sentence is usually followed by a smug look, especially when others nod in awe. This person has just received approval and validation for feeling like they don’t need it. Seeking validation is human nature and essential to being a part of society. We are constantly seeking approval from people around us. It gives us a sense of belonging. A slight nod of appreciation or a Like on a social media post makes us smile and stand a bit taller with a little sense of accomplishment. Some harmless peacocking is good for the ego, but how do we know if it gets out of hand—when seeking approval turns into becoming dependent on approvals?  In light of some investigative revelations that Facebook’s research showed the mental harm of social media on teenagers, it’s worthwhile to reassess our reasons for seeking approval. Constant exposure to the extravagant ‘lifestyle influencers’ makes …

Living Through a Global Pandemic

I have to say, even in my most paranoid moments, living through a global pandemic was not on my Bingo card. I am not one to get easily frazzled, but this has come close to completely unravelling me multiple times. At the beginning of 2020, I was just adjusting to a new home, my husband to a new office, and our son to a new school. We were dealing with health issues in the extended family, and we had to cancel a few plans. It wasn’t a chirpy start to the year. When reports of a novel virus came pouring in, I was concerned but only from afar. We stopped reading newspapers or watching the news on TV a few years ago, preferring to quickly catch up on events online. Once the virus started spreading, we were cautioned but not anxious. The sudden lockdown in India took everyone by surprise. The weeks that followed were heartbreaking because of the mishandling of it. News from other parts of the world was even more distressing.  Every day …

Kindle cover of Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi with a bunch of pink roses on a white fabric

Book Review: Transcendent Kingdom

Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom reviews were almost entirely positive, so I was at first worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. But oh! It did. It is a book about relationships with family and oneself, religion and race, love and loss, and mental health. The narration is by a young woman named Gifty. She was born in America to Ghanian parents. She has an older brother who overshadows her at every juncture of her life, but he is also her hero – someone she loves and looks up to. She talks about how her mother migrated to America in the hope of a better future for her firstborn son. Her father had followed reluctantly. After she was born, she could see the unhappiness in her father, who eventually chose a path away from them. “My memories of him, though few, are mostly pleasant, but memories of people you hardly know are often permitted a kind of pleasantness in their absence. It’s those who stay who are judged the harshest, simply by virtue of …

Gentle Parenting

Being a parent is the best role one can have in life. It gives you both physical and emotional satisfaction. Your child’s well being and happiness are all you think about when it comes to decisions related to your child’s life. Childhood is one of the most critical years in a person’s life. It’s also a time when parents can drastically affect their kids’ future by deciding how much influence they will have over them. Parents just want to see their children succeed, and they employ a variety of methods to shape their kids’ futures.  How much of your parenting behaviour is based on what you went through as a child? Have you told yourself that you turned out fine, and so will my kid if I hit them for the sake of discipline? Or have you gone in the complete opposite direction and cannot enforce any discipline at all? Were you listened to as a child? Did your thoughts and opinions matter? Were you threatened with dire consequences at the thought of disobedience? Were …

Lone black duck in a lake

Taboos: Seeking Therapy for your Mental Health

Have you ever been to a therapist? Or thought about seeking out one? Would you tell people if you did? Mental health awareness is shockingly negligent in our society. So many of us are broken, and we’ve been told to just deal with it on our own. Seeking help for your mental health is seen as the absolute last step you can take before it is too late. I had studied to become a counsellor, but life took me on another path. It made me realise how helpful a counselling session could be for someone going through a difficult time. Over time, as life went by, I never gave another thought to it. Then I became a mom. Every emotion seemed intense and amplified. It was challenging to manage them all at once. Even with a supportive family, I felt I couldn’t express all I felt. I feared judgement and hurting their sentiments. After my first session itself, I felt such an enormous boulder had lifted off my chest. I could say whatever I wanted …

6 Common Parenting Mistakes We All Make

The main lesson I learned about parenting is that it doesn’t stop. Once a parent, always a parent! Each of us has an idea about good parenting skills. What makes a good parent? Does anyone have an answer to that question that will go unchallenged by someone else? Each child grows into their own person with all the inherent imperfection that this entails. Healthy parenting recognises and embraces these perceived imperfections. Positive Parenting Parenting styles differ from person to person. It should also differ from child to child. Each child’s situation is unique, and they respond differently to the same things. While one child may throw a temper tantrum to get what they want, another might prefer to crawl under the bed and cry silently. Positive parenting is recognising how best to make kids aware of their own needs and feelings without forcing your own. As I learn everyday, it is a darned difficult thing to do. Inevitably, I make mistakes everyday and learn something about myself in the process. The world is full of …

How to practice Gratitude?

I am grateful for a lot of things in my life. When I’m having a bad day, I think about these to help me re-focus on what’s important. Bringing gratitude in life has helped me through the pandemic times. When I felt stuck at home, I gave thanks that at least I had a safe home; when I got tired of home food, I gave thanks for the food we had in abundance; and when my son got on my nerves, I gave thanks for his health and happiness even in these glum times. I first became aware of the need to practice gratitude after listening to a podcast by Brene Brown. She asks if you look at your child with a heart full of love then immediately think about how something bad could befall them? I did this all the time. From when I was a kid, I remember being told by various people that if you are too happy now then it means you’ll be very sad soon. I’ve always carried that worry …

How much screen time is too much?

Screen time is one of the most common parenting terms around. While it might seem like a simple concept, it can get complicated when you’re trying to figure out how much screen time is too much. The average screen time during COVID lockdowns have increased drastically for all age groups, and not all of it can be avoided. How much screen time is too much? There is a lot of conflicting advice when it comes to how much screen-time children should have. Sitting in front of the TV or computer all day has long been considered unhealthy, but it’s only recently that doctors have delved into some of the effects and how much screen time is too much. There is no doubt that the current generation of children and teenagers are using computers, smartphones, tablets, and TV for a lot more than just playing games. In fact, children are spending excessive amounts of time in front of a screen. According to statistics, the average screen time for a teenager is about 6 hours in front …

Mom and her baby lying next to each other smiling

Breastfeeding Basics

While I was pregnant, getting closer to my due date, I did all the research I could on what to expect once the baby was in your arms. Research calms me. It gives me a semblance of control over a world of chaos. And Boy! Was my world going to get chaotic! The one thing I never looked into was breastfeeding. I knew I wanted to breastfeed my baby but never researched it because I thought I didn’t need to. It’s the most natural thing in the world, they said. It’ll happen automatically and immediately, they said.  Liars! Breastfeeding problems are not uncommon among new mothers. However, breastfeeding awareness is shockingly low. Let’s start from the very beginning.  As soon as my baby boy was out and his vitals checked, he was handed to me for a quick suckle at the nipple. More of a comfort thing I was told, as the milk wouldn’t have come in yet. Once we were settled in our room, the nurse had to guide me on the correct breastfeeding …

Baby hand holding mom's finger

Parenting in the 21st Century

Well, I’ll remove the suspense for you. I am a mother of a wonderful child. At first I was not quite sure what to do in my role as a parent. It wasn’t until I got over the shock of having a new person in my house and got some practice changing diapers that is when my real lessons began. Now he has decided that he wants to be independent these days (which makes me feel old). Being paranoid comes naturally to every parent from the moment they hold their first child. The fear of something bad happening to your child is like a constant nagging at the back of your head. You think it’ll subside as your baby grows older and learns to navigate the world. But, in reality, you just learn to live with it.  I was surprised to learn the reason for this. Apparently, right after giving birth, the mother’s amygdala in the brain becomes active. It is responsible for your survival instincts making you overprotective of your child. And then it …