A fellow blogger and adorable friend recently shared a beautiful post on her Instagram feed. The sentiments she expressed in the post echoed my thoughts, many of you might also agree with me… Posts like this one by Kamini Patel of the Kitchen Therapy, the various positive videos and memes on social media platforms are like energy shots on dreary days.
There are also some wicked friends who’ve kept spirits high with their unswerving dedication to sharing food photographs – for instance… Hriday Bhatia of The Chef From India who diligently sends me lush food photographs before they make it to his Instagram feed! Proof below…
And the girlfriends who send me borderline stalker-ish videos of the guy-next-door working out (Friends anyone?!)
Also the people who’ve tagged me in challenges on Facebook. I am a wee bit embarrassed that I’ve yet to respond to any of these challenges – let’s put the blame on expending energy on stressing and being distracted.
Amid all this, however, is the negativity and judgement seething into lives, also through messages and conversations on phone or video calls. I’ve lost count of the number of times my friends and sisters have mentioned feeling at a loss, feeling inefficient and lacking because of a careless (or perhaps not so careless) remark by an acquaintance about how they (or their children) are “just not doing it right” if every minute of the day is not being utilised.
Is it so easy to forget that each one of us has different responsibilities, some more than the others, and every individual’s way of getting through a day while fulfilling these responsibilities is different?
I find myself getting more than a little angry at the peer pressure of ‘utilising quarantine time diligently’. The insistence that each one of us has to come out of this period of lockdown having learned a new skill OR looking fitter and healthier OR reconnected and realigned with lost family and friends… its disturbing. Even more upsetting is the subliminal message, that if you’ve not done any of these, you are lacking – in self-discipline, in motivation, in the desire to grow or succeed.
Encouraging peers to discover the best of themselves and utilise time to learn something new is a beautiful thought, but wouldn’t it be nice to remember that there is a thin line between ‘encouraging’ and ‘pushing’. The former motivates and gives hope through positivity. The latter is downright mean! Even the closest friend may not be privy to details of the life of another friend unless they are given access.
Gratitude is among the few things that is helping me in this lockdown. A gratitude jar is also a great way for everyone to begin a habit to last a lifetime. Read ‘Use a gratitude jar to ease lockdown anxiety‘ to learn more…
At the time when we are sharing beautiful notes about how the earth is getting time to heal, about rediscovering the beauty of nature, of getting time to sit down and breath, connect with family, why is the compassion for fellow human beings missing? Can we not remember that …?
– For every person who is living alone, has the joy of being given two weeks of compulsory leave and is choosing to invest time in learning a new skill, there is another who is working day in and day out in a bid to ensure they don’t lose their job.
– For every couple that is rejoicing in the quality time they are spending together, there is another that is battling a vicious cycle of domestic abuse.
– For every mother who is doing a stellar job of handling her household chores, ensuring the wellbeing of her kids while looking like a million bucks, there is probably another who is doing the same albeit not looking like a million bucks.
I could go on but I think you get the drift… the main point here is that all sets of people are doing the best they can.
We are all stressed, some more than the other, some willing to talk about their anxiety and others unwilling. But nothing can take away the fact that each of us is struggling through this period of isolation as best as we can. And amid this, asking for a little bit of empathy and a few encouraging words rather than the burden of expectancy – I do hope it’s not too much to ask for?
Cooling down with some iced chai
It does feel a little off to share a recipe for anything after that litany of words but I do need some cooling down – and this Iced Apple Chai has been working wonders for me. I’ll just hope it does the same for you. Made with all of five ingredients, this chai requires a little time to prep but it’s more of a wait time rather than slaving over the stove time. The good cooler for a summer day – and boy its hot here already! – you can make this drink in the morning and use it through the day. You can add a twist to the Iced Apple Chai by adding a squeeze of fresh lemon or grating a bit of ginger into the chai as it steeps. I would recommend using raw organic honey but make do with what you have! The apple juice contains sugar so if you want to give the honey a miss, do so. It’s your chai, make it as per your taste.
Strong black tea infused with apple juice and bits of fresh apples
- 1 ½ cup Water
- ½ teaspoon Black tea grain/leaves
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 1 cup Apple juice
- ½ cup Ice cubes
- 3 tablespoons Chopped apple
In a pan, bring water to a boil. Add the tea leaves, remove from flame and allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes. The stronger the chai, the better the flavour.
Strain the chai into a container.
Mix in the honey and set aside the chai to cool. You can pop into the refrigarator to hasten the process.
Once the chai has come to room temperature, assemble your Iced Apple Chai.
In a tall glass, add ice cubes and diced apple.
Pour in the chai and apple juice.
Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes before you sip.