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Good habits die hard

Healthy routines embellishes our lives and comes in handy as a vital tool in weathering adversity

The world turns out to be a very different place during crises such as this pandemic. Social distancing, isolation, quarantine and lockdown bring to the fore unprecedented hardship and strife, let they be economic, social or psychological.

While all of us are trying our best in our own ways to deal with the misery that has befallen us with so suddenness and severity, yet, our healthy, strong and well-established habits enable us to navigate such trying times better.

A strong habit  —  one which we develop consistently through daily routine —  is a powerful force that enriches and empowers our lives. Indeed, the secret of people with character and attainments is found in their daily activities and routines. We may imagine how inspirational habits might have played their role as strengths for great political leaders like Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Subhas Chandra Bose in navigating long years of confinement in jails in their political journey. Similarly, in the present challenging times, it is not difficult to find people who, endowed with positive habits, are better equipped to deal with the constraints of time, space and resources.

Saving for the rainy day, thriftiness and living within means are some of our habits that for ages our elders and wise men have placed high value on. During difficult times, when economic activities are at a standstill and security of income and livelihood are at stake, these habits serve not only us or our near family but also enables us to serve those who are vulnerable and needy, by way of financial contributions, sharing of resources and loans. Here there is an important takeaway for young generation who may find instant gratification and spending, in comparison with forbearance and saving, as virtues to seek a "good life".

Personal hygiene and cleanliness, judicious division of labour, contributing in household chores, sharing, dining together and respecting and caring elders are some habits that not only help strengthen emotional bonding at home but also help comply, as a family unit, norms for civic discipline seamlessly.

Habits such as meditation, exercise, listening to music, reading books and interest in wildlife have a calming and refreshing effect on our mind during stressful times. Talking and communicating with others help reduce anxiety, panic and fear. In fact, our genuine interests in people, warm-heartedness and empathetic attitude motivate us to reach out to distant relatives, friends and acquaintances as well and help renew and strengthen old, fragile or forgotten social connections and spread cheer.

Healthy habits always embellishes our lives and in particular, comes in handy as a vital tool in weathering adversity. Habits, depending on what they are, may make or mar us. So embracing or committing to good habits makes immense sense if we wish to be empowered with physical and mental shield to steer through testing times.

rkrishnasinha@hotmail.com

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 3:22:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/good-habits-die-hard/article31766230.ece

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