This vs That Society

Working from home? How do you unwind: with naps or exercise?

In this break time battle, you have to pick a side. On a rough day at work (from home), are you on team take-a-nap or in camp get-on-your-feet?

Let’s get one thing clear. Power naps are a myth, okay? Nothing but false promises we make to ourselves.

Nobody wakes up in 20 minutes ready to change the world. If I try “napping” for half an hour, I wake up three hours later, hissing like a vampire with no sense of self. Where am I, what is happening, what is day, what is night, who knows?

No, the best way to take a break, dear readers, is to stop whatever you are doing, and start walking in the opposite direction. Head up to your terrace to do some stretches or dance in your living room or go for a short walk outside your home. In the BC era — before COVID-19 —you could even have called your friends to play a short game of football or badminton at the local park or in the streets.

Do anything that involves movement — that’s the bottom line.

The change of scene will do your eyes good. Notice the peeping squirrel, the lady drying clothes in the nearby terrace, the singing birds, the setting sun... If I sound like a Disney character, it might be because of all the endorphins my body is pumping out, thanks to all the elevated movement. What a high!

The exertion will also make sure that you sleep better at night, instead of confusing your circadian rhythm with siestas.

Breathe in the real world and move, it’s the only way to feel alive like Nature intended us to. We are already hooked onto enough screens; the only thing left to make complete robots out of us is “sleeping” when the CPU overheats.

Sweta Akundi has a restless everything syndrome

Working from home? How do you unwind: with naps or exercise?

None of us needs a “power” anything these days: we just need to wind down. Take all your cooking sessions and zoom performances, exercises and PUBG gangs. Put them all together, and kick them away.

Now look inwards at your pumped up mind and tell it, “shhhh.” Believe me, it will thank you. It needs distractions, yes, but once in a while it also needs calm. The path to any terrace or park is paved with fear and not-quite-distant neighbours, and why go anywhere you can’t even take your mask off to draw a deep breath? So, the best place to escape to, is bed. If you shut your eyes tight enough, not technology or human will bother you. Unless you live with a toddler, in which case you have my condolences.

My favourite part of the day is the hour when it’s still light out, and the world is still reeling in its own chaos, but I am away from it. My pillow is soft, my sheets are light, my fan whirs softly and I am at peace. Maybe a pigeon hoots outside, maybe an auto screeches. But neither of them belong to my world at the moment — I am in the land of half-asleep daydreams, where the rivers run with cold coffee and koels forage me cinnamon rolls.

Let me tell you why a half-asleep dream is better. One: because you haven’t surrendered to it completely, so you can keep it from resembling anxiety-riddled night dreams. Two: this is in the middle of the day. This is a luxury you would not have had if you were commuting to office. That’s what makes it more fun, and almost makes up for that flood of emails and calls I have to return to eventually.

If you appreciate Meghna Majumdar in any degree whatsoever, the best way to show it is to gift her a pillow

(In this column, we pit two Chennai icons against each other.)

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 8:11:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/working-from-home-how-do-you-unwind-with-naps-or-exercise/article31833647.ece

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