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Five ways to achieve work life balance during the Covid-19 pandemic

PUNJAB NEW EXPRESS | August 17, 2020 09:22 PM

By Shanti Kaur Khalsa- Sikh Dharma International
The Covid-19 pandemic has not only taken a toll on the health quotient of people across the globe, but it has also triggered stress button in careers, personal finances, family life, and work-life balance. Most millennials in the age group of 24-45 years in India are working professionals and the shift to the new normal work style is taking a mental toll on workers. Most of them are not able to take a breather even after being in the comfort of their own homes.

Technology has unleashed it full potential during the pandemic, keeping people connected and making work from home a considerably smooth and seamless process. However, technology has also led to hyper-communication. Work from home has pushed people to be more responsive just like the automated technology.

Thus, it is important for all working personnel to strike the work life balance so that people are not subject to information overload, consistent distraction, and energy exhaustion. Sikhism teaches five virtues to keep us balanced and content – Sat, Santokh, Daya, Nimrata and Pyaar. These five virtues can be applied in all aspects of daily life, even when one is finding it difficult to strike work-life balance in current situation. These virtues can optimally train the mind.

‘Sat’ – Truth
Living simply, without intrigue, gossip, or prejudice, allows us to more fully experience the brilliance of our being. ‘Sat’ is the virtue of living each day in honesty and righteous action without enmity for others.  Leave behind the tension that stressful thoughts bring and instead focus the beauty that each day brings.  By focusing on truthful living, we remain grateful for each breath of life that we are granted. Practice the discipline of truthful communications in your work and home.  Think before you speak and ask yourself if what you are saying is righteous and true.

‘Santokh’ – Contentment
Contentment brings peace of mind, and this peace provides relief for our body and mind. Despite the need to attend both house hold chores, and office work equally, we need to understand that we are not omnipresent and we can’t do it all! Many people are working constantly without taking proper lunch or coffee breaks; both employees and employers should realize that working round the clock is beyond human capacity. Determine your priorities and give adequate time and attention for each part of your life. One should avoid answering all office calls, replying to office group chats (unless urgent), beyond office hours. Family dinners, peaceful lunches, tea and coffee breaks are important for our contentment, health and wellbeing.

‘Daya’ – Compassion
In these trying times, we need to ensure that we are compassionate towards people around us, and most importantly ourselves.The times are such that despite staying at home, the work has increased many folds for every individual. Sleep patterns has been destroyed due to reduce in physical activity and constant work pressure. In such scenario it is recommended that each individual should start and end the day with yoga and meditation. It will help calm the mind and body. Dedicating 15 minutes towards to any form of meditation will increase your patience and empathy in dealing with others. Meditation helps the state compassion of compassion bloom within.

‘Nimrata’– Humility
To live in humility is to understand that that we are, each one, creation of the One.  No one is greater and no one is lessor in the Creators eyes. Just like a mother loves all of her children equally, so all of mankind shares this characteristic of equality. Practicing 2-3 minutes of purposeful silence everyday gives the feeling of humility as part of the creation.Silence helps in bringing oneness with ourselves and gain mastery over the chatter of the mind. People practicing silence have witnessed improved stress levels and emotional balance within themselves.

‘Pyaar’ – Love
The fifth virtue of Sikhism may be the most important – Love.  In this context, pyaar does not mean romantic love, but rather universal love.  Universal love is a state of being, and not an emotion. Even the great warrior, Guru Gobind Singh ji, said “Jin prem kio tin he prabh payio.” – If you want to know God, you must first know love.That includes loving yourself!  Allow yourself the time to stay physically and mentally fit. Consider fitting a daily walk into your busy schedule and use that time to reflect on the love in your life and the meaning of love in the world.

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