By Padmini Mahurkar
When COVID struck, I found myself like many others, under a lot of pressure. Apart from the usual worries, I was also concerned about the long quarantine period and more importantly, the worry about how I would grow personally, during this period. In my mind, if I ended up exactly at the same point as I started, I would be disappointed. I realize now that this anxiety was merely a manifestation of the pandemic. Nevertheless, I now was on a quest for some goals.
I joined an online Sanskrit language class along with some of my cousins in the US. This gave me much needed family support, as well as the joy of re-learning a language I studied in middle school. Additionally, a kindly suggestion from a dear friend and colleague prompted me to seek out a course in Non-Profit Management. Our members are probably aware that WBFN is a volunteer driven organization, supported by staff and consultants. This is a key aspect of all non-profits and hence in my current role as President, this course suited me very well. After a search I identified Duke University’s intensive course in Non-Profit Management. Although I was prepared as I had completed the pre-readings, I was nervous about what to expect. To my pleasant surprise, what followed were 8 days of excellent learning. The faculty was outstanding and took us through the curriculum with great skill. I was rivetted from Day 1. The course was true to its title, it certainly was intensive! Since my last experience of sitting through an academic class was in 1998, this took a bit of getting used to! The rich knowledge that I gained during my course, was immediately put into use at our WBFN team meetings and our Executive Committee meeting. I am confident that it will be a great guide for me in my current role and benefit our organization. I highly recommend the path of continuing education for all members. It could be something nonacademic such as learning a new skill like Crochet or Bridge, but when you get your first stitch or play right, you will experience a burst of happy hormones that will help in dealing with these challenging times.
Ever since the gym shut down, a big burden I faced was regarding exercise. COVID has made gourmet chefs of us all, but at the same time, has also made us sedentary. Keeping our immunity high is a combination of healthy eating, exercise and paying attention to our emotional well-being. I finally managed to find the right Yoga class that I am enjoying thoroughly, and this has also made me very happy. Right now, all the boxes are checked, and I am in a good place. As you can see, it is the little things that contribute to overall well-being.