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Sanity in difficult times

Sanity  - When everything seems to be going wrong

 New online tools aim to help treat people’s anxiety before it reaches a crisis point. Dedicated to the lawyer fraternity. 

 

Lawyers without work. Never heard of it in India !!!!!

 

Whenever I was asked why I shifted from a being a Technologist to a Lawyer, the reply was “Lawyers never sleep hungry.” And as one of my late uncle Rami Puri,  (who wagered and lost being a business man three times, before settling into the royal profession with the black robes), used to say “Son, at least as a lawyer I don’t loose money!”

 

Times change fast. In 60 days life changed. The profession changed. The courts closed. The clients stopped. The lawyers who used to earn on a day to day basis, lost their world.

 

Stories of a “largesse” of a couple of thousands being given by bar councils across States started popping up. The reverse migration of the Men in Black, back to their roots has started. These Men and Women who worked sleepless nights to take the pressures off their clients, have been left staring at a void . Looking at an abyss unfathomable for some. The technology of the courts has changed. And Yes, resources are limited for many, juniors and seniors[1] alike, in litigation or in pin up law firms.

 

This article is dedicated to my brethren. For we have to break our anxiety. For we have to evolve. For we have to be back again..... Soon !   

 

Is it surprising? No. We have seen the pillars of our strength falling: confined to our homes, unable to see the people we love; money gone; health worries abound; a bollywood  disaster movie playing out on our mobiles all the time; food timings awry; sleep disoriented. Looking at a situation beyond our control, with no clear and  identifiable end.

 

Depression or addiction. 

 

Take a deep breath. Think of that one thing you love! Physical, incarnate, embodied, real or whatever.  Now, ask yourself … How are you feeling? Take one more, and one more, everytime, everyday till you conquer your fears. How are you feeling? There are no wrong answers, and no one else needs to know.

 

We are not psychiatrists. Nor are we therapists.  We are all rolled into one. Did we not tell our clients to calm down on innumerable occasions. Its time, to take out that same time for ourselves.

 

With anxieties rising during the pandemic and professional help unavailable, we need to get to help ourselves, before this stress degenerates into something worse.

A solution might be to teach ourselves how to help ourselves—virtually. Lets be a part of the solution (as we always have been) and not just another number in the evolving global mental health crisis.

 

Lets Turn to the Apps... Thanks Dad!

Our closest friend – the  Smartphone.

 

In the land of the Gods, the Yoga gurus have some competition. Apps with breathing exercises. Meditation apps. Honestly, you should try these apps. (No, really.) 

Meditation can help reduce stress, chronic pain (such as headaches), and blood pressure, as well as help you quit smoking and better navigate a variety of mental health conditions.

 

Researchers found that regular use of a mindfulness app can help make people feel less stressed, can reduce loneliness, can boost young people’s ability to focus and remember. Though there is little evidence that these apps can be replace mental health as therapy, but they can be enough for some.

 

Sattva

This app draws its meditations from ancient Vedic principles. In addition to 6-minute-plus guided meditations, the app features "sacred sounds, chants, mantras and music by Sanskrit scholars." Perfect for us to connect to our roots. Cost: Free( Apple Store and Google Play) 

 

Calm app

The app provides guided sessions ranging in time from 3 to 25 minutes. And with topics from calming anxiety to gratitude to mindfulness at work—as well as sleep sounds, nature sounds, and breathing exercises—you can really choose your focus. Cost: Free (Apple Store and Google Play.)

 

Insight Timer

This app allows you the freedom to pick and choose depending on how long you have to practice, what style you'd like (e.g. body scan, loving kindness, anxiety/stress reducing, etc.), or just set a timer and sit without guidance. The app also comes with a tracker that allows you to chart your progress. Cost: Free (  Apple Store and Google Play.)

 

Aura

Fans of Aura like it for its daily meditations, life coaching, nature sounds, stories, and music, which are all personalized based on the mood you select when you open the app. There's also an option to track your moods and review patterns in how you feel, and set reminders to breathe and take breaks for mindfulness throughout the day. Cost: Free (Apple Store and Google Play)

 

Ensō

Ensō isn't necessarily for beginners. For those well-versed in meditation, it has a simple timer that you can set with bells at different intervals to keep you alert and set a soothing endpoint. Cost: Free ( Apple Store)

 

There is no silver bullet for people’s mental health. Its time for us to Re-train our brains.

 

Some apps have been specifically created for coronavirus-linked anxiety. 

 

Clarity, an App launched during the Covid crisis nudges users to check in and set a score for their mood every day.

 

Heres a checklist of things to help out anxiety

·Notice when you are worrying, and be kind and compassionate to yourself. This is a difficult time; it makes sense that you might be more anxious.

·Focus on what’s in your control. Work out what is a hypothetical worry (you cannot do anything about it) and what is a real problem (needs a solution now).

·Refocus on the present moment. Focus on your breath, or on using your five senses.

·Engage in activities that you find meaningful and enjoyable. That could include music, walking, reading, baths, household tasks, or calls with friends and family.

·Notice and limit your worry triggers. If the news, the WhatsApp,  is making you anxious, limit your consumption.

·Practice gratitude. List the things you were grateful for that day: for example, “The sun was shining.” 

·Keep a routine, and stay mentally and physically active.

 

We’ll be  back, with the gowns, the coats and all those high decibel voices and boisterous laughs. 

 

(Written with assistance from  MIT Review and Compilation of psychologist Elizabeth Woodward using guidance from the UK's NHS.)

 



[1] For me a senior  is a man with experience and not designation.

About the author

 

 

Sandeep Suri is an Electronics Engineer by training and a Chevening Scholar (London). He loves to mingle technology with law. He practices at Chandigarh. Senior Partner in Subros and Associates. Chief Editor Punjab law reporter and Supreme Court e@Journal.

He can be contacted at

suri_chd@yahoo.co.uk / 9216884502

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