Are you lonely during this pandemic?
Are you struggling with money?
Do you not feel very healthy?
Do certain relationships cause you to feel stressed?
In a first of its kind initiative to help and benefit Rediff readers, mind/life coach, NLP trainer and Mental Health Guru Anu Krishna encourages you to talk about your problems.
Every week, Anu will answer your queries, address your concerns and offer expert advice on how you can take control of your life.
Unedited excerpts from the second offline session:
ALSO SEE: 'I don't feel happy. Pls help'
SD: Dear Anu, my problem is that from many years I suffer from fear of flying.
I had discussed this issue with one of my acquaintance who is a pilot. He has helped me a lot in coming out of this fear and I must say I am 65 percent cured now. Main issue begins here.
Whenever I have to travel through flight, anxiety overwhelms me, I start getting negative thoughts about flying, and I just keep sitting in airport and plane and don't talk to anybody and this anxiety goes only when plane lands.
I know the technicalities of flying but still I am not able to control my mind and keep getting so much and many negative thoughts. I fly regularly but not able to come out of this due to which I never enjoy flying and always become tense and this anxiety is at very high level.
Kindly help how can I divert my mind toward positivity and how can I stay away from all these terrible thoughts..
Anu Krishna: Dear SD, Welcome to this Fear of Flying Club! Many of us, and that once included me as well have certain fears when it comes to flying.
When I went deeper into my mind to lay these fears to rest once and for all, it was no surprise to see that for me, it was about not having control. Now obviously, what control am I going to have mid-air?
Like on roads, we are familiar with driving and have full view of the traffic ahead and this feels comfortable as we have a certain degree of control.
Mid-air, we suddenly are pushed out of our comfort zones. Ask yourself: What can I do to have the same level of familiarity? What you can model of the roads in air, is only through your imagination.
Since you have some hands-on-experience as I understand through your friend who is a pilot, imagine being one and taking charge.
Yes, though you are far away from the cockpit and in the passenger seat, your mind can frame you as a pilot sitting and having the control in his hands.
Go through an entire flight recreating the thrill that a pilot has when he/she takes charge right from entering the cockpit to landing the plane.
You may actually talk to your friend and ask him this entire experience. Simply mimic that feeling in your mind’s eye as the flight takes off the ground.
Does this help? Oh yes! Because fear crops in the mind as stories that we fuel; which means we are definitely in a position to extinguish this fuel by doing just the opposite and giving the mind a different experience that will lead to a calm and happier experience. Happy Flying!
PK: Hello Anu, I am 48, male. I married in 2007 and we were blessed with a daughter in 2015.
Ever since we were pregnant, I left my regular job and started working from home instead. Things went off smooth and professionally there is not much of a problem.
Agreed, 2020 has been quite a bad year for almost everyone and I am no exception. But then, things are somewhat better with me when I see people around and learn about their getting unemployed or otherwise.
My problem is related to family, relationship with my wife and this has started playing on me.
The last time we indulged in any sexual activity was probably before my wife became pregnant. And even before that, she was always uninterested in having anything physical between us.
At max, we would have sex just once a month. But after her birth, we have never had sex, no time together. The most we talk about in a day is "the stock of this is finishing up or you need to get this or that" kind of things.
She works in an office, so she has friends, people whom she can talk to and spend time. I stay home caring for my daughter. Though most of the day is spent with caring for her, there is something that is dying inside me.
I had tried asking her to make a visit to the consultant locally, but she has always denied. And she keeps telling me that all I need is sex from her, which of course has never been true.
I wished there was some medical solution for my problems but I know there is nothing wrong. It is just some psychological issue. At times I just want to leave up everything and quit, but then I prefer not to do it thinking about the daughter.
I now feel that I do need some friends, but at my age, finding them is also tough. I do not feel comfortable talking about these issues to even my friends because - 1. I do not feel that close with any and 2. I wonder, if any of those confronted up my wife with this - that would be asking for a chaos as well.
I could go on into more details but am unsure if you would have that enough time. Please suggest if you can.
Anu Krishna: Dear PK, firstly, Parenting is a lot of work and to be a full-time parent from home, like you are right now, requires a lot of time and energy. Also, let’s not deny and most mothers/parents/others who are full time caregivers of a child will whisper and not say it aloud that doing that 24*7 without a break can be stressful and even monotonous at times.
They are encouraged to take a break every once in a while, to rejuvenate so they can do more and feel less exhausted.
It is pretty normal for women to lose interest in sex for a few weeks or perhaps months after the baby is born as the hormones now secreted elude her away from simply being a wife and the loving mother takes over.
This can cause a lot of rift between the new parents as the man obviously is not aware of this fact.
A book can throw more light on this and I cannot be more emphatic and say this here that it helps when the woman doesn’t have to worry about her husband and focus on bonding with the child which is of utmost importance for the development and growth of the baby.
Besides, there are other forms of affection/intimacy that can be explored so the new parents still manage to keep the spark alive.
The fact of your wife having a parallel life at her work place has become a dampener in your mind as she is definitely able to have a social life at least part of the day whereas you are not.
I do suggest you cook up some ‘Me Time’ over the weekends when your wife can bond with the baby and you can meet friends and simply unwind so that you back with a renewed vigour as the week begins.
And, it is possible to make friends at any age. Anyone who shares common interests and hobbies, can become a part of your inner circle.
It is apparent that both of you have lost communication and either your wife is unaware about how you feel or maybe she is going through something that you don’t know of.
If she isn’t comfortable going to a professional, take charge and revive your communication. Babies can demand a lot of time from their parents and if you can have someone trustworthy to watch the baby for a couple of hours over the weekend, where you and your wife can have some time to yourselves, that might help.
We can go on struggling or we can step up and do something about it. So, give it your best for yourself and your family.
Happy Bonding and have a great life!
M: I am from Pune, but for the past 3-4 months I have been living in my hometown along with my family(wife,2 kids and parents).
Currently I am working from home but for the past 2-3 weeks I am feeling unmotivated to do any work.
I have been thinking of quitting my job for the past several years but not able to do it because I am the sole earner in the family.
The last couple of projects I worked on did not turn out to be successful and a lot of the responsibility of the failure was on me as I have lost focus on my work.
I don't know the reason for that but I feel my unwillingness to work in my current field, along with this lockdown period has added to my stress.
I feel like quitting my job today and start looking for a new job but the fear of not getting a job at all stops me from doing so.
I have some savings on which I can survive for a few months. I have also discussed this with my wife, she is willing to support me in every decision I make.
Lot of negative thoughts come to my mind these days. Can you help me make the right decision?
Anu Krishna: Dear M, Many people are in a space that you are in currently.
The pandemic has created newer challenges that are unfamiliar to most of us.
It is imperative that we adapt to the best of our knowledge and make the best of what is right now.
Having said this, what I can suggest is work on your mind. It isn’t supporting you and what you feed it regularly is the way it will serve you.
So, the decision will be taken by you as you know your skills, knowledge, industry and your finances to arrive at that decision that will take you out from where you are now. But, what I can share is how you can strengthen your mind to make that decision.
1. Start where you are now without harping on what you could have done or should have done. The past is a learning. Learn from it.
2. Write down the pros and cons of staying in the current job, taking a new job and starting a new business. Factor the element of the Pandemic in all the three scenarios
3. Once you know which one is the best for now, begin with telling yourself that you are doing this for a reason.
What is the reason? Managing your home, paying loans etc. Make these responsibilities not an enemy but a friend as it’s not just you but possibly many others who are doing the same
4. Motivation can be from outside or from within you. Tap into both as it comes in handy when a friend keeps you on the right path or you visualize the happiness and comfort that you are seeing yourself and your family in with the decision taken. Meditate for calming the mind if you can.
5. Lastly and most importantly, be grateful for having a job, no matter what it is as there are many who are losing jobs and this is actually a reward for you having one
Life has changing phases and nothing is permanent, so even this phase will give rise to a new and better one. Till then, make the best of this.
Happy Navigating! Have a good life!
S K: I saw your helpline and thought of asking for help. I m a sales guy aged 50 and recently joined a company.
It is neither a MNC nor a middle sized organisation. Considering the fact that this is new organisation i need to prove my worth.
There is tremendous pressure to perform. There is absolutely no support from the company people to send quotations etc which they take their sweet time and they give reasons like Covid -19 etc for the delay and they do not expect us to give reasons for failure.
If u look at it from my perspective , I have joined in the month of Feb 2020 wherein March-April and may were locked down months.
Just now the business has started signs to improve. Instead of supporting the team they keep on finding little faults which does not motivate but de-motivates me.
A colleague before me has already been sacked after 5 months and I am not sure when my turn will come. I feel it may be next month too.
I have not tried to reason out with them or they may say I am trying to give reasons for my failure.
On top of that I have been reporting to 4 bosses who just write to me as per their whims and fancies. Plz let me know what best I can do to survive this time frame.
I am just keeping mum bcoz there are no jobs available in the market and I am doing my best, In fact as this is an automotive industry it takes time to materialise and everywhere is there is a slowdown in business. I would not like to give reasons but still it becomes difficult to survive. Plz advice and help.
Anu Krishna: Dear SK, I can only imagine the agony that you are going through and I have been coaching many people on this since the time the lockdown began.
None of us knew what the Pandemic would mean and what it would do to our businesses or work or home. It has managed to create new situations that we have no idea of how to handle.
This has caused a lot of anxiety and strain and we have perhaps begun to imagine the worst.
But what if I tell you that the situation is changing and so will the situation at your office?
Will you be inclined to believe that?
Even the top management is behaving in a wayward manner as this is all new to them; especially working from home for many and not much facetime which I guess as a Sales guy you are used to.
Since the response from the markets are not so good, it is bound to show up as a poor performance on your record, this is a valid concern…but to go into work, everyday keeping this in mind may not be effective even with the smallest of tasks as the anxiety keeps you on the edge not doing much but worrying to save your job.
Also, what happened to your colleague may not happen to you. So why focus all your energies on something that may not happen?
Instead, simply focus on ‘realistic’ targets that are achievable at this time.
Also, since you have joined only early this year, I do feel, it is imperative for you to know really your hierarchy and reporting structure. If there are conflicts at the top and you are bearing the brunt, either you need to roll up your sleeves and ace the politics that possibly others are facing too or simply do what you can.
Step back and observe what is going on and for this, you need to be a little calm to understand the WHY of 4 bosses!
It may all but be an imagined stress and it might just need a bit of a tweak to be in a better rapport with each of them.
Sometimes, what is little, becomes big in the mind as it is cluttered with a lot of if and buts with either lack of information or simply creating stories out of apprehensions and fears.
Please take care of your health and this helps keeping the mind in a better space to deal with what is going on.
Ultimately, tell yourself: “NOTHING IS WORTH STRESSING OVER SO MUCH. Everything falls into place, once I take charge!”
Take charge and take care of your health. Best wishes.
HS: Hi mam, from a very long time, I wanted to talk about this. I am married and have a 2 year old kid.
The problem is i don’t feel love towards my wife or kid.
To begin with it was an arranged marriage and I was not ready.
My family kind of emotionally forced me in to this.
After clearly explaining and telling my wife that i am not ready to be a dad she got pregnant, said NO to abortion and even involved my parents.
Everything happened too fast and I was stuck in my career. Now I have a kid and a wife that I never wanted.
There was no love to begin with and now it’s getting complicated.
Anu Krishna: Dear HS, love is something either embrace or walk away from; the choice is yours.
Just like you had the choice of marrying this person or not.
Why exactly did you choose to be forced into it? And now that you have, don’t you think that you need to hold up your end of the bargain?
What did your wife and child have to do with it?
Also, did you tell your wife-to-be before marriage that you are marrying against your wishes?
At least, then she would have been able to have the choice of whether to go ahead with the marriage or not. If you haven’t, please know that they are not at fault for your actions.
When you say, she got pregnant, I would like you to know that it takes two people to make a baby; why do I sense that you are blaming her for all of this?
Surely, if you knew you didn’t want to be a father, you could have used protection.
It’s very easy to blame someone else for what’s not right with your life and that’s what I get a sense that you are doing. But if I were to give you the benefit of doubt, which I would…
I want you to ask yourself: Do I want to be in this marriage or not?
In either case, you have the moral responsibility to provide for your wife and child even if you DON’T love them.
Even if you don’t want to have anything to do with your wife, what wrong did your child do?
Just that he/she has been born into a home where there is so much confusion over love.
Let the child know that he/she is loved no matter what. That responsibility as parents is as much yours as it is your wife’s.
As adults, do bring this matter to the table and discuss what you want to do. Whatever you decide, keep the best interests of everyone in mind especially the child’s interests as a priority.
All the best and be happy.
RS: Dear mam, I am 39. In the past few months I have been under financial stress.
My salary was reduced by 25% since April 2020 and wife’s salary dropped to 20% of my salary.
My EMIs are 70% of total income. I took moratorium. But, now moratorium ended and I am not able to manage the finances
Also, I am not able to find a new job. Without any help, everyone is facing a financial crisis.
I am not able to cope up . What should I do?
Anu Krishna: Dear RS, I empathize with your situation as this is something that seems like anyone’s story these days, given the pandemic.
Lot of uncertainties and much to think about especially with holding onto work and doing the best that we can.
What I could start of by saying: Look deep down at your expenses statement for the past 3 months. Look at what is necessary, what is not and what is a luxury.
Straightaway keep the luxury aside and focus on what’s needed and the best offer you can get on these by buying them in bulk and storing; like groceries or availing of festive offers and bargains.
Next what is a mandatory outgoing like Life Insurance policy premium, EMIs etc and how you can spread them over till the next financial year end.
Plan for the next quarter and even if you just break even, I think it will keep you afloat and give you the confidence that things are getting better.
The key to financial planning is to cut down expenses that we are not even aware of which we indulge in when money is in surplus.
That amounts to a huge chunk and every penny saved is a penny earned.
Of course, if the bills are mounting and your EMIs have begun to outweigh your earnings, you might be forced into making some decisions; but remember do all you can before reaching that point of decision.
Do not be disheartened as phases like these don’t last forever and just like we look for a life jacket to save ourselves from drowning, we do know that that storm is temporary. Similarly, throw a life jacket on to tide this one and the storm shall pass.
Happy Saving. Take care and all the best.
SK: Dear Guru, I'm working as an executive assistant to the director with an Indian subsidiary.
Due to pandemic there's this work from home happening right from the start of lockdown.
At present and till date have to manage my work along with two other colleagues work too. Moreover in addition my boss is leaving too.
All this is so critical that it's stressing me mentally and physically. I'm not able to bear that loss of him leaving in such a scenario.
Though him being married I somewhere liked him from the bottom of my heart.
Initially he tried impressing me through his kind words and behaviour. But in the last one year he suddenly changed bcoz there were certain things happening between him and the management which I was completely unaware of only to learn recently that his job contract wasn't renewed by the management and hence he along with his wife opted for an alternative.
He showed his anger by ignoring/avoiding me. Somewhere I feel that even he didn't wish to leave the company.
I don't wish to break his marriage but I love him (one sided) still dunno if he does or not.
Of late we had tiffs over the phone on work issues and I deleted his number from my contact list saying "Goodbye".
He fumed and sent me e-mails in the morning about things to handover as he is leaving :)
Earlier when I had a tiff over msgs that time he called my colleague and asked him to take the handover.
Hope I get some response on the stated issues.
Anu Krishna: Dear SK, Why do some of us get caught in a web where we don’t know where we stand in someone else’s life?
I am not going to judge you or lecture you as to your one sided-affection as that is a choice that you have made. But, why give someone so much power to rule your mind that they seem to take the driver’s seat and take decisions for you? Your job, you love…your emotions.
Do remember, that you cannot be an option is someone’s life which is what has happened here.
The hit to your self-esteem has been for you to act in disappointment/anger where you have dropped his number off your list with a curt ‘bye greeting’ which has irked him and his ego.
What were you doing? Throwing the spotlight back onto yourself where you have given him a chance to antagonize you at work?
Can you even complain about it in public? And especially when you knew his loyalties lie with his wife which he made it evidently clear by them taking decisions jointly for their future.
All that has happened, is you being at the receiving end, by laying out your emotions for a little attention from him.
And well, he possibly was enjoying some of it as well. If you were to rewind the clock, go back in time, and ask yourself: What can I do? What must I do where I can keep my emotions healthy and protect my emotional boundaries? Do exactly that now.
Nothing is lost. I can’t promise that he will be back to giving you the attention that you have been used to; all I can say is find some healthy options and grow your social circle.
You may meet someone interesting or you may simply find someone who shares common interests irrespective of gender.
Bottomline; get unstuck from this unhealthy string, cut and maintain that healthy boundary, stick to your work and create a circle of friends and family that care for you. That will be your strength and helo in making better decisions the next time.
Be happy and make the best of life!
Dear readers, is there something that is bothering you that you are not able to talk to anyone about?
You don't have to be alone and you are NOT.
Tell us what is bothering you. Please send us your questions and tell us what you are struggling with.
Based on the information you share, mind/life coach, NLP trainer and Mental Health Guru Anu Krishna will help you find answers and guide you to help yourself overcome the situation better.