Youngsters take cue: Senior citizens share tips to stay happy and well even when you don’t feel like it... Amid the bustle of daily life, savouring the simple joys of life might often take a backseat. But, the first step to acknowledging goodness is to make conscious efforts to smile away, more often. Speaking of which, 59-year-old author Kochery C Shibu says, “In any situation, if we are able to smile, it does always lighten the moment and better the experience of life. If I have to give an advice that will help in the longer haul, here it is: Laughter is a must in one’s life. Be it through reading, talking or even by watching television or attending a comedy show. Forty minutes of laughter a day is a must to keep the spirits and outlook positive.”

Laughter therapy aside, nothing quite turbo charges one’s mood than a zesty workout that’s sure to help you ooze out some endorphin rush.

Chandan Agarwal, a Hindustani Vocal Student, Furtados School of Music, believes flexing those muscles and moving your body makes a world of difference. “With restricted mobility due to COVID and me being an extremely active person, my day begins with exercise followed by daily house chores, music class and a long walk on terrace as a part of daily exercise,” opines the 69-year-old who further believes that the pandemic has inspired many to follow their passion and execute things that they couldn’t do due to daily work routine.

“My love of music led me to Furtados School of Music, and pandemic provided me with the opportunity to study Hindustani vocals. Discipline is the key to surviving a lockdown without compromising on health and wellness. As we continue to live with pandemic, my advice to the new generation would be utilizing this time to upskill themselves for better opportunities in future. COVID is not to be feared but to be embraced to learn new things, expand the learning horizon, form zoom groups and challenge each other to become a better version of themselves. And above all follow your passion as I did for music, yoga and cooking while adhering to safety protocols of COVID 19.”

Thinking along similar lines, Sidharth Luthra, a 70-year-old managing director of an engineering firm believes the lockdown was indeed an eye-opener and blessing in disguise — much like a miracle — only visible to those who’d believe in it. “Life has always been busy, but in lockdown, as a senior citizen, I was told to stay at home to be safe, and it's been almost a year since I've worked from home, but something good happened in lockdown. Previously, I used to be stressed about work and there was no happiness, I've always loved music but couldn't seem to do anything about it until my daughter told me about online music learning courses during lockdown, and I've been a completely different person since then. I don't stress about things, I handle stressful situations calmly, I'm happy, and I feel lively.”

Citing how all the extra time indoors could be used in finding out one’s true joy, Sidharth advises youngsters to use the ‘me time’ to experiment and revamp existing skill-sets and interests. “I enjoy all types of music, but I've recently developed a fondness for English songs. I'll keep singing and dancing as long as the rhythm and lyrics hit my soul. Music, in my opinion, is the greatest source of happiness because it restores the mind, brings peace to the soul, and makes you a happier person. Use the time to experiment and find your joy, it’s truly magical to reinvent yourself or discover your skills irrespective of what you’ve previously thought of yourself or your capabilities.”

The unprecedented lockdown and curfews can be a great time to explore offline opportunities and side gigs, believes jewellery designer Nalini Hegde. The 70-year-old, who is a resident of Mahim, has been enjoying the process of jewellery making and connecting with younger talents as part of her at-home affair. “The most important thing to keep yourself happy is to try and do the things you liked to do in your young age. Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence — so be positive, live in faith everything will be Ok. Also try spending some time with kids too because they truly are the simple joys of life,” she concludes.

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