Vidya Balan really wants you to stop behaving like a pressure cooker
The actor’s self-care ritual is rooted in honouring your emotions — the good, the bad and the ugly-crying
Guzzling chicken soup is sometimes not enough for your silently suffering soul, especially if your emotions are buzzing louder than a swarm of murder hornets.
Thankfully, investing in self-care is finally considered as crucial as wearing a multi-layered mask when you step out to the doodhwala.
Actor Vidya Balan may be playing India’s human computer Shakuntala Devi in her upcoming film, but she would like to discourage you from acting like a human pressure cooker.
“Over the years, I have learnt that taking care of yourself means honouring yourself,” she explains, recommending you avoid suppressing your feelings until the third seeti.
“Don’t deny yourself any emotion. If you are angry, honour that anger – it’s okay to get angry. If you’re sad, honour that sadness. Whatever it is that you’re feeling, honour it,” she says.
Of course, this approach might lead to some accidental volcanic explosions within the home, especially given the current circumstances. Your mother might not be such a big fan of you ‘honouring’ your frustration at having to eat lauki for the third time in one week.
The key to maintaining equanimity is, according to Vidya Balan, sitting and doing nothing.
Not even binge-watching How I Met Your Mother for the 15th time.
The actor says, “I spend a lot of quiet time. I wouldn’t call it meditation though. I spend a lot of time with myself introspecting. And during these spells, I make it a point to watch nothing, especially before I go to bed. I’ve noticed that if your mind is active, your dreams are full of what you have just seen. Sometimes, I do puja and listen to chants, it helps me stay calm.”
What Vidya Balan learned in lockdown
This lockdown has only helped her expand her self-care habits. She’s a “novice” plant-mother, taking baby steps with her green thumb.
“I realised I enjoy gardening. We have small patches of plants in our balconies, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching them grow and flower,” she says.
Another former love that’s been rekindled is her fondness for numbers, thanks to her upcoming film (releasing on Amazon Prime Video, July 31).
“I’ve always been fond of numbers. As a child, when I’d travel, I’d just add up numbers on number plates because I had nothing better to do. Over the years, I lost touch with numbers because we do everything on phone. While filming Shakuntala Devi, I had to remember 26-digit numbers and 13-digit numbers – it was joyous.”