Stoa Digest #38: Hey Brain, Stay Sane!
Mental Health is a challenge - how do you do stay sane?
Kicking off this week’s Digest with no Editorial, but straight into Announcements & then the Spotlight!
Let us know if you hate it!
🔦Fellow Spotlight 🔦
What’s something you do often to remain present?
“I tend to ask my brother this quite a lot, cause he works damn hard, and he’s always planning for the next thing.
So I always ask him if he looks at his activity in retrospect, with gratitude for how well he’s done something, or even to appreciate himself.
Especially when something feels like it’s been happening for a long time, do you ever step back and look at something and say,
’Hey! it's going great, and we've come this far. It's so much better right now than when we started’.
As humans we’re pretty intrinsically tied to wanting to improve things - but we never appreciate something that’s going well. That’s definitely something I try to practice.”
When life gets challenging for you, how do you deal?
“I mean, for me, remaining occupied was a big move in the right direction. It just helped me navigate tough times better. So I always shouldered responsibility in some way or the other, which was a great thing, it helped me keep occupied and just served as a great outlet for me to channel my energy & focus on things I love doing.
Because ultimately, at the end of the day, when you look back, you realise it pushes you through the challenging times, and there's a lot to be grateful for at the end of the day. And that ended up being the journey even after Stoa.”
What did you want to be as a kid?
“I always wanted to be a cricketer as a kid, but that changed suddenly one day, and then I also started cultivating an active interest in football as well, so that ended up also becoming a part of my dreams.
To the extent that me & a couple of my friends have actually made a pact that we watch a live football match at Old Trafford at some point!”
Since you’re such a big fan of sports, what is someone likely to find you indulging in now?
“These days I’ve picked up badminton as well, which isn’t half as easy as it’s made out to look at all, and just is as taxing as any other sport.
Other times you’ll maybe find me at a 5-a-side football game.”
What’s the journey from college to now been like?
“Ahh okay, so I studied Arts, and took up Psychology & Communicative English, but at the end of college, the decision was simply to take a gap year, and figure myself out - because I was struggling. So that’s sort of when my current job came out & revealed itself as an option - where I signed up with an agency that has collaborations with a lot of schools in the state - and we’re the facilitators of a certificate course on Public Speaking that the students take.”
If you had to give away some lessons about what your current job has taught you, what would they be?
“Since a lot of what I teach revolves around public speaking, the pointers seem fairly simple.
When talking to anyone, the largest contributor to the conversation will always the non-verbal bits, like:
Maintaining comfortable eye contact with the person(s) you’re talking to.
Your energy - because that gets mirrored by your audience.
Using your vocabulary - sometimes it’s simply the small things that could potentially make/break what you say, and the best way to build this is not only to read, but also practice.”
What was something that was super memorable to you about interacting with the Stoa community?
“So, I’ll go the cohort way, and say that my first team was a dream to work with, and I’d like to think we even became friends post that first stint.
What was nicest was - I knew I hadn't come to Stoa with any prior business knowledge, while these guys had their experience to boot.
But the first thing they did, was just sort of set the space to a safe one - where whatever you contributed was valid, respected & considered, so that was quite an experience.
Not to say there wasn't the instance of say, multiple people from the cohort reaching out to me to come drop by the Goa meet-up, and like even remembering that I could’ve been a part of that - that made you feel very included & a sense of loyalty.
It was a. pretty good lesson in, ‘being a team player’ really.”
Given 10m to talk about something - what would it be?
“More than anything I would try to get talking to the person I'm with about something deeper - where it’s more than just a superficial conversation and that makes them think.
Because that’s usually when you’re not getting in your own way, and focusing on the way you want to be perceived, you want to do justice to your thinking - so that’s why I really appreciate those kinds of conversations.”
With everything now going back to normal, what are your tips are about maintaining mental health or sanity?
I think the first one I'll always say is gratitude. It’s one we find significantly hard to inculcate, but changes your perspective on life only entirely.
Just being grateful allows you to be happy for the good things, and handle the not-so-good ones better than you would otherwise.
So a practice that I built was that I’d send out a gratitude message for the day every day to a broadcast list that I curated for myself, where I share things that I'm grateful for.
And this ended up having a ripple effect where I've had people on that list text me back saying stuff like, “just reading that single message about what you’re grateful for, lightens me a bit”.
It sort of transfers throughout the rest of your day, where if you begin it with gratitude, then you’re not as fazed by say a small little setback.
Second would be journalling - and I think it’s picked up a lot, but it’s still an underrated way to just understand yourself, and allows you to just think about your thoughts for a couple of minutes, before you start reacting to them.
You’ll find Dheeraj here: On LinkedIn / On Twitter / Dheeraj’s Newsletter
📣 Announcements 📣
In case you missed it, Utpal came at all of your inboxes with Tenacity last Friday! If you can’t find it, look for a mail titled “Tenacity 🤝 Stoa”
Cohort 4 is slowly kicking into Graduation mode, right as Cohort 6 gears up to begin Orientation! 👀
This Friday Vignesh Chandiran & Bhavna Saincher have an exciting Looking Beyond the Lyrics session planned!
If you’re the kind of person that looks to find new music - this one’s going to be the one to attend!
👯♀️ Event Announcements 👯♀️
On Tuesday, Mar 8th, 8PM:
We’ll be hosting Roshni from Cohort 1, founder of Cysterly, on wellbeing - both mental & physical along with nutrition & women’s health issues.
On Thursday, Mar 10th, 8PM:
Choreographer/ Dancer Karan Acchipilya will be our facilitator through Stoa’s first ever virtual dance workshop!
If you haven’t yet, buy, bring & put on your dancing shoes & pop on over to join us and move your body!
🥳 🎂Birthday Parttaaayy! 🥳 🎂
8th March - Mayank Bansal
9th March - Priya Rawat
10th March - Vedaang Prasad, Karan Goyal
11th March - Chethan Srinivasa
13th March - Animesh Mishra, Nikhil Daswani
🐝 Community Buzz 🐝
🤝 Meetups 🤝
Twitter Gang! 💬
Pranav Mandhare’s been tracking his failures as well as positives as he goes on this learning journey - find them there.
Piyush took inspiration from Sriram, Parth & Sameer - and now the first video is to be watched!
✍🏼📚⏯ For Stoans by Stoans ✍🏼📚⏯
Weekend Binges 🥤🍿
Blogs & Resources 🤓
Discord Threads worth reviving:
Been looking for better ways to get to know someone? Stalk them!
🥲 Meme Wars 🥲
This week’s shiny new winner of Best Meme goes to …………
a new entrant!! Archit Varshney for a past but extremely relevant compliment!
Bye friends! 🤠
Last week Vaishak & Ryan pulled out some disco tunes, so it made sense to leave that for the rest of you to also bear witness to quite a vibe!