Monday Must: The Importance of Rest
Hi, my name is Prayag Menon. I am a trained commercial pilot who incidentally switched to fashion. I currently divide my time between Toronto and Mumbai. Style and cultivation are a big part of my life and I love what I do; from working on magazine editorials to collaborating with fashion designers, brands and other creative artists. I freelance and thoroughly enjoy working for myself. I am married to an incredible man who is also my favourite photographer and collaborator.
The freelance nature of my work naturally comes with sufficient flexibility and autonomy, but also a lot of unknowns that can be arduous. I find that we get caught up and burnt out in the race and hustle of it all. Moving to Toronto in 2018 offered a slower pace than the one I am used to in Mumbai, which in turn granted me time to pause and reflect. The ensuing pandemic induced lockdown in 2020 further aided me to understand the concept of FOMO, importance of rest, and how essential it is to take care of my wellbeing in a holistic sense.
With work being unpredictable, I find sticking to a daily routine helps me retain a grip over my day, to get things done at my pace. Running everything efficiently keeps me from feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
Comparison is the thief of joy
The accomplishments or abundance of others does not mean that our life is lacking. I realize every individual is on their own path to self discovery and our worth cannot be based on what we accomplish in comparison to others. It really is a downward spiral and I constantly remind myself of this as I browse social media.
In this technologically driven age, it is difficult to truly go off the grid, given that work depends on my social media presence. To take breaks, my husband and I go for walks, cook meals together, watch a few shows and enjoy meeting friends for dinner, where work discussions take a back seat. We also intend to start taking short trips out of the city for a quick refreshing change of scene. I discovered a new hobby last year during lockdown - teaching myself crochet via YouTube, which was so therapeutic, and I’m extremely proud of my creations so far.
I would measure my self-worth on the basis of how much work I did/ how productive I am being. This began to burn me out and negatively affect my mental and emotional health. The lockdown, which forced most of us to come to a standstill, gave me the realization that my mind had so much more space to be creatively inspired, undisturbed by thoughts of “productivity” in a monetary sense. Productivity does not correlate to my self-worth. This awareness keeps me calm and I actually enjoy my work even more and give it my best, without worrying too much.
Incorporating an attitude of gratitude has changed my life. Instead of counting the lack, I count the abundance and the joys. I find that being grateful for every single day and for every project/experience/ person, as opposed to feeling dejected for what I could not have, is a paradigm shift like no other. This keeps my mind calm.