I lived in Gwalior with my parents for five years. I spent all these years in a disciplined environment. Half a decade later, when I moved out to Bangalore from my home town, so much changed in the modern lifestyle.
There's no limit to how much a millennial in a metro city, living an independent life, sleeps. It may be a lot concerning the quantity, but the quality is inferior. While living with my parents, I would go to bed by 10:30 pm and off to sleep by 11:30 pm. As an independent person, I struggle to sleep on time on a typical working day. It takes an effort to wake up at 7:30 am and add Bangalore's rosy cold climate to it, making it even harder. While sleeping till 8 am in an ayurvedic household was a luxury for me, it has become a norm. While I may have been sleeping more in terms of the number of hours, the quality is undoubtedly affected.
There's a concept of intuitive eating followed at my home, where you eat when you are hungry. I generally ate just two meals living in Gwalior. One around noon, a reasonably heavy breakfast and then at 6 pm, a light dinner. Sometimes I would go out and eat, but that was only on rare occasions. Home food was stable. Now living on my own has added another meal to my day. The good side of it is I have stopped drinking tea. Tea is an unquestionable drug in Indian homes and family business offices. I recently discovered that one cup of tea has 200 calories. There have been times when I have had as many as 8 cups of tea in a day. That's about 1600 calories that I demanded my body to break. However, I have felt that eating out more often than I used to is a big challenge. Swiggy, Zomato, and so many eateries nearby that the options to eat out keep screaming in my face. There's an impact on your gut when you eat oily, processed and overly spicy food. I am trying to be more mindful of that.
3. Morning routine:
While most of the morning time is spent sleeping by Millennial, our previous generation knew how to utilize that time efficiently. My father wakes up at 4:30 am and goes for a walk around 5:30 am. Then he has morning friends he socializes with, plays badminton with them, and returns by 7:30-8. Imagine he's lived 3 hours of his day before our generation even wakes up. Having a morning routine significantly influences your mental health. When you have woken up with a fresh slate, your intention for the day in the morning goes till the day ends. Studies show that spending time with yourself, especially in the morning, directly correlates to your productivity levels. How many of us do that? I usually wake up at 8 am, have a litre of water, and spend about 30 minutes doing breathing exercises [pranayam] and meditation. Now that I have stopped drinking chai, I boil water in the kettle, take some hot water and mix it with a spoonful of Nari Sondarya Malt. Last year, I started feeling a lot of period cramps and mood swings. It's been about six weeks since I started taking Nari Sondarya Malt regularly. This one product has almost cured my period pain, and my mood has also drastically improved around my cycle.
4. Staying active:
We all know the uncountable benefits of exercise, but integrating that into our lives is what our current generation is facing. Many of us go to the gym for that one hour or so. But the crucial question is how active we stay for the rest of the day. Instead of going out and buying your groceries, do you also order them on Blinkit or Swiggy Instamart? From what I have observed from the functioning of our previous generation, they would instead step out and buy their fruits and veggies even today. Their day involves staying active a lot more than us. While our day is spent mainly sitting at the desk and working on our laptops, their ways of doing things remain physical. They don't get tired quickly, the way we do. It is not about working out at one time. It is about being active all through the day.
5. Social life:
In the new generation, social interactions and meeting people almost always coexist with getting high and intoxicated. While meeting people was an everyday event in the older times, for us, it is much more concentrated at the weekends. There are bigger groups squeezed into limited time. Does a social interaction leave us rejuvenated or exhausted? I have been thinking about this quite a lot. How vulnerable are we now? Do we have any space left to share our thoughts and feelings? Socializing was a method of catharsis; now, it is about showing off who is living the best life. It severely affects the way we see ourselves now. It has become a lot more about external aspects. Social media is a significant factor in that. Sometimes you'd rather snuggle in your bed and read a book. Still, when you consume so much content on social media, the compulsive nature of comparing ourselves emerges. "Is my life good enough?" a question that haunts us all in this time and age. Previous generations had perhaps 20 people to compare themselves with; we have about 1000 people on average looking at the content we consume while doomscrolling.
Lack of high-quality sleep, overeating junk food, lack of a routine in our day, limited physical activity and our distorted social lives - all these factors are a sign of a poor lifestyle in the modern age. An improper life is why we need Ayurveda more than ever to connect to who we are. We need Ayurveda to learn how to spend a day [dincharya]. The ayurvedic lifestyle also offers an understanding of our bodies, minds and souls.
Modern lifestyle is heavily dependently on quick fixes. Headache? We take an aspirin. Acidity? We take a Pan-D. Insomnia? We jump to sleeping pills. PCOD? Doctors put you on contraceptive pills.
Unless we understand how our lifestyle is the key to our health and well-being, we will continue to depend on shortcuts. These shortcuts become disastrous in the long run as young as 40-year-olds die from high blood pressure and heart attacks. 1 in 10 women suffers from PCOD today. 1 in 5 men is suffering from baldness. Why do we come to Ayurveda only when nothing else works?
Imagine the power of Ayurveda when you adapt to it early. Ayurveda can help with stress, sleep issues, obesity and whatnot. It is about living a lifestyle aligned with our needs, not our impulsive greed.