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“With no responsibility I thought who am I?”

Lockdown hit Bindu Naik hard.

As a kaiakao at KidsFirst and a mum to two sons, life is very busy.

But when New Zealand went into Level 4 lockdown, she didn’t know how to react or what to do with all the free time.

“Everyone has a certain way to react to most things but this was like an apocalypse. It was overwhelming.”

Bindu was worried about her family back in India, worried her husband may lose his job, and found the news media’s doom and gloom didn’t help.

She would get up in the morning with no agenda, no need to rush to get the boys ready, pack lunches and rush to work.

“With no responsibility, I thought who am I? What do I want to do for myself? It was quite a strange moment, that realisation of who am I, if I didn’t have a husband, sons or job?”

After a week or so in lockdown she had a sudden awakening – this has to stop.

“I switched off the tv, and we stopped talking about the negativity. Instead we focused on living in the present.”

Bindu realised she spent very little time on herself. She thought back to what she loved before marriage and kids.

“I realised I love reading and I use to love dancing when I was younger. So, I started reading again, found some online dancing classes to do, and I started meditating.”

She says these small changes in her life had a profound effect on how she was feeling.

“Before lockdown I was having panic attacks a few times a year. Now I’ve learnt to use my breath to calm my body down. It’s so important to just slow down and surrender and not worry about everything.”

A year on, Bindu is still benefiting from the changes she made during lockdown.

“Reading really expands my horizons and how I look at things, it expands my thinking.”

She’s still dancing and even inspired some friends to join her.

“It’s been fantastic. Our group performed in front of 20,000 people at the Christchurch Diwali Celebration at Hagley Park in October, which was something I never thought I would do.”

Bindu says what started as a stressful situation changed her life for the better.

“I can handle things so much better now. I just pause, take a breath and my reaction is more refined and it stops things getting out of control.”

“Whatever change happens to you, you have to keep practising it as it is so easy to fall back into old ways.”

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