“Show yourself softness, kindness, compassion as no one knows your body and soul better than you.” said Seema Sondhi, creator of Seema Sondhi – The Yoga Studio, during the first session of the Sayfty Self-Care Summit.
Have you heard of chair pull-ups? It is easier than regular pull-ups. Sondhi taught it to the 50 women who showed up online for her session at the two-day virtual summit by Sayfty Trust. The summit focused on self-care during the COVID-19 pandemic for women, including cis-gender, non-cisgender, queer and transgender women, along with other non-binary persons. It covered topics from mental health and nutrition to beauty practices that could help participants de-stress.
Sharon D’Agostino, the founder of Say It Forward, conducted a session Mindful Writing for Self-compassion and Self-care, focusing on unfiltered writing for self. By the end of it, Dr Shruti Kapoor, founder of Sayfty Trust and the organizer of the Sayfty Summit, said she had tears in her eyes.
Dr Kapoor planned the summit after recognising the lack of self-care among women during the lockdown. With school closures and the increased care burden brought on by the pandemic, most women were overwhelmed with work.
“The pressures of the pandemic not only affect women but also our abilities to build stable communities,” said Natasha Poonawala, Executive Director of Serum Institute of India in her keynote at the summit. “Self-care has never been more important. We need to provide women with the security of knowing they are safe.”
The summit also included sessions on beauty and nutrition. While nutritionist Sharmila Vyas spoke about body image issues and combatted myths around food, Anushya Rajagopalan Mamtora taught art therapy using the Zentangle method, a new-age art technique which is performed without a ruler and an eraser.
Award-winning chef Maneet Chauhan focused on cooking and experimenting with recipes. Her secret to peeling garlic – use a spoon. Chauhan said that cooking was not about the ingredients that are available but making food with one’s experience.
Megha Asher, Co-Founder and COO of Juicy Chemistry shared some home remedies with age-old Indian wisdom. “When I was a child, I burned my face with an iron and one of the first things my mum did was to grate potatoes with skin and apply them to my skin,” said Asher, whose face shows no signs of burns. “Organic ingredients take time to work, so don’t expect instant results. Consistency is the key.”