Updated: Jul 12
Habits are interesting. Throughout our life we pick on many habits and patterns and seldomly drop some. Now, some habits we pick are a result of our own experiences and then there are some habits we pick from others, as and when we start breathing in social circles. It’s our habits combined that makes us unique, right? Like the possibility of finding another nail biting, leg-shaking, tarot obsessed, a decently early riser and a quote hoarder should be pretty less, I guess.
Being a fellow human, I picked on habits too. But in past few years I have consciously made myself drop a few habits. And this post is about that. Sometimes, by pausing, a bit, and taking a step backwards might take you forward in life. Or can just make you feel good about yourselves.
Coming from a middle-class North Indian family we have always used a soap for bathing. Sounds un-hygienic? Never mind, coz we all are still soft skinned, beautiful and kicking asses. Now, I was cool with using a soap until I went for my hostel life in Pune. I noticed that soaps aren’t in fashion anymore. They introduced me to a thing called loofah and body washes. I never used them before and they were still not in advertisements so a new thing for me. I was fascinated. Got one for myself. I remember having this conversation with my mother on phone where I told her that we should shift to body washes now as it is a new concept and feels better than soaps. She agreed.
I was pretty comfortable with this new habit and change in my lifestyle choice for about further two years. And one fine day when I was putting all the empty plastic bottles at my house in a bag I realized that I could’ve done life with a little less plastic bottles. It was a decision made after a lot of overthinking that I will not buy body wash and face wash any more. I didn’t even know for how long I will stick to it. But I thought let’s start with these two and today it has almost been two years. And believe me my skin is the same. It has never been dripping-with-glow kind of skin, so I am happy with what it is today.
Now the thing is we are made to believe by these corporate giants that we ‘need’ these products when we don’t actually need them. It’s a trap. And one habit after another we fall into it. Without thinking. Without questioning.
I got to know that micro plastic beads used in face washes are also called ‘mermaid tears’ because they are a threat to our aquatic fellas and also become the major cause of pollution in our water bodies. And plus, these body washes add another liability of a loofah which is not even the most hygienic thing in first place. Why are we even mindlessly falling for all of these products?
My alternative has been simple organic soaps by Khadi which costs like 60–70 bucks and works great on my face and body. While I am at home, I am also cool with Liril, Dove or Dettol. Have cut down on these two bottles, tried homemade alternatives for shampoo and constantly thinking of what can I cut next as a product habit to make a difference. I don’t know if anyone will ever read this. But if you do and it pushes you even a bit then give it a try. Try moving a step back with your beauty products.
Now the other habit that I had cut in past one year is very personal and many of you might not relate to me. I gave up on headphones. Yes, you heard it right. I have almost spent a year without it and sometimes I can’t believe it. Reason being I was overusing them, and they somehow became a reason why I couldn’t focus on work at office. So, when an existing pair broke, I decided not to buy a new one. Priority reason, I wanted my focus back and secondary reason I wanted to check if I can live without them so that I am not adding an unnecessary electronic
waste item in the dump. And turns out it worked for me. I mean I am still all up and kicked for music but not at the cost of headphones. While commuting I focus on people around me and when I’m tired I put songs on a low volume and put my ear close to my phone. I have found a way around. We all do, always.
So, just reflect on your habits, timely. And see how a little step can affect you in a longer run. And yes, I would like to end it with a classic Shakespeare quote. All the cliché is justified in my case coz I’m a quote hoarder.
“The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken”
On records, Shivali is a full-time copywriter with an advertising agency all thanks to her love for writing. Off records, she is an over-emotional being who loves poetry. She writes in Hindi, Punjabi and English keeping elements of nature and wilderness in her themes. This jack of all the fun person currently aspires to be a zero-waste person who's currently monitoring her each activity.
You can read more of her articles at http://www.beinginfinitemoment.wordpress.com/