Work From Home Companions: Stress reliever!

Today is Mental Health Day, October 10th. While this is a serious issue, today there is need to emphasize stress relief when many of us are cooped up at home. One of my stress relieving activities is yoga as I discussed in my last post ‘Yoga, yoga asana and the art of relaxing’. It’s been six months since we have been on Work from Home (WfH) mode. I am bored stiff, to say the least. Boredom is fine and I have found a few friends around to relieve boredom and stress!

Since the University has gone into online mode, I take classes on Zoom almost everyday of the week. But with students Zooming in and out and being invisible most of the time, it is not so much fun. In the early days, when we were suddenly locked out of the University campus, I had written a post about how University life was no longer the same in the WfH mode, see here. But now with months of sitting at the same table everyday, alone at home, I have made some friends around and also found entertainment for myself. In this post I introduce you to my new friends. Before I do that, to those who are working from home, let me provide you this statutory warning from the Association of Physiatrists:

Laughing at ourselves is a great stress reliever. So with this warning in mind meet my daily companion, Mr. Percival, the local stray cat who has adopted us. He begins his day on this mat, preening himself (video edited!!). Good Morning Percival!

Good morning Mr. Percival!

And later in the day he poses for photographs in style. He arrives here at lunch and dinner time though he does not get a daily meal at my door. Only some occasions are celebrated! He purrs happily and moves his ear when I talk to him, often in Malayalam, as though he understands what I say. He does understands! Internet ‘research’ gave me this result to interpret Percival moving his ears, ‘If the ears are forward but relaxed: The cat is also relaxed, aware of her surroundings but not alarmed’. Please note, he DOES NOT talk to me!

But Mr. Percival has competition from Sandy cat and Kitty, her kitten. Here is Kitty, just a little shy, and Sandy being frisky.

Sandy and Kitty being frisky!

As I said I teach my course online on Zoom and I have some interested participants around me. Mr. Percival takes keen interest in all my activities and he is particularly interested in Development Economics. He even participates in the discussion at times. And one day I had a new participant. A peacock! I only noticed him and was able to click his photo when he decided he had enough of Development Economics, insulted that I was not paying enough attention to him!

While talking about and posting pictures of my new found companions of WfH, my son-in-law, also working from home, sent us a video of his robot friend at home, Tonea. Here she is, hard at work.

Tonea, companion of SIL while WfH, busy at work

I was wondering if she gets confused finding him at home, as she generally does her chores while they are out at work. He said. ‘Yes, Tonea does get confused and appeared to chase me for a bit and then got bored, I think! But Tonea also does stupid things like kicking the stopper away and getting locked somewhere. Will then alert on the app and ask to be rescued!’ No matter if Tonea is a little stupid, at least she is company. Wonder if SIL talks to her and does she talk back? Cause for worry?

So to relieve stress during WfH, pick some hobby or activate your old hobbies. And do find some new friends around you. Talking to plants, dogs, cats, peacocks or robots is a good idea!

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