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Women's Month

Sasfin celebrates women’s month

More than ever we are faced with the challenge to manage our work, families, as well as our mental, emotional and physical health. Due to lockdown, the need to connect is significant and it is real conversations that truly matter. In these uncertain times it is the knowledge and guidance that we can offer each other as humans that will make a difference.

In conversation with the women of Sasfin, what is your lockdown advice? 

I would like to thank the Lord for allowing my family and I to overcome the Covid-19 virus, being one of the first few Sasfin employees to have contracted it. If I were the given the opportunity to go back in time and prepare myself for this period, I would’ve adapted and created more positive thinking habits. Setting goals and achieving them gives me a sense of control and purpose. I created a routine that works for me in terms of my health and well-being firstly. My work schedule combines perfectly into my home and family needs. My advisor interactions has enabled me to be more IT savvy which I have never been before. 

My personal goal on a daily basis is getting done (hair and makeup) exactly the same as if I were going to the office, just no slacks! 

I don't think anything could have prepared me for this moment. One just had to roll with the punches. We are or will be going through the most radical transformation the world has ever seen, people are justly terrified, excited, depressed, heartbroken all at once. I have adjusted to my new norm and I must say In the midst of cleaning, cooking, taking care of all the needs of my siblings and working, I feel like an accomplished and satisfied person at the moment.

We have certainly learned the value of human contact, the need to be kind to our bodies, the importance of family, the need to reflect and reinvent and just SLOW DOWN.

 

Stick to your routine! That is the one thing that has kept me mentally and emotionally sane during these challenging and unknown times we are faced with currently. I am a routine person and this makes my life and family time so much more functional and effortless.

In that split second that lock down was announced in March this year, for that moment, I couldn’t stand the thought of not knowing how my day was going to play out the next day. Mine and my families routine is the one thing that I know works in our house-hold and lives and after the announcement was made I promised myself that I would stick to our routine as much as we possibly could. We worked around the challenges that came our way but everyday working from home and having the family together we GOT UP, GOT DRESSED and faced everyday just like it was any other day, just with wearing masks and staying home a lot more.

Spend more time with loved ones, give them lots of love and hugs. Don’t take anything for granted as nothing is a given. You must appreciate your life and job and thank god for the air we breathe and the warm bed we sleep in.  Show gratitude at all times for the things we have in our lives. Prepare yourself mentally and physically to be at home 24/7 and not interacting with the outside world is difficult seeing the job that I do. Prep yourself for how lonely this will feel and find some hobbies that can keep you busy when you feeling down.

I shall pass this way but once, any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, LET ME DO IT NOW! “Nothing in life is to be feared, It is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less”.

Run Thandeka Run! And I mean run for your life and not just physical fitness! This is a race of survival. A time that no amount of mental or emotional preparation could ever be enough. You need to have the ability to separate the home and work environment and find an emotional and mental balance. Reading literature or listening to music that inspires you, motivates you and keeps you grounded. That will give you strength in times of weakness and the ability to forgive yourself in times when you are am unable to pay your last respects to those relatives and friends that are no more. 

Take it easy, keep safe, it will be over before you know it.

In March I posted a statement by Dr. Caroline leaf that stated “you are not stuck at home; you are safe at home”. This statement turned my whole covid experience from a gloomy to an interesting experience.

Overall I felt grateful for my family, daughter, friends, the life experiences I have had and the new ones I am planning and my job. I contracted the virus and my daughter refused to leave my sight. The support from family, friends and co-workers was heart-warming.

The routine I adopted also helped me keep my sanity: not work longer than 10 hrs a day, exercise daily, meditate daily, reach out to friends and family, eat health food, laugh, rest and do something fun or new or interesting or nothing at all. PS. Not sure I want to ever sit in traffic after this. 

Lockdown has forced us to live in a world which is so foreign but has now become our new norm. It has presented with many new challenges but has also allowed for personal growth and reflection.

"Be flexible", circumstances are constantly changing and therefore being flexible is key. It is always good to plan but one needs to keep an open mind in that nothing is fixed or certain. This lockdown has also resulted in a place where work and family collide and so being mindful of others and their circumstances as well as realising that everyone is adapting and dealing with the new norm in their own way as best, they can. This is all part of being flexible and understanding. Do not forget to take time for yourself, whether that comes in the form of self-reflection, reading or exercising.

Hopefully we will not experience something like this again, so cherish every moment and take every opportunity to learn from the situation we find ourselves in. Most importantly, just breathe.

 

My dad named me Alveena – which means “friend of many” this is befitting as all aspects of my life – work, personal, church they all involve people. I also love being busy and on the go.

Lockdown has taught me that it is important to love my own company and that it’s okay to not always be busy or on the go.  I have taken this opportunity, to be more intentional with my prayer time. I am reading more books, dancing like no-one is watching, being creative with my cooking and baking and learning new skills.

The advice I would give to myself before lockdown is I wish I went to temple more to celebrate the colourful festivals. Say yes! When friends/family ask to go out. Don't worry about work or ‘me time’ or money or always revising, nothing matters more than seeing those you love.

Buy Netflix stocks, don't start your spring cleaning early, buy groceries in bulk to avoid the shopping chaos or going out at all and lastly it’s the best time to have gotten a dog.

Take it one day at time, don’t neglect self-care and remember that this too shall pass.

Take it one day at a time. I would remind myself that this is only a temporary situation and is not the end. I would definitely take this as an opportunity to build stronger connections with my family and friends through long phone and video calls, as well as to focus on my mental and spiritual health. As someone who lives alone, I would prepare myself for all the time I will be spending at home by getting books that reinforce positive thinking, cooking books to explore new recipes, travel and fashion magazines to help me plan activities to do post the lockdown, and lastly, I would get myself some home workout equipment (crucial for all the new recipes I would be trying out!).

Never take anything for granted. Being humble means recognizing that we are not on earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others. My hubby and my family are priceless to me.

Unlock the things I locked before lockdown. In this time history is made and we are part of it, it is a roller-coaster ride. My emotions are all over the place. One day I feel like this is a dream and I am having an out of body experience other days I feel confident that I will triumph over this difficult time.

Being genuinely happy and dealing with matters that make even an inch of my happiness is what I need to do. I must spend more time with people that love me and do activities that bring me joy. I am learning that the knowledge I get from reading books is priceless and is stored in my mind and advises me in life’s journey. 

This is going to be your new normal. Some days you will be happy, some days you will be scared, some days you will be calm, some days you will be anxious, some days hopeful and positive and some days all of this in the same day. But you will get through this.

You are so blessed to have loving and supportive family and friends that are on the other side of a video chat, to have a roof over your head and a warm area to work from, to have food on the table. Every new day is a blessing, don’t forget that. Remember to take time to look after yourself, take a break, eat healthy and laugh.

There is nothing that could’ve prepared me for lockdown as I never thought in a millions years, I would be here. But one thing lockdown has taught me is that, this is the perfect time to work on yourself mentally and spiritually. Since I have more time on my hands, I have focused on rebuilding my faith with God and embarking on a spiritual journey and it has really been an experience filled with blessings. Lockdown has given me a chance to re-look my future goals and fully focus on work, my thinking and myself. I certainly plan in future to take more risks and travel more, because you never know when a lockdown or pandemic could happen again.

For me personally, lockdown has been a time of deep self-reflection as well as a time of immense gratitude.

Gratitude for my health, my family, my employer and for my faith. I don’t think anyone could have prepared themselves emotionally or mentally for where we are now as a country or in the world, nor could we ever have anticipated it. What’s important is that this is where we are now – we are getting through it and although this virus has caused so much pain and suffering for so many people – there is some positive that has come of it. It has been very heartwarming to see the willingness of individuals, families, societies and organisations to help the less fortunate and the immense devotion to giving back to those who are suffering, those who have been left homeless and starving. It has restored my faith in humanity.

I truly believe that as a nation we have the potential to overcome this virus and come out stronger than what we were before. What do we have if not HOPE?

Emotionally: Instead of always complaining about all that I couldn’t achieve the one thing I would go back and tell myself is “use this time as an opportunity to show gratitude for all that I have achieved.”

Mentally: I would ensure that during the lockdown I have a proper structure/routine in place to be able to work, study and ensure that home chores are done as well. One would think that it would be easy since we are home but mentally for me it took discipline and a few mistakes to finally have that structure in place. Now that I have shifted mentally, this “new normal” works form me.

  • Lockdown Recipes

    Mukti’s favourite Thai dish:
    https://www.recipetineats.com/chicken-pad-thai/

    Alveena’s 2 Ingredient Dough:
    Savoury - https://www.foodiesofsa.com/2-ingredient-dough-4-ways
    Sweet - https://www.foodiesofsa.com/2-ingredient-dough-4-ways-sweet

    Nompumelelo’s healthy diet drink:
    Lemon water with honey, turmeric and cayenne pepper

    Monique’s prawn, spinach and bacon alfredo:
    Ingredients:
    1 kg Prawns, Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, thyme),chili flakes, Paprika, Salt and pepper, Oil, Bacon (chopped and cooked), 4 cloves chopped garlic, ½ Onion , Parsley, Spinach (a bag or 2), Tagliatelle/Fettuccine pasta (cooked), 2*250 ml Cream, 1 cup parmesan cheese

    Method:
    Combine the Italian seasoning with chili flakes and paprika (so you want to make enough to coat your prawns with), Add prawns to the above mixture and ensure they are well coated, Heat oil in a medium-large pan, Add garlic and prawns, cook until prawns are pink. Remove prawns from the pan, Add spinach, onion, salt and pepper to the pan. Cook until the onions are translucent, Pour in the cream and bring to a boil, Add the cooked fettucine, Add the cooked prawns, bacon, parmesan and parsley. Mix until cheese is melted. ENJOY 😊

    Roshni’s Sweet Treat:
    One packet of tennis biscuits
    Ready made custard
    Plain chocolate
    In a long pyrex dish I placed the tennis biscuits in sets of two's. Poured the custard over the biscuits and grated the chocolate over the custard. It is simple yet divine.

    Monica’s Banana Bread
    ¼ cup butter (57g), 1¼ cups cake four, 2 ripe bananas,1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, ¾ cup sugar, 1 eggs, Pinch of salt, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ cup milk, Beat the sugar and butter until creamy, then mix the remaining ingredients and Bake at 160°C for 45 -60 minutes.

  • Lockdown Exercise
    • Hellojsoie - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1vy4PYreiE&pbjreload=101
    • JEFT together on facebook
    • Winter jamming heart throbbing calories burning with Bhangra moves!! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMhW--Rov_M&t=3s
    • Monique: As Helen Keller once said…“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows”
  • Yoga and meditation recommendations
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMhW--Rov_M&t=3s
    • Keep Yoga
  • Uplifting talks or online education
    • 5 skills you can learn during lockdown- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRkvO6RWVtg
    • Learn a language with Duolingo
    • The Homecoming Podcast with Dr Thema
    • Unbecoming to Become by Ayanda Borotho (book)
  • Lockdown binge watching
    • Netflix - workin' moms
    • Showmax - Blacklist
    • Showmax - Beyond the River. This is the most incredible movie! So inspiring. 
    • Netflix - Indian matchmaker 
    • Netflix - Shadow Hunters
    • Netflix - Dead to me
    • Netflix - Money Heist
    • Netflix - The Originals

Want to share your lockdown inspiration?

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