Gaslighting, self care & awareness

Repeat after me – self-care isn’t selfish. It has taken me a lot of years to realise this and it hit hard when it did.
All through my school-college-work life, I have been that person who craves a “balance”. My idea of a balance was always excelling at everything I do. If I decide to run 10km but my body can only manage 5km today – I’d feel unaccomplished. If I finished an illustration through a high fever but it wasn’t good enough – I wouldn’t cheer myself. If my friends or family have made dinner plans with me, but I’ve had an exhausting day & can’t keep my eyes open – I’d still go, because they may feel bad/angry about me cancelling last minute. Living my life this way was beyond exhausting. My idea of self-care was going to the spa or treating myself to a good meal.

I was wrong.

Self-care is about putting yourself first.

My therapist said, “If you can’t take care of yourself, how can you care enough about others/ your work/ your body?” And she is right.
Self-care is about giving yourself free time to read a book, making sure you’re physically and mentally fit, making an effort to set yourself a routine, just about anything that can add a little happiness to your daily life. Self-care is also being aware of your emotions, feelings & relationships from an outsider’s perspective.
That said, today I want to share with you something I recently learnt. Gaslighting.


Sometimes people knowingly or unknowingly try manipulating others to get what they want. It could be your best friend or your father or a stranger. For example, let’s say you’re upset at your friend about something and you confront them calmly. Instead of understanding what hurt you, they choose to blame you for feeling the way you do, “you’re too sensitive”. You instantly doubt yourself, because your best friend who cares for you can’t be wrong, right?
Note: Often this happens because of the opposite person’s inability to understand or unwillingness to acknowledge emotions. The first reaction to is to protect themselves by shaming others — all very unknowingly.
It is important to be aware of situations and times like this. You can save yourself the trouble of self-doubting when not needed and probably even help the opposite person understand their behaviour. Remember- every person and situation warrants a different kind of response. Odds are this person is already on the offensive side, getting agitated or talking aggressively is almost never the answer.

Self-care plays the biggest role in relationships. Very often we tend to start being unaware of our actions and words & lose sight when others knowingly or unknowingly start harming you.

How can you be more aware, you ask?
– Meditate- you can read my thoughts on meditation here
– Journaling- When you practice writing down emotions you don’t fully understand, you’re developing the habit of noting this down each time it happens – step one to awareness achieved. And also, by writing it down, you’re actively giving it a thought.
– Make more time for yourself- often people claim to be “bored” when they’re alone. I believe sometimes “being bored hence let’s go out/ do something” is a technique to “escaping your own thoughts”. Of course this isn’t always the case, but giving yourself some alone time introspecting will increase your sense of awareness.
– Read more. The more you read the news, happenings around you, books, etc. the more you’re aware of people’s stories. And sometimes, people’s stories help you learn a lot about being an empathetic person.
(I’ll now take the opportunity to ask you to watch Nanette by Hannah Gadsby if you haven’t already)

If you want self-care reminders in a physical form – we’re selling AToZOfSelfcare Stickers 🙂 Click on this link to find out more!

Have a wonderful week ahead!

 

 

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Eating your feelings

“I’m a foodie”, “I love food”, “I live to eat”, “I woke up thinking about what food I’ll eat today”, “All I need is love.. and good food.” Have you found yourself saying these? Me too.
There is nothing wrong in being passionate about food. Although, it is a little worrisome when food acts as a medium to escapism.

Have you found yourself feeling stressed/ sad/ frustrated/ tired and craved for something unhealthy to eat? In my case, it happened too often. I realised everybody has a vice they escape to – some smoke, some drink – I felt a bit relieved that I wasn’t one of them. “I dont have such addictions!” I’d say to myself. But then again, I craved an ice cream everytime I was upset. Wait – is food my addiction!? Uh-oh.

“Eating your feelings” is actually a thing.
When you feel something you don’t want to feel, you eat your feelings – you eat something to escape those feelings.
It can happen on a small scale, for eg. I’ve had such a long day, I need a drink ice cream. Or, I fought with xyz, I feel too emotional to deal with this, I’m stepping out for a smoke fat burger.
Or, this is something that can happen day to day too.

For example- “my schedule is so busy/I have too much on my plate/I need something to look forward to get through my day, that way I’ll be able to get through the day”
Any vice practiced in moderation isn’t bad, until it starts taking control of your life.

Unfortunately, if the discipline to moderate isn’t achievable it can lead to tons of health problems.
So I thought of trying two solutions:
1) When you really crave something – eat it but in moderation.
2) Find another vice (I picked binge watching TV shows/ playing a game on my phone/ reading a book as a destresser)
Over time, I gathered some tips that hopefully will be helpful for you too.

Be aware
I’m not suggesting you to count your calories, because after a point you’ll drive yourself crazy. But be aware of the nutrition values of what you are eating.
Did you know a pack of chips contain as many calories as 250g of hummus?
It’s OK to eat chips once in a while, but when you’re aware of this, you’ll opt for hummus when you’re bored-hungry instead of chips. Hummus additionally also has lots of protein & fibres.

Rewards in moderation
When you feel like rewarding yourself with food, opt for a smaller portion.
Your craving is satisfied & you aren’t consuming too much junk!
Sometimes, I reward myself (by spending an extra hour doing a leisurely activity) for being able to reward myself in moderation.

A tasty and healthy mid-day snack
The villain of it all is our dear enemy – mid day snack.
When you’re terribly busy with work in the evening and you don’t have the patience to look for healthy options to eat – you’re stuck & give in to the whiff of vada pav (guilty).
So, problem-solver-Pranita found easy peasy recipes for you. You can prepare this in bulk at the beginning of every week.
Craving something crispy? Ditch store bought chips, and try Carrot Chips (click for free download)
Want something with a bit of flavour and spice? Try Makhana (Lotus seed) Munchies (click for free download)
Craving something sweet? There’s the super healthy Granola (click for free download)
Want something creamy that can fill you up? Try Hummus (click for free download)

Talk to your feelings
My biggest takeaway was understanding my body and feelings – to be mindful about my hunger, needs or wants.
“Am I really hungry?” “Do I want to eat because I’m stressed?” “Do I want to eat because I’m bored?” Just knowing why you want to eat helps, you’ll automatically do what your heart wants 🙂

By the end of it all, as long as you are healthy, free of diseases/ addictions, remember – beauty comes in all shapes and sizes <3

Please feel free to drop your suggestions that you think may help me or other readers! 🙂

Lots of love,
Pranita

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Food VS Fitness

#FoodVSFitness is a series that elaborates the almost depressing worries of the food vs fitness dilemmas. The series consists of 10 illustrative scenarios describing the mental pressures one goes through. It talks about the lack of balance between extreme food eating habits or extreme fitness.
Creative Direction, Art Direction & Illustrations: Pranita Kocharekar

 

When you’re playing ‘Waiting for weight loss’ game every morning 🙈#FoodVSFitness I’ve struggled a lot for the last few years with the food versus fitness (fit body) dilemma. I love food A LOT & I love being fit A LOT. Finding a middle ground is very difficult & I know I’m not alone! This series elaborates the almost depressing worries of the food vs fitness dilemmas. Made on #iPadPro #Procreate #1195 #pranitasdrawingaday #drawingaday #dailydrawing #drawingeveryday #drawing #art #illustration #illustrationdaily #illustrationartists #ilustree #picame #pirategraphic #supplyanddesign #ballpitmag #100daysproject #1000daysproject #365daysproject #pranitart #pranitakocharekar #food #foodie #fitness #muscles #girlswholift #weightloss #weighingscale

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When you're sad about it either way 🤷‍♀️🍰#FoodVSFitness I’ve struggled a lot for the last few years with the food versus fitness (fit body) dilemma. I love food A LOT & I love being fit A LOT. Finding a middle ground is very difficult & I know I’m not alone! This series elaborates the almost depressing worries of the food vs fitness dilemmas. Made on #iPadPro #Procreate #1197 #pranitasdrawingaday #drawingaday #dailydrawing #drawingeveryday #drawing #art #illustration #illustrationdaily #illustrationartists #ilustree #picame #pirategraphic #supplyanddesign #ballpitmag #100daysproject #1000daysproject #365daysproject #pranitart #pranitakocharekar #food #foodie #fitness #weightloss #weighingscale #dessert

A post shared by Pranita Kocharekar (@pranitart) on

I've heard this way more than I'd like and it is not coooool! 🤷‍♀️ #FoodVSFitness I’ve struggled a lot for the last few years with the food versus fitness (fit body) dilemma. I love food A LOT & I love being fit A LOT. Finding a middle ground is very difficult & I know I’m not alone! This series elaborates the almost depressing worries of the food vs fitness dilemmas. Made on #iPadPro #Procreate #1199 #pranitasdrawingaday #drawingaday #dailydrawing #drawingeveryday #drawing #art #illustration #illustrationdaily #illustrationartists #ilustree #picame #pirategraphic #supplyanddesign #ballpitmag #100daysproject #1000daysproject #365daysproject #pranitart #pranitakocharekar #food #foodie #fitness #weightloss #weighingscale

A post shared by Pranita Kocharekar (@pranitart) on

When you permanently break up with food that’s 100% damage. 🥤 #FoodVSFitness I’ve struggled a lot for the last few years with the food versus fitness (fit body) dilemma. I love food A LOT & I love being fit A LOT. Finding a middle ground is very difficult & I know I’m not alone! This series elaborates the almost depressing worries of the food vs fitness dilemmas. Made on #iPadPro #Procreate #1203 #pranitasdrawingaday #drawingaday #dailydrawing #drawingeveryday #drawing #art #illustration #illustrationdaily #illustrationartists #ilustree #picame #pirategraphic #supplyanddesign #ballpitmag #100daysproject #1000daysproject #365daysproject #pranitart #pranitakocharekar #food #foodie #fitness #weightloss #weighingscale

A post shared by Pranita Kocharekar (@pranitart) on

While at a birthday party. #FoodVSFitness (This is the end of the series, can’t thank you guys enough for the support & love ❤️) I’ve struggled a lot for the last few years with the food versus fitness (fit body) dilemma. I love food A LOT & I love being fit A LOT. Finding a middle ground is very difficult & I know I’m not alone! This series elaborates the almost depressing worries of the food vs fitness dilemmas. Made on #iPadPro #Procreate #1205 #pranitasdrawingaday #drawingaday #dailydrawing #drawingeveryday #drawing #art #illustration #illustrationdaily #illustrationartists #ilustree #picame #pirategraphic #supplyanddesign #ballpitmag #100daysproject #1000daysproject #365daysproject #pranitart #pranitakocharekar #food #foodie #fitness #weightloss #weighingscale

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PCOD – My Best Friend

If I got a rupee for every time I heard someone say “Stop losing so much weight”, “A scoop of ice cream won’t kill you”, “What is this fitness obsession?” “You’re not fat!” “You’re not enjoying food, you’re not enjoying life”, I’d be a millionaire.

I’m writing this simply so I could link this post to every person who mentions the above. And probably, so can you! But this is for everyone who thinks being fit is just about looking good – it’s not.  

For those of you who don’t know what PCOD is,
PCOD (Polycystic Ovaries Disorder) is a hormonal disorder that causes the ovaries to enlarge and creates cysts on the outer edges of the ovaries. A lot of women suffer through PCOD or PCOS. The common cause for PCOD is hormonal imbalances and genetics. PCOD affects everybody differently. The common symptoms are hair growth, acne, weight gain, irregular period. It can also lead to depression, infertility, type 2 diabetes, pot belly.

My story
When I was 15 I was diagnosed with PCOD (like the other 20 girls from my class) – most of us had irregular periods, most of us happily ignored the problem ( I personally for 5 years!) until the symptoms  began to escalate.  
I was known for my fiery metabolism (I mean, who eats a whole cake and doesn’t gain weight?) but eventually, the food I consumed would show on my body very easily.
This made me revisit my doc once again. After multiple tests, I realised that the PCOD had become really, really bad. My doctor put me on a strict diet and asked me to exercise at least 5 times a week.

For 6 months, I threw a fit about how “life is unfair!!” “why can’t I eat a whole cake whenever I want to??”, “why do I have to exercise so often??” etc. Over time,  it lead to weight gain, acne, my hair quality went bad, I had way too many mood swings, I developed anxiety, my periods were irregular – nothing felt right – I lost my confidence!

About 3 years ago, after everyone around me was sick of my cribbing (myself included), I decided to let PCOD be my motivation to lead a healthier life. I stopped eating out every day – instead ate out only once a week (I enjoy my pizzas better now). I also decided to moderate my sugar content. I started exercising moderately, a mix of cardio, HIIT, weight training, kickboxing, running. Variety in my workout routines kept things from getting draggy, and an upper limit (45 minutes) made sure my daily schedules were on track as well.
I’m constantly battling PCOD everyday – but it is definitely my best friend. It taught me how to bring a balance.

Had it not been for this disorder, I wouldn’t have realised the benefits of staying fit.
Because of a healthy lifestyle I have better skin (I don’t use make up), I’m physically fit, I’m mentally stable (exercise helps you gain focus & be more mindful), I’m stronger (I don’t need help to lift things!), and the best of all – I’m confident.

I get a lot of questions from people asking “How do you make time for working out?”
Honestly, that was a battle I fought for a long time. But it is only the matter of perspectives. As children, we were trained to brush our teeth, shower, and eat food daily. We make time for this – no matter what. Because we realise it’s importance, right? It’s the same logic. When you know how important exercising is – you automatically make time for it. Be it mornings, afternoons, evenings or even midnight!
(I’ll elaborate more on balance and time management in my next blog post – stay tuned!)

I am twice as productive, mindful, confident and happy ever since I began exercising and eating right.
Strong is sexy, ladies, always remember! ☺

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Therapy Sessions

This is a personal project, an experiment to express and channelize my feelings in one direction.
It is a series of three illustrations executed in different styles.

So much to do, such little time
I have always struggled with the idea of time- there is a lot that I want to do within one lifetime, and my goals have always pressurised me. This piece elaborates my thoughts better than my (lack of) words.

Looking for answers
I havnt fully understood the meaning of life and death, hence in my search for some meaning I stumbled upon a piece written by Albert Camus. Camus expresses my thoughts in words so perfectly. This piece is about my genuine process of looking for answers.

Acceptance
After a year of debating with myself about the purpose of life, there was a time full of anger and anguish because of ‘not knowing’. That eventually lead to asking myself questions like- what’s the point anyway? Why do I create? Why do we try so hard? This piece has a lot of hidden anger expressing my irritation towards human convinience. The small note at the side is an extract from the works of Mark Z. Danielewski from ‘House of Leaves’
The note reads: ‘Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you’ll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You’ll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all of your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And then for better or worse you’ll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fighting with everything you’ve got not to face the thing you most dead, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name. 
And then the nightmares will begin.
I was in two minds about publishing this project, because most of my work belives in promoting optimism. This was a personal exercise for self growth, I call them my therapy sessions. I hope to connect with those who face similar problems.

Ponch

PONCH is a short children’s story that was exhibited over the period of 55mins on instagram (@pranitart).
The idea of the instagram-exhibition was to involve the audience in the story of Ponch, a whale who visits the city and witnesses the cruelity of society but also finds a true friend and regains faith in humanity.

This project received press coverage in Hindustan Times

Poster


As seen on Instagram

Individual frames









Stop Chasing Love

‘Stop Chasing Love’ is a short picture story exhibited on Instagram. I used the Instagram interface as my canvas. Have a look at this story on my instagram @pranitart
About:
‘Stop Chasing Love’ is a picture story about a girl (us, humans) being greedy about love.
Love here can be anything – your partner, your family, your friends, your work.
There is a thin line between chasing love and embracing love. Embrace it!