Find your niche in life
Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has generated months of uncertainty and anxiety of what the future would hold. Nobody in a million years could have predicted this pandemic, and everyone has tried to survive it 1 day at a time. I was in the first of a 2-year academic leadership and education fellowship at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, and the announcement to work remotely for a few months went out to all staff soon after. I thought that it might be like the flu season—last a few months and go away. But, as I kept watching the news to learn more about coronavirus, and the increasing number of hospitalizations and deaths, I realized that it might last longer that I initially anticipated.
As days became months, the anxiety of not knowing what the pandemic would bring started to affect my daily activities and well-being. The biggest uncertainty for me was not knowing when I would be able to see my sister, as well as my parents and grandparents who live in India. As I began thinking of how to cope with anxiety to help maintain my personal and professional well-being, my answer was dance.
My new fitness journey
I have been dancing since I was a child, and it is a safe space for me to be in my element, and feel and let loose to the music. Dance has always allowed me to express my emotions and help through stressful times in my life. Right about this time when I was looking for opportunities, a friend of mine launched the Meri Sanskriti Academy to empower people to embrace Indian culture and heritage in a holistic way.
The academy offers Indian language classes, art classes, and dance fitness classes. It sounded like a wonderful opportunity for me to share my passion for dance and help myself and others with well-being during these challenging times. I started teaching online Bollywood cardio fitness class once a week, and as months passed, that was the day I always looked forward to each week. It has now been a year since I became a fitness instructor and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Each week I prepare a different fitness routine with new songs for my members. This fitness journey has boosted my energy and helped with my work–life balance. I am even more thankful for the wonderful members who have joined my class weekly since I started and share how grateful they are for me to be a part of their fitness journey.
Focus on you
We don’t know what the future holds, but what we know is the present. So, make the best out of the time you have for yourself and for your well-being. Focus on yourself, what you have, and what you need in order to be successful personally and professionally. Reach out to your colleagues and friends to share your emotions and find your niche in life.
Nidhi Gandhi, PharmD, is the associate director of research programs and special initiatives at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy in Arlington, VA. She loves exploring the outdoors, trying different cuisines, and teaches Bollywood dance fitness at Meri Sanskriti Academy.