“When it comes to self-care, women often put themselves last.” - Dr. Shruti Kapoor, Founder of Sayfty Trust.

As pointed out by Dr. Kapoor, while this pandemic has affected every individual, women have been hit hard. Women need self-care, now especially. To help women acknowledge the need for self-care, especially in these tough times, Sayfty Self Care Summit is a two-day-long virtual summit co-hosted by the Sayfty Trust and Villoo Poonawalla Foundation. This summit is for all women and other nonbinary people in India and is mainly focused on “self-care during the COVID-19 pandemic". It aims to create a space for all its participants to heal, connect and engage. 

The first day of the summit, 26 June 2021, started at 4 PM with a playlist dedicated to women, with songs that focus on areas of body positivity, ambition, and basically, ‘women who run the world’! All the participants renamed their usernames and added their pronouns to make sure everyone refers to each other with the right pronoun.

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Image Credit: sayfty instagram

With that, the first day of the summit kickstarted with an opening note delivered by Natasha Pooawalla, executive director of Serum Institute of India and chairperson of the Villoo Poonawalla Foundation. “We are facing a crisis, with a very real impact on women.” She acknowledged how life for women has taken a giant leap backward during the pandemic. This reverse has also been acknowledged by the United Nations which predicted that it might take an entire decade for women to recover. Mrs. Poonawala shared disheartening statistics on the increase in domestic violence during the pandemic. As the cases of domestic violence started to shoot up, the question that then emerged was where is a woman really safe? While the government launched ‘Stay Home Stay Safe’ policy, the home was not a safe space for many women. She emphasized the need for education and empowerment for women. “The pressure of the pandemic not only affects every woman but also her ability to build stable communities.”  as self-care stands as an essential activity in every woman’s life, it is now we need it more than any other time!

Session One- Chair Yoga

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Image Credit: sayfty instagram

The first session ‘Chair Yoga’, was conducted by Seema Sondhi who is the founder of The Yoga Studio, Delhi. She has authored six books and has even featured in several newspapers, magazines, and news channels. She guided the participants in doing Yoga while sitting on a chair. This session focused on stretching every part of the body. She then continued with a session of Suryanamaskara using a chair as a prop. This relaxing session came to an end with Om Shaanti chanting. As stated by Seema Sondhi, “gratefulness is the true key to happiness”, and with that, the session came to an end!

Between this and the next session, the organizers split all the participants into breakout rooms of two each where they had to interact with each other, have conversations about anything and everything. It was focused on getting to know each other, creating a safe and friendly space. Women getting to know other women. 

Session Two- Beauty And Self Care

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Image Credit: sayfty instagram

The second session was addressed by Megha Asher, the Co-Founder, and COO of Juicy Chemistry, a certified organic skincare brand. She spoke about how our routine affects our skin, especially women with PCOD. She emphasized on the versatility of aloe vera on the skin, using potatoes for whitening, oatmeal for dry skin, rice water for hair growth, coconut milk for dry hair, methi seeds (fenugreek), and coriander for fighting dandruff. It was a detailed session on beauty and self-care where everyone was rigorously taking down notes of all the extremely useful insights being shared by the expert Megha Asher. 

Session Three-Self-Care In Nutrition

The next session was hosted by Sharmila Vyas. She is a practicing clinical dietician and nutritionist. She busted some dominant myths about nutrition and self-care in her session. She explained why it is important to focus on one’s dietary items when it comes to self-care. She busted the myth of avoiding carbs at night and exchanging table salt with Himalayan pink salt and how iodine is an essential mineral and must not be eliminated. This session educated the participants on their dietary needs, be it before our periods, during, or after, giving the body what it needs in terms of food is also an important part of self-care. 

Read More About Such Diet Myths- Debunking Some Very Common Myths About Weight Loss Foods

Session Four- Mindful Writing For Self-Compassion & Self Care

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Image Credit: sayfty instagram

The last session for day 1 was on ‘Mindful Writing For Self Compassion & Self-Care’. Every woman has the right to tell her own story and with this thought, the last speaker, Sharon D’Agostino was invited, the woman who launched SayItForward.org. This session started with a relaxing meditation and then she gave out the writing prompts- ‘Things you love about yourself, ‘self-compassion, ‘when am I most likely to judge myself’, ‘an important person in my life, who shows me the least compassion’ and a few more. This made each and every participant reflect on various pockets of their lives. 

Read More On Self Care-Self Care Tips By Pooja Bedi To Lead A Stress-Free Life

As the chatbox flooded with gratitude and appreciation by the end, the session was a huge hit! Stay tuned to Her Zindagi to get more updates!