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On Engineering in Crisis from India: Choosing Gratitude

Over the next few weeks, we invite you to join us for a short-form blog series on how SWE Members are navigating the world amidst COVID19.
On Engineering In Crisis From India: Choosing Gratitude

Today, we are pleased to feature Rishika Shekhawat from Pune in Maharashtra, India. These blogs will showcase how different SWE members are engineering their lives during this fluid and ever-changing environment.

Want to be featured? Submit your engineering in crisis story here.

Your Name & Affiliation: Rishika Shekhawat from Pune Affiliate

Engineering Discipline: Mechanical Engineering


How do you handle stress and maintain a work-life balance right now?

It is important to find a balance right now and keep yourself surrounded by people you love, your family and friends. Stress is bound to happen during these extraordinary times. Meditation and connecting with yourself would help reduce any anxiety or panic that the mind creates. I am grateful that I am safe and healthy surrounded with my family, and I am thankful for having the gifts of life. It is up to us, to be grateful or be stressed. I treat this time as a luxury, time that I would have never gotten in my hustling life. I am trying to tick all the items in my to-do checklist that I have been postponing due to lack of time.

Do you have any tips for studying or working from home? 

It is essential to switch on and off work mode while working from home. It may get lost at times, and hence, an intentional effort must be made between work mode and personal life transition. I have made up a routine that works for me during mornings and afternoons to avoid skipping breakfast or lunch. Wrapping up during the evenings and then planning the next day ahead also let me knows how much time I can invest the next day in the kitchen. I look at when my important meetings are so I know if I should ask my husband to help me get the household chores done.

How do you maintain community with your fellow SWE members, section, or affiliate?

We have a WhatsApp community created for our SWE Pune Affiliate members where we are active on sharing tips for working from home and messages enquiring about each other’s health. During such times, interaction using calls or video messages is more energetic than chats or emails.

Engineers will be part of the critical solution to the global crisis created by COVID19. How are you engineering in crisis today?

I have done a bit of my part by contributing to the Prime Minister and Chief Minister funds appeal for COVID19. Apart from that, I am working from home for my company. My husband and I have created mock workstation spaces for ourselves where we only spend time on our work-related activities. Rationing out the groceries has been where we have applied basic mathematics to limit our stock instead of hoarding. We have tried our hand at gardening and cooking to reduce our screen time. Also, all my books from the cupboard are out and there’s a second reading going on them. This also gives me a chance to clean them out!

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