Where the magic happens - How multiple resilience strategies transformed Smriti’s future

Smriti Agarwal

Engaging with multiple resilience strategies is critical to our well-being and performance.  
In this inspiring story, talented musician, Smriti Agarwal explains the resilience building strategies she drew on to create a transformational life change.  

Lockdown Ensues

We were just hours away from the imposition of a nationwide lockdown here in India. I was in Bangalore far away from my family who lived in Delhi. At that time, we did not understand the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation and were contemplating whether or not I should travel to Delhi before the lockdown. Quickly, we made the decision; there was no question that I needed to be home.  A complete lockdown was imposed shortly after that. My employers were forced to let people go because of the circumstances and I did not know my fate in the organization. We all faced pay cuts and a lot of negativity pervaded the minds of people.  Even mother nature seemed to be retaliating with multiple earthquakes, storms, and flood warnings

Shifting my Perspective

Like everyone who has been through this experience, we found it was not easy staying home all the time with no place to go to for a break and we weren’t even allowed to walk outside of our homes. I could feel my spirit deteriorating and I knew that I had to do something to help myself.  I guess this was the acceptance stage of the challenge at-hand.   I had passed through the stage of disbelief, moved on to anger, sadness, and then finally acceptance of the situation.

Self Care -  Where the Magic happens

Now, this is when the “Magic” happened. I made a list of all the things that I enjoyed doing. The list included reading, writing, meditating, singing, playing the guitar and exercising. Some of these were activities that I had completely lost touch with due to the everyday rut that we are otherwise stuck in. I enrolled onto a meditation course which helped me re-ground myself and bring back my motivation level. I even started writing down positive affirmations and filling a gratitude journal. I started following a daily routine that included one hour of either yoga or muscle training, and I defined my work hours as well; you may resonate with me when I say that when we work from home, we tend to blur all lines of “regular” work hours out of innate guilt. These activities provided me with a sense of satisfaction and gratification, and I started feeling my version of ‘normal’ again.

Utilising Talents

In between all this, one very important element for me was my music. I am a trained Indian classical singer and guitarist, but had completely lost touch with music.  I decided to start taking guitar classes again and re-started my vocal ‘riyaaz’ (Hindi for 'practice'). I spent more time in my jam room recording songs.  After almost 2.5 months singing and strumming away at home alone, I finally launched my own music channel on Instagram and YouTube. This sure was an adventure as what followed was a series of audio recordings, video recordings, music mixing, in fact everything that I had never done before but started enjoying doing, and learning at the same time.


I am still taking my Guitar lessons and now I am also collaborating with other musicians to launch cover songs of the melodies that I enjoy listening to. I connected with some very talented musicians through my channel and  now every week comes with a new set of excitement in the house with my parents helping set up space for a video shoot, and my sibling recording the videos. Not to mention my amazing army of friends and cheerleaders who are always walking with me, providing inputs on the content, cheering me on, sharing my music, and sending me encouraging messages.

What I have learned

Perspective is key! The outcome of a challenging situation is dependent on how we view that particular situation. I started out by treating the pandemic as an enemy until I realized that this downtime is actually a gift and I should spend it doing everything I did not have time to do otherwise in my daily life.

Another reminder for me was that the moment we step out of our comfort zone and do something, we are bound to get positive results for it. My advice to everyone reading this will be- dare to take the first step even if you don't know how to walk.  Something good will come out of it - either a lesson or a stepping stone.

I have started my music channel on YouTube and Instagram where I cover songs that have some meaning for me in my life.

You can watch Smriti playing Photograph – the  Ed Sheeran- Cover here...

Smriti’s story highlights just some of the components of the R@W Sustain model; a psychometric assessment that we use to assess and develop levels of resilience in our clients. 

Explore and develop your own resilience and improve your chances of success at work and life with our Resilience Builder Coaching Programme.     https://www.masksandmirrors.co.uk/resiliance-builder-modules/individual-resilience