HYDERABAD: What's the one thing that most of us face on a daily basis, which hampers our work more than we realise? Stress. While some could shy away from admitting that they stress over the minutest of things in life, stress eating away our peace, and eventually our health, is a harsh reality. "Conquering this one very potent enemy of ours will lead to half of our health issues vanishing," says Padma Shri Dr Manjula Anagani.
The obstetrician-gynecologist speaks to The New Indian Express on how she perfectly balances being a doctor and co-founder of Pratyusha (an NGO she co-founded with actor Samantha Ruth Prabhu), all without letting anything come in her way.
One would expect an OB-GYN of her stature to have a strict diet of just green veggies and high protein intake, but you're mistaken. The simple-at-heart doc tells us she is no diet freak. "You’d be surprised to know I eat almost everything a foodie would. The trick is in eating in moderation. You have to train your body to both satiate its cravings and give it what it wants, in the right proportions. I eat my regular dal, chawal and roti throughout the day. However, I'm not a fan of certain junk foods like kebabs, fast foods or burgers. That way, healthy eating works in my favour," she says.
Dr Anagani does have her favourites too, and calls green tea her staple beverage. "Quite interestingly, I have my green tea with sugar. Before you judge me, I know it’s an alien combination, but who’s a Hyderabadi who has their chai without shakkar?" she asks!
She loves her occasional coffee in the mornings, but for any other time of the day, it's always tea to the rescue. The 53-year-old battles autoimmune disease and migraine with gusto. "Migraine, if tackled well, isn’t a big issue. Over time, I realised that stress was my biggest trigger, and once I figured out ways to work on that, I barely had any more attacks," she says.
She continues, "It is the trigger to most other ailments too, and just keeping this at bay will solve so many issues." We ask her how she does it and pat comes her reply: Parallel thinking.
"When you have to face a crisis, think of the various options you can come up with to solve the issue. Give it a 360-degree look. Zero in on the best solution that’s under your control and work on it. Doing this than fretting about something I have no control over, has helped me stay calm. That's why I don’t take stress, I’m one that gives stress. I keep nothing to myself, I don’t hold back, which is why the stress finds an outlet," he says.
Opening up about her autoimmune disease, she says, "Different parts of my body show up with a problem at different times and I tackle them one at a time with the medications I'm prescribed. This, coupled with a good lifestyle, ensures I never have to worry about my health."
The doctor, who also holds a Guinness World Record for removing the most number of fibroids in a single operation, juggles way too many roles. She oversees several teaching programmes, has published many papers and also founded an NGO called Pratyusha with actor Samantha Ruth Prabhu.
Asked how she balances her work, she says, "Just doing my job is not my way; getting something done efficiently is what gives satisfaction and the right balance. Also, delegation is important when you multi-task. If I think I can do everything or I must do everything, I will fail miserably. Women are born multi-taskers. If they can take care of finances, kids and a whole family, they can take on the world! Finding method in the madness is key to getting things done."
One of the ways the doctor de-stresses, if it ever gets to her, is music: "Not just the old classics, I listen to everything. I have recently been listening to music by Sid Sriram. I play them at home, office and even to my patients, because they could use some music to heal too."
Before she signs off she says, "Living life to its fullest with no regrets is my mantra, because I believe in life even after death!"