You don’t have to be productive during lockdown to prove you’re ok.
Because during a global pandemic, one our generation will speak of for the rest of our lifetime, our biggest priority is not to come out of this skinnier, smarter , or with a new language on our CV. It’s to maintain our health, happiness and mental stability.
Over the past month life has changed dramatically around the world, and suddenly we all have a lot more time on our hands. The wave of social media posts talking about workouts, crafting, starting a side hustle, and generally being your most productive self came in thick and fast at all of us. And it was overwhelmingly chaotic to begin with.
The feeling of not doing enough, not being active enough or not meeting others expectations hasn’t stopped just because our offices have moved into our living rooms. In fact, it’s gotten worse.
Take it one day at a time
Being happy in yourself and knowing your worth is a constant, and for some, uphill battle. Are we working out enough, are we working hard enough, are we meeting our own goals and expectations. Does weight gain mean I’m failing? Does that half finished project mean I’m lazy? All these questions come into our heads on a normal day – let alone when we’re sitting with our thoughts with no outside contact for weeks on end.
Every day, remind yourself that right now, you’re doing just enough. You’re doing what you need to do to get by, and that’s ok. If you happen to tick something extra off your to do list, that’s brilliant. If you’ve found you’re now an enthusiastic runner and planning to run a marathon after this is done, good for you. But if you’re having days where all you manage to do is make a meal and change from one pair of joggers to another, don’t beat yourself up about it.
Learning to be ok with your own company
For many people, these past few weeks have been the first they’ve spent entirely alone. Living alone might mean you’re accustomed to going to bed solo, but the lack of outdoor access, social occasions and interaction with other people is something that the majority of us have never known life without.
The wonders of social media and the internet have meant that we can help each other through this virtually, with video calls and entertainment to keep us sane. But that lack of one on one contact, that human interaction or reassurance that a simple hug can bring, can mess with us. Because it’s only human to want to share your time with the people you love.
Take this time to really get to know yourself, indulge your creativity and don’t focus on what everyone else is doing. Move your body, get outside during your allotted time if you WANT to, watch netflix all day if it feels good, write a journal to keep a log of how you’re feeling – just do what makes this easier.
Do what’s best for you
The overload of information from the news, our friends and family and our social media can cause a lot of anxiety and self doubt, but the important thing to remember is that there’s no blueprint on how to cope with all of this. Everyone is going into this blind, without really knowing how it’s going to end. Some people turn to exercise and fitness to cope with it, some bake and cook; and others turn their phone on airplane mode and binge watch netflix. We are all just finding our best way to deal with it and not drive ourselves mad with worry and fear.
So take your selfies, bake that banana bread, and stop worrying that you’re not doing ‘enough’.
We can still practise self love, self care, and be kind to ourselves without breaking our spirit. Be kind to yourself, and to others, and take this time to learn to be comfortable in your own company.