Updated: Apr 16, 2020
I must admit, a few weeks ago the thought of being forced to stay at home was pretty exciting. I was actually looking forward to being able to dedicate time solely to my business and FINALLY get to those pesky things that were always on the to-do list – you know those ones that never end up getting done and eventually just get moved from one list to the other? I was ready, I was coming for them. Being productive, cleaning, devising new work out routines, eating healthy; yep, I was going to turn this situation around and make the most of it. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Every Cloud has a silver lining. I was going to make the most out of this one and do all of the things!
But it didn’t really go down like that. While Social Media was bombarding me with productivity hacks, people pivoting their business and hustling (yuck – I hate that word); I just wasn’t at that level. Why was everyone else out there doing a fantastic job of taking this crisis by the reins and slaying their #goals and #productivity while I felt like I couldn’t get anything accomplished? I wasn’t living my ‘best quarantine life’; I was sleeping in, I wasn’t sticking to my time blocked schedule, I spent far too much time on Tik Tok and the ‘healthy eating’…….well let’s just say that it was pretty convenient time to have the shops stocked full of chocolate Easter bunnies. It felt like I was the only one who was feeling like this and being at home by myself made it difficult to find evidence to the contrary.
I took a few days off from ‘being productive’ (i.e. did not put on pants and watched a lot of Netflix) and did quite a bit of thinking. I came to the conclusion that I had overlooked the glaringly obvious; that we are experiencing a worldwide fucking pandemic right now which is traumatic shit and in no way shape or form is any of this ‘normal’. Shit is getting weird and no one really knows how to really act or feel because, well, we’ve never been here before. Obviously the first reaction to this is to try and keep things as ‘normal’ as possible; but there comes a point where we have to acknowledge that is out of the realm of normal and process the feelings of fear and anxiety that can come with that.
We also seem to have an incessant need to always be doing something productive because busy and productive has become synonymous with success. This approach is not only at odds with our current situation but also begs the question what success looks like for YOU and not what others tell you it should look like. Not being able to meet these standards for success and these ‘shoulds’ that you are putting on yourself (because everyone else is doing fine) is just going to make you feel even worse about yourself.
That’s why it’s so refreshing to see meme’s like this one being shared on Social Media and other people actually agreeing with it. Yes, it is a weird time. No, it’s not just you who is feeling like this. Now is a time to not be so hard on yourself, do what you can and don’t get down if you don’t launch a business, learn a language or knock off everything on your To-do list (which, let’s be honest, was probably way too ambitious in the first place). You’re not an emotionless robot (despite what your ex Kevin says) that moves through life without being affected by things so you need to consider how this situation may be affecting you and what feelings it may be bringing up.
So, I’ve decided to try and not be too harsh on myself for not meeting my impossibly unrealistic expectations of what this quarantine life was going to be like and dialing it down to a more achievable and user-friendly version. Yesterday, after I had completed all of my tasks for the day before lunch, I caught myself thinking ‘great I’ve got 4 hours free, what else can I achieve in that time’ and I smiled to myself and thought ‘you know what, that’s enough for today…….take the rest of the day off’.