Nine weeks into the nation’s lockdown and my social media platforms are still swamped with home workouts, DIY projects, artistic masterpieces, and bakes fit for the ‘Great British Bake Off’. It is very easy to get sucked into the notion that our work productivity must be at an all-time high and that we should spend our free time becoming the next Mary Berry or Picasso. We may feel the pressure to do certain things and behave in a particular manner but in reality, it has never been more important to relax. Holding ourselves to ridiculous standards is only going to exacerbate the stress and uncertainty that we are all undoubtedly experiencing at this time. There is an important balance to find between keeping busy and allowing time to unwind.
This blog will focus on why the lockdown should be a time for self-care, and not a time to set unrealistic goals and pile on the pressure.
Being productive is more difficult due to the disruption of the pandemic
The notion of working from home is challenging, and the constant barrage of confusing and overwhelming bad news can play havoc on our mental health. Acknowledging that we are all living in an impossible situation is the first step to combatting the feeling of having to comply with ‘hustle culture’.
It’s hard enough adjusting to a virtual world without comparing our real-selves to virtual-others
An individual’s social media profile is a highlight reel of their life and often lacks the real, raw and authentic truths. It is time to stop competing with the online versions of others and move away from the idea that our self-worth is dictated by blue ticks and followers. Learn to recognise and appreciate what you have and what you have achieved, no matter how big or small. You can read more about the fictional reality of social media in my February blog post.
Feelings of upset will only be exacerbated by perceptions that our current reality is not matching what we believe should be happening
It’s important to try and adjust to a more positive way of thinking and focus on being content with what you have and what you are able to do. Instead of spending time mourning over your life before lockdown, develop an abundance mentality which is focused on valuing your current situation. Whilst you may not be able to go shopping or socialise over a pint, it’s important to be grateful for what you do have. Whether your gratitude comes from having a large garden or living with loved ones, use it to bring an element of positivity to lockdown and keep your morale high.
The uncertainty of a novel virus brings about unwanted stress, so don’t pile on the pressure of productivity
Individual responses to the outbreak can vary but, undoubtedly, we will all be feeling the psychological impact of the virus. It is important to practice self-care and create calm in other aspects of your life during this worrying time. Take the time to unwind before running yourself into the ground with plans of high productivity and strict deadlines. Read my January blog post for ideas on how to get your daily dose of self-care.
Our lives have been changed in incomprehensible ways and further changes could be more damaging than helpful
The nation is adapting to an entirely different way of life and it is perfectly understandable to avoid starting a new diet or fitness regimen during this challenging time. Cut yourself a break!
This pandemic isn’t a time to feel pressured into reinventing yourself but a time to do whatever it takes to ease the stress. It doesn’t matter how you find peace in a world full of chaos, just do what is right for you.
Keep Studenting (but maybe to a minimum at the moment)!