Humans are social animals. We like meeting new people, interacting with them, socialising, going out with family and friends. Now, imagine not being able to do any of these for months. It is a big change in our lifestyle. It takes time and a right mind-set to adapt any change, so this would take time too.
We all had a proper schedule and a routine to follow every day. We exactly know what tasks we need to accomplish in a day and we would also plan ahead for the next few days. Now, ever since the lockdown, our normal routine life has been disturbed. Initially, we may have liked being at home – that is what we always wanted when we used to go to office or college or schools daily – to relax, watch shows on Netflix, sleep for long hours etc. But, after some days, we are bored or start feeling worried, paranoid and stressed because of lack of social interactions. Many are utilising the time to learn something new, explore their field of interest, develop new hobbies, and pursue online courses.
Being yourself is fine
Having said that, it is not mandatory for all to do these things. For some of us, this might put us through a pressure to be productive. We force it on ourselves to read a book, or do an online course only because we do not want to feel left out. This might not sound so serious, but it does take a toll on our mental health. All of us have a different coping mechanism to deal with what is happening around us. Some might like to distract themselves by learning something new, some might want to paint, read a book, but you can also choose to not do anything. That is completely fine.
For some of us the workload has increased during the lockdown. For a couple with two toddlers, it would be so difficult to work from home while taking care of the kids and the household chores. And after all of this, they might feel like they are not doing much because others are posting updates about something new or pursuing their hobbies on social media. By comparing yourself with what others are doing can be damaging and add up to the already existing mental stress.
Prioritizing is important
Social media plays an influential role in creating the pressure to be productive. You might have come across posts on social media like “This is the time to start doing that one thing you said you will do when you have enough time”, or “If you couldn’t develop a new skill, learn something that you wanted to during this pandemic then you never lacked time, you lacked the discipline”. These posts make you feel the need to do everything that you wanted to do. You would now want to clean your closet, learn to bake, re-organize your bedroom, watch all the trending movies and shows on Netflix. The reality is that you cannot do all these things in a single day or week. You need to have a simple routine that would be a balance of your work and the other activities you always wanted to do.
Having a simple routine would make sure that you are getting your work done and make one feel accomplished. For some of us, we might not feel like getting up from the bed and start working, or do the household chores or anything else. Self-motivation plays an important role here. Prioritizing your tasks and then getting them done one by one will keep you motivated and going on.
Remember, we are already going through a lot of changes emotionally during this period. We must try to avoid any extra pressure of being productive. Take this time to sit back, relax and keep yourself safe.