Pandemic or Productivity Contest?

So far, my quarantine has involved a lot, and I mean a LOT of social media scrolling. From TikTok, to Instagram, and even Pinterest, I spend a lot of my days looking at other people’s lives. The one thing that I’ve noticed on every platform I turn to: everyone seems to be getting their whole lives together.

I’m always one who admires others for being productive and attempting to better themselves, but I soon came to realize how these things could be affecting others negatively in a time as fragile as this. While the occasional “workout routine” video or “cleaning my entire house because I want to!” photograph is nice and can help inspire someone to do the same, having it constantly surrounding you at all times during a period of quarantine can be harmful. The psychological distress that quarantine can pose for someone, makes things like social media and stress all the more damaging. While these videos champion “getting life together” for oneself, they also put a pressure on others to do the same, an issue that already stems from social media on its own.

The main issue with constantly seeing these pictures and videos is the principle behind them. Some of the most popular captions I’ve seen include things like “we’re all coming out of quarantine looking hot and skinny!” Of course, these are jokes and they don't do any harm standing on their own, but when we are circled by examples of what we could be doing or what we now feel that we should be doing, it can cause harm to our mental state. If it feels like a whole world of teen girls around you is losing 20 pounds, doesn’t that mean that you should too? What if everybody took the time to get their life together and you still have laundry to get done?

Although it could be a great thing for you to declutter or get to cleaning your house during this time, you shouldn’t feel pressured to because of a perfect picture painted on Instagram. It is important to take this time when we are all at home to ask ourselves what will make us feel good. If that is purging all of your things and starting with a fresh mind, then you should take the time to do just that. However, if feeling your best means taking some time to watch movie marathons and binging crappy reality series? GO FOR IT!

Instead of looking down on yourself or feeling pressure to run 5 miles, keep in mind how important it is to love and nourish your body during a time like this. We should be thanking our bodies for being healthy and strong while so many are suffering from illness. While it may seem like everyone is in a contest for most weight loss or best to-do list, remember that sometimes being kind to yourself means lazy days and downtime.

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