It’s okay not to be productive during a global crisis.

It’s okay not to be productive during a global crisis.

Social media is currently flooded with posts of people baking sourdough bread from scratch, learning new languages and all manner of upskilling and self improvement. I personally think this is great to see but there seems to be a judgement that those who are being particularly productive or ‘making the most’ of this lockdown situation are doing it ‘right’ and those who are not being so productive are doing it ‘wrong’ which I don’t find so great. Let’s show each other (and ourselves) a little more kindness please.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of baking myself (trying out new variations of banana loaf and cookie recipes and making my own bread) but this is not out of the norm for me; I always like to experiment and be creative in the kitchen. Other than that, I haven’t been particularly productive if I’m honest – out with working from home and the usual housework/gardening, nothing too different or prolific has been going on in this household. I like to chill and that’s okay. I don’t feel guilty about this and I hope you don’t either if you’re in the same boat.  

We are in the midst of a global pandemic. The world is a very unsettling and uncertain place right now. It’s completely unprecedented; we have never experienced anything like this before so it’s okay to be a bit out of sorts. Please cut yourself some slack and be gentle with yourself.

Don’t beat yourself up for not ‘maximising’ your time in lockdown (reorganising your entire house/cleaning every room from top to toe/working on a side business/writing a book/creating tons of recipes/learning new skills/being extremely creative etc). All of this is great if you are in the headspace to do that (and if you want to) but I’m sure many people are just getting by right now and that’s entirely enough.

To put things into perspective, this is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – which depicts a well studied theory of human motivation.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

The premise is that the higher needs (those at the top of the pyramid) are dependent on the lower needs being satisfied, so if your most basic needs are not being met, then you are not in a position to fulfil your need to become the best version of yourself. This is extremely relevant right now.

If you are worried about being able to pay your bills or having enough food or fearing for your safety, health or wellbeing (or that of loved ones), then any expectations of killing it at the top of the pyramid are entirely unrealistic and unnecessary.

Humans are not designed to be ‘living our best lives’ under these current circumstances – our basic biological needs may be being threatened. Many of us may feel unsafe and we are lacking human connection in some form – these are important, attaining a gold star for productivity is not. This crisis didn’t come with a user manual or a ‘how to’ guide. We are all just muddling through the best we can and coping in our own ways.

If all of your basic needs are being met and that is your only ‘achievement’ then that’s a success and is entirely enough. It’s okay if all you’re doing right now is getting through the days and weeks. Don’t beat yourself up for not being productive or achieving great things.

If all you did today was breathe then that, my darling, is enough.

Lots of Love

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