Me And My Best Self In Lockdown
“If time was your issue before then you have no excuses now, otherwise you are just failing.”
I’m sure many of you have read statements like the one above during this time.
It’s almost like someone is personally attacking you and your way of life.
When I first read this statement I remember feeling guilty. I felt guilty that I wasn’t doing more, especially because I had more time on my hands.
This then led me down a path of not feeling good about myself. Was I a failure for not being the most productive person I could be? Am I lazy because I’m not my best self all the time? What even is my best self? Is everyone else feeling this way?
All of these questions came to mind and then came the onslaught of social media posts. People doing home workouts, people organising their entire houses, people baking, cooking, learning a new language, drawing, painting, and the list goes on.
And then I realised, these are just small glimpses into their lives, this can’t be what they are doing 24/7 during lockdown. Also, why do I keep comparing myself to these individuals online whose lives I know very little about. There must be more to the picture than the one I’m seeing.
I then started to reflect on our current situation. We as a nation are going through a collective traumatic experience. Let that sink in.
We are having to stay at home for the majority of our time, if not all for some. We are having to work from home, have Zoom meetings (which are in themselves very draining) look after our kids, clean and cook a lot more …and we are in the midst of a pandemic.
Then it hit me. Our lives right now are far from what we are used to and what we are going through isn’t normal. So if I didn’t feel like organising my entire house and making banana bread that day then it was okay. It was okay for me to slow down, in fact it was okay for me to do nothing.
But, this doesn’t always work for everyone. Some people need to keep busy because that’s how they cope when life gets difficult. I know I prefer to keep busy and I like sticking to a schedule, whereas many people I know prefer to take it easy and not have that pressure of a schedule.
We will all experience this pandemic in different ways and we must understand each other’s own individual needs.
I also thought about life before and after this pandemic. Life was very “go go go”, it was as if I had my foot on the accelerator and couldn’t slow down. I ended up missing the little things in life, like noticing the leaves turn brown in autumn, the time for a tub bath or a chance to read a book. This made me realise that I wanted more of a balance, so I have now made a promise to myself that these will be things I do even after lockdown because it feels good and it will positively impact my mental health. And who knows, this might be what is my best self.
By Asha Sian.
Posted on: 5th June 2020