Editor’s Note: Go easy on yourself during the pandemic 

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It feels like every time I scroll through Twitter or Facebook, I’m reading the latest article on why I should “make the most” of my downtime.

There’s been a huge push from people online spreading sentiments saying that since we’re all home right now, we should be making every effort to fill our days with as much activity as possible.

On one hand, this all sounds nice and motivational — but it’s also worth acknowledging how anxiety inducing these sentiments can be.

I saw a tweet from someone who outlined their entire day-to-day routine down to the hour, including their wake-up time, meal times, bedtime and every activity in between.

Although I find it impressive (and mildly concerning) that there are still people who are waking up every morning before sunrise to do their morning workout, this just doesn’t work for everyone.

Whether it be uncertainty in regards to employment, housing, health, school, etc., there may be a number of things right now that are working against your every effort to be motivated.

It’s easy to compare yourself to what others are doing, especially if it seems like they’re doing so much more, but if you’re feeling unmotivated that’s pretty understandable.

That’s why it’s just as important to use this downtime to slow down and destress as it is to be active and productive.

Really, you should be tailoring your needs to yourself. While strict schedules that create a sense of normalcy might work for some, relaxing and recuperating might work for others.

On top of it all, working, taking classes and exercising from home is bound to be different from doing these things in their regular setting, so you’re likely going to experience different results or levels of motivation than you would during the rest of the year.

Many students have just finished one stressful semester and are jumping straight into another semester or work term. There’s no need to feel guilty if you’re moving at a slower pace than usual, especially if you’re recovering from a busy or stressful schedule.

Of course, it’s important to fulfill the tasks or responsibilities you may have, but it’s also important to pace yourself as you feel is appropriate.

These sentiments around productivity almost feels like repurposed workaholism, where people fear the repercussions of prioritizing their own health and wellbeing over their job.

Instead of more articles and blog posts that have advice on how to fill your time in order to be as productive as possible, I’d like to see some more posts about how to cope with anxiety, grief, depression and the other intense emotions people are experiencing right now.

All in all, there will always be opportunities to be productive, but we don’t always get the chance to slow down.

The pandemic is giving a lot of people some time to be stagnant, and as long as you’re still taking care of yourself and your mental wellbeing, there’s no reason to feel guilty about this.

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