Why it’s totally fine to not optimize yourself during a pandemic
You are not obligated to accept every push-up-challenge or to write ten pages per day after three weeks of isolation – here’s why it’ so important to not get infected by one of the side effects of COVID-19, the self-optimization-delusion: There’s a real threat out there and denying it is as pointless as dwelling in fear. Right now we live in a
time to sustain. You earned every right to find ease in a world that is placing us into chaos. For some people filling out spreadsheets for hours feels like the right coping mechanism. They are the fortunate among us, as they feel that now is the perfect time to become even more perfect. They feel that there’s really a lot of “extra time”. But if your day still has the same 24 hours than before and you also have to deal with your own anxiety, then it’s just impossible to “use this time productively”. The Implication of that is in fact insulting – as if you don’t use your time productively when you are not forced to stay inside your apartment.
Now is not the right time to mindlessly continue the hustle culture at home. To put yourself under stress in a time of stress is the most counterproductive thing you can do. Even with a lot of jobs at stake right now, you should not allow your mind to drift towards panic, concern or fear but instead try to keep your faith and remain grateful.
There will be a life after Corona. Don’t feel pressured by other people bragging about their self-optimization on social media as it’s just their way of coping and dealing with their own anxiety. Everybody has their own methods of keeping themselves sane. But if you need all your energy for trying to be OK with just being, then you should not stress yourself out with writing your first novel or doing 50 push-ups per day.
The most important thing is that you keep yourself sane. If that means that you binge-watch, play video games or just randomly scroll through your newsfeed instead of performing the sun salutation, then just do it. Humility is the best way to reduce anxiety in the face of potential loss and fear of an uncertain future. Find happiness in small pleasures and embrace every carefree moment. You are going through a lot. You deserve it.