Productivity at the time of a pandemic is tricky. With the enhanced community quarantine, everyone’s forced to deal with the current time on their hands. Friends have been honing new baking skills, learning new languages and even achieving body goals.
I mean, it’s cute to work on yourself. But a lot of us have been feeling like productivity is a pandemic requirement. Let me break it to you—it’s not.
“It is important to acknowledge that a pandemic is considered a crisis, and in turn, can be traumatizing,” says Psychology Today. This statement hits home for me. Right now, the fine line between my work life and real life is blurred. I relate to The Try Guys’ Eugene Lee Yang every time he says, “I’ve been working a lot more since quarantine.” That’s been my daily mantra too.
I am not acknowledging my mental health at all. I’m just avoiding confronting my frail state.
In my own right, I have been productive but not by choice. My work-life imbalance became my crutch to shield myself from overthinking. Without any tasks, I can’t help but think about how I’m the only current breadwinner in my family, what my friends are going through and why the new normal is barely working for everyone.
As long as I keep myself busy, I don’t spiral. I am not acknowledging my mental health at all. I’m just avoiding confronting my frail state.
That’s why I don’t believe productivity is the key to surviving this pandemic. First of all, this pandemic isn’t normal, therefore this is our shared trauma. “A situation that elicits psychological trauma ‘violates the familiar ideas and expectations about the world of an individual or society, plunging them into a state of extreme confusion and uncertainty,” explains Psychology Today.
I avoided confronting my mental health during the pandemic because I felt it’s not important. In my mind, I thought that there are bigger problems than my own. It took me a while to digest that this mindset is unhealthy. So, let’s remind ourselves that it’s valid. Doing so is very important amid the chaos happening around us.
“The pandemic has not given us time to self-actualize. It has robbed us of time and exhausted us. And it’s OK to feel that way.”
“The pandemic has not given us time to self-actualize. It has robbed us of time and exhausted us. And it’s OK to feel that way,” writes Kelly Lawler of USA Today. Don’t feel guilty for not using this ECQ to better yourself. To be honest, the real achievement is to survive—that should be enough.
Art by Tine Paz