So we’re all at home now, if we can be. Instagram has become a disease in itself and every app you open will flood you with ideas that somehow, in a time like this, you aren’t doing enough.
At first it was cute. People shared their daily schedules and a few others commented, “Love!” or “I’m gonna try this!” But the past week or so, these “schedules” have really gotten out of hand.
Social media is riddled with statistics, real or fake, that are meant to stress you out about our current situation. Thousands of possible deaths turned into millions in just a few days. Every day, we are showered with graphs and diagrams showing us what we’re doing wrong and how quickly things are deteriorating.
So, in hopes of easing their stress, people started scheduling their days spent stuck at home. Where I think they went wrong is when they told everyone else to do it, too.
Scheduling and listing is a proven way to ease your mind and make a stressful day a lot simpler. People have done it for a long time. My high school yearbook advisor swore by listing, and let me tell you—she got a lot done. My problem is not with the activity itself. I don’t even care if you post it. Do whatever the hell you want. It becomes an issue when people who are already under immense levels of stress, in the midst of a global nightmare, start comparing themselves to others based on what? Their daily routine?
In today’s world, we have so much to compare ourselves with. We want to look like that, sound like this, be better at that…the list goes on. And now, now is when we decided we should also feel bad that we didn’t start our day off with a 15-minute meditation session like Karen did.
I’m all for doing what you need to do to stay sane right now. If adding crafting, enriching learning activities and running to your daily schedule falls into that category, I’m happy for you. I’m glad you rediscovered all those “old hobbies you forgot you loved.” To the rest of us, who feel like shit because we lounged around for most of the day and ate dry Lucky Charms at 2:30 as our cardio, don’t feel bad.
Now clearly I don’t have any authority on this subject whatsoever. But I’m hoping you’ll listen to me when I tell you it’s okay to fat-ass it on the couch for a straight 13-hours.
Students—if you only watch one lecture today because you just couldn’t bring yourself to sit in silence, staring at the rest of your class, waiting for you teacher to join Zoom one more time, it’s okay. Take a nap.
Parents—the family down the street isn’t going to know if you didn’t force little Jimmy to participate in three different “Fun Home Learning Activities!” today. Just flash some math cards when they walk by on their power walk.
If you are actually following a schedule every day, I’d love to be you. That’s hard stuff. We need disciplined people like you in the world. What we don’t need is people who are worried about a virus hurting their family members to also worry about whether or not they are doing as well in quarantine as the people they follow on social media. I think we can all agree on what’s really important: the health of those around us. Let’s use social media to support each other getting through this, not make others feel like they should be thriving like you are. No one is thriving right now.
In closing, everyone keep doing what you’re doing—but only if it works for you. Don’t let anyone influence your happiness, that is, unless they’re making you happier:)
You are enough!