A lot has changed since I first wrote about the coronavirus outbreak in March. We’ve all been social distancing and working from home these past few months, and everyone is required to wear masks and maintain six feet apart when out in public. Now, as business slowly start to reopen in phases and more and more people start heading back to work, it will be interesting to see how this new normal looks moving forward.
A big emphasis has rightfully been placed on mental health during this pandemic, to look after ourselves as much as we look after our loved ones. It’s important to practice self-care whether it’s through exercise or meditation or maybe even taking up a new hobby.
That said, it’s also important to focus on your own well-being by not putting pressure on yourself to utilize this downtime as a way to be more productive. In other words, don’t feel bad if you haven’t completed a big project or goal you’ve set out to achieve during this quarantine. Full disclosure, I wrote a note to myself in the notes app on my phone a week into quarantine back on March 20th that says “FINISH FIRST DRAFT OF PILOT!!!” Literally a screaming demand rather than a gentle reminder. Take one guess if you think I’ve finished it or not. (I haven’t.)
I’ve seen people share on Twitter how they haven’t written a single word of their novel or project they’re working on, and others have reassured them that that’s perfectly okay. Self-care is all about being kind to yourself. Maybe that means letting go of expectations and simply enjoying this downtime by bingeing a show you’ve been meaning to watch (which I have done).
I have been taking advantage of free courses whenever I can, and in one of them I learned the importance of changing your mindset. Instead of telling yourself you have to get something done, say that you choose to do it. If you say you have to do something, it makes the task feel more like a chore. Instead, train your brain into choosing to do something and allow yourself to make mistakes in the process, as that will help you learn and improve whatever it is you’re trying to do (in my case, write a script).
Start by choosing to be kind to yourself. Rest more. Indulge in your favorite food. Relax. Enjoy. Choose kindness and care. Like any habit, it takes time, so remind yourself that it’s okay to fail. It helps you learn.