While the virus spreads rapidly around the globe, inspirational messages follow a similar pattern online. My Instagram feed is filled with quotes telling me, “The world literally stopped for you to get your shit together. Don’t let it go to waste.”
Influencers share their peppy at home workouts and brim packed daily schedules. They urge me to truly take time for myself, sharing healthy recipes in their expensive workout sets and cashmere sweaters. The message is clear, I should finally write that novel, work my body into Victoria Secret shape and reconnect with my inner self; win quarantine.
It is as if we’re all on a wellness retreat in Bali, instead of locked up in our houses during a global pandemic.
While I’d never want to dismiss any efforts that turn this dire situation positive, I’ve started to feel exhausted. Tired of approaching this time as an opportunity to ‘level up’, while continuously having to continue ‘life as normal’.
How am I to write a dissertation while writing a novel, create peachy butt cheeks without access to a gym or meditate in silence when I’m cooped up in a house with my entire family?
Why is it not good enough for me to try and graduate without having access to my university? Isn’t admirable that we’re all trying to remain sane amongst depressing headlines and Prime Ministers being taken to the ICU?
We are all affected. We are not in Bali. The world hasn’t stopped for you to get your shit together. It stopped because we are in a global pandemic.
You have every right to be scared, to mourn your graduation or cancelled Italian holiday. We are allowed to be less productive, efficient and upbeat.
Your best is good enough. And during these crazy times, ‘your best’ is simply different. While you were able to work productively for hours at the office, right now two Zoom meetings can tire you out completely.
Former gym rats might find themselves drained of motivation, not being able to do a single push up. Perhaps you had finally taken the step to seek professional help for your mental health, to now have it taken away.
Many have lost their jobs, while others are still working on the front lines.
You’re trying. We’re trying.
For me, my current ‘best’ means not getting sucked into the tornado of scary headlines and feelings of hopelessness. It means telling myself that I’m proud for at least opening up that word file. That it’s OK to feel scared about losing my job and wearing my mother’s socks since I’m stuck thousands of miles from home.
It all clicked when I sprained my ankle during a home workout by one of these cashmere sweater influencers. As I hopped around the house like a disabled Easter Bunny, I couldn’t help but smile.
My current best is magnificent. It’s temporarily visible on my right foot as an explosion of purples and greens. A constant reminder that I am winning quarantine with flying colours. Even if I can’t do a jumping jack.
I am trying, I am doing my best.
And so are you. Your best might mean decluttering your closet or reaching out to an isolated grandparent. Some might even be thriving, having indeed started writing the worlds next best-selling novel.
It’s all good. We’re all trying at our own level. There’s no shame in utilisng your usual commute time to sleep in, instead of doing a yoga class. Just as there is no shame in finally feeling comfortable to try a downward dog in the anonimity of your own home.
If there’s one thing these instragram quotes are right about, it’s the spiel of tuning into yourself. You do what you feel is best, nothing more, nothing less.