Delving into what this quarantine feels like and how overwhelming social media is becoming as it turns into a productivity contest affecting mental health.
At some point in our lives, we have all wished to find time in our lives where we get to stay home all day and do nothing. Now that we have that time, it is seemingly becoming a destructive process.
Amongst the Instagram-perfect banana bread and workout videos, so many of us are unable to find the energy and motivation to do anything. Many new mothers who had waited for their family to arrive for help are now struggling. Employees working from home are struggling to keep up, and some are even suffering a pay cut. Possibly worst of all is the situation for domestic abuse victims who are forced to live with their abusers and suffer. The situation is heartwrenching.
Thus, the ‘new normal’ is not normal. Even if you are fortunate enough not to have been suffering from COVID-19, the consequences are still affecting you mentally and physically. We are slowly losing the battle to poor mental health because of this pandemic.
This comes with not just the thought of a pandemic, but with all that it has brought with it. As I scroll through Instagram, everyone is talking about what they have cooked, how much weight they’ve lost, or the cleaning they have done. At my side of things, I have a cranky child and the constant struggle of keeping him occupied so that his father could work in peace. Even worse, as a stay-at-home mum, it is giving me immense anxiety to know I cannot go out at all and enjoy even the little that I used to.
While the quarantine has made me safe physically; however, my mind doesn’t feel safe for myself. The many thoughts of uncertainty and the feelings of an unproductive day affected by social media is destructive to my mental health. While I agree that time can be utilized, can we please also show the reality behind these freshly baked brownies? I admit I have baked a few things. In fact, more than I usually do. Baking is currently a catharsis for my anxiety. While I whisk, I let it all out. It is not to check it off my to-do list or to improve the hobby. It is therapy to stay sane.
Perhaps we need to talk more about the situation of mental health and the things we are doing to stay sane. Do not turn this quarantine into a productivity contest of how much you have done. Show the balance between the mess and the achievements. Show how some days you have made a beautiful meal, but some days you are eating leftovers because it is simply not one of those perfect days. It is about time we understand that it is okay if you haven’t done anything while being at home all day.