Why you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself (especially right now)
It’s okay if you aren’t doing anything right now, if you’re not being productive, if you feel really, seriously blegh. There is nothing wrong with wanting to curl up in the fetal position under a blanket and closing yourself off to everything and everyone right now. In fact, we’d fully endorse that!
It’s so important to look after yourself mentally, and especially so during this crazy, scary, uncertain time. You are your harshest critic, so here’s how to be kinder to yourself right now.
Cut your Social Media Intake
It seems like everyone and their dog on Instagram has become some uber-productive version of themselves. Using their time to do stuff they wouldn’t usually be able to; learning new skills, starting projects, creating a new business venture, getting really fit, making money, the list goes on. This can be super overwhelming and with so much free time on your hands, it’s even easier than usual to get sucked into the Insta vortex. So, rather than drowning in at-home workout and skincare routine videos, put your phone down, put it on airplane mode and focus on simply being. You don’t need to be achieving massive milestones during a pandemic, just look after yourself as best you can: get out of bed, shower, drink a glass of water, go for a walk, listen to music, sit in the sun.
In between the DIYs and makeup tutorials, it seems as though nobody else is following the rules and is still out and about hanging with their friends. This is really tough to deal with because it feels like you shouldn’t have to experience FOMO in the present situation, but unfortunately you do. Here’s the thing, although this requires a collective effort and it really stings that there are people who don’t care that it is a matter of life or death for some, you can’t get caught up in these feelings of frustration. All it will do is mess with your head, achieving nothing. You gotta step back and understand that you are doing the right thing and that is all you can do.
Now is a really rough time to avoid pulling yourself to pieces. With so much time at home, where it seems like every goddamn surface is reflective - bet you’ve never noticed how many mirrors were in your house until now. As humans, we are increasingly fixated with appearance and perfection, so when all other distractions are taken away we are so quick to pick at every ‘flaw’ we can find. If Snapchat has got you flipping out and you find yourself standing in front of the mirror mentally beating the sh*t out of yourself, know that you are not alone - everybody is feeling the same. Take this time to remind yourself that there really is no ‘perfect’ person, that the negative voice in your head is not your friend, and imagine talking to your friend the way you talk to yourself - you would never - so next time you look in the mirror, talk to yourself as you would to your friend.
Change how you think about Uni
Online Uni has been a huge adjustment for most of us and maybe you’re still struggling to find motivation to keep up. Pumping yourself up to stay on top of it all is really hard to do at home, particularly if you’re sharing your space. With so many distractions and without a proper desk for some it’s fair to say you’ve thought about giving up. Those without a desk will definitely agree with this feeling, working from your bed is the worst because you’ll start reading something and then suddenly you’re laying down and it’s 7pm and you’ve been asleep for hours.
You’ve almost survived the semester okay? It’s coming to an end and so first up that is something to look forward to and use to push yourself to the finish line. Be proud that you have actually made it this far, and know that if you got through the worst of it, you can definitely finish this thing. It is peak assessment period or nearing peak study period if you’ve got exams, so it’s time to kick into gear. Write yourself to-do lists; weekly, daily, hourly - whatever works. Set small goals and tick them off every time you finish them, this will feel so good that it can’t even be put into words. If you are stuck in a rut and can’t move on with something, get a blank piece of paper and just brain dump onto a page; write what you think you are supposed to do for it, how you think you’ll do it, any ideas you have, questions you need to be answered, friends you might ask for help. Absolutely anything you can think of, then get up and go do something else that is non-uni related, come back to it tomorrow with a fresh mind.
When everything feels like too much, and everyone else seems to be doing fine; you’ve let your online uni work pile up so high it feels like it will crush you; you can’t remember when you last washed your hair and you can’t see the point in it anymore. Remember, it is okay if you feel utterly lost. You can take this time to dwell on it, really soak into these feelings. Think about it this way, we are living through a historical event, this is so far from normal life, it’s an experience in itself. Even simply sitting and feeling and watching everything happen is enough.
~ Haidee Gallagher
Social Media Coordinator