After having spent more than 2 months being at home, I realized there is one aspect the pandemic is affecting most of us, but nobody’s talking about: quarantine guilt.
What is quarantine guilt? It’s the feeling that you should be doing something to better yourself, learn a new skill, becoming more productive before the pandemic, since we have all of this excess time at home.
People on social media is trying to turn isolation into achievement. For example, tweets like the one shown below are becoming more common. Which are definitely not helping us to feel better about not “making the most” during this period of time.
And also this one..which leaves us with no excuse whatsoever….
Part of this pressure to live our best #lockdownlife comes understandably, from the desire to stay positive. If learning a new recipe or a new language makes you feel happy during this trying times, then more power to you.
However, don’t pressure or expect people around you to “make the most” of a global pandemic. Everybody responds in different ways at times like this.
Problems comes when we start feeling guilty about being distracted or dispirited – when these are perfectly justifiable feelings in our new ab(normal).
But we also have bad days and they are equally valid. I am talking about days when we can’t concentrate on work at all and all we want to do is watch netflix and eat ice cream on the couch.
For some people, the pandemic is not just about having excess time to try out a new hobby. They might be dealing with more workload, loss of income, financial liabilities, etc. For some people, not having a total breakdown is the biggest accomplishment possible.
This urge to overachieve, even in times of global crisis, is reflective of Singapore’s always-on work culture. Let’s be more gentle with ourselves during this time.
Doing nothing is totally valid during COVID-19. On some days for me, just getting through the day in shorts with dirty hair & lapsed responsibility is enough to deal with.
And that’s OK.