The COVID-19 lockdown gave us all the ME time that we didn’t ask for. In a world where everybody’s continually complaining that they have no time to be introspective (because hustle waits for no one) or genuinely get in touch with their emotions, it gave us exactly that – TIME.
So many influencers and industries boarded ‘time for self-care’ train and showered us with skincare ideas AKA products we should buy to feel better during this stressful time. On the other side, the productivity masters and the leading experts took a deep dive into the ‘time to get your ass to work’ pool and buried us under their best ‘work from home’ (and WFH is now a legit expression) advice. Somewhere in the midst of all of that noise, we were all supposed to come to terms with the fact that once the lockdown is over and the invisible door opens, we have to walk out different. We HAVE TO walkout BETTER. And that’s how the cabin fever found its best friend – pressure.
QUICK DISCLAIMER: If you don’t find yourself torn between the demand for insane productivity and the black hole of YouTube skincare videos, you’re the mindful master of discipline, basically a hotter version of Yoda, and I don’t want to look you in the eye.
The myth of the QUARANTINE GLOW UP
The whole plan to use the lockdown for being the most productive creature on the planet would be perfectly fine if it weren’t for one little thingy called EMOTIONS. I would gladly finish a ‘to do’ list for the centuries if I didn’t feel just a little scared, just a little strange and just a tiny bit confused if I wasn’t stuck in uncharted territory with all my previous plans crumbling around me like a house of cards. I would learn all those skills and prepare for all those marathons if I wasn’t as human as I am if I was a little more glamourous. A little less vulnerable. A little more graceful. A little less confused. A little more resilient. A little less see-through.
Yeah, as if I don’t feel enough shame and guilt already. As if, flooded in so many things I wanna do, I end up doing nothing at all because the idea of all that’s left undone is too frightening to ignore.
Yeah, as if I don’t feel enough shame and guilt already. As if flooding in so many things I want to do, I end up doing nothing at all because the idea of all that’s left undone is too frightening to ignore. I am sure that if I feel this way, others feel this way, so I MUST be honest. I must be honest because I’ve spoken to a whole bunch of people who feel the same way I do. And they were glad that I mentioned it and verbalized this new form of “not-enoughness” that we don’t need. I FEEL THE PRESSURE. And I don’t fuckin’ like it.
A different approach
We took this completely new and unprecedented experience and used it to do the same thing we always do – beat ourselves up.
We took this completely new and unprecedented experience and used it to do the same thing we always do – beat ourselves up. Yet, why don’t we try a completely new and unprecedented approach – the gentleness approach? Why don’t we create ourselves a GENTLENESS MANIFESTO? Oh yeah! Here it goes:
- FUCK the pressure to GLOW UP.
- Let’s be our fans, not our needy pageant moms.
- Our emotions are not our weaknesses.
- Our EMOTIONS are NOT JUST EXCUSES. They are legit, and they are important.
- The idea that doing nothing is an indulgence is just a capitalist way of making us feel ashamed for not constantly creating profit.
- Your productivity does not define your worth.
- Other people’s perception of us is none of our business.
- Honesty is still the best policy.
- The time you take to adjust and adapt is not wasted.
- Guilt and shame destroy the pleasure of binge-watching TV shows. Let’s not ruin the shows.
Darling, you don’t need to glow up. You’ve been fuckin’ glowing all along.