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Cut Yourself Some Slack: It's OK to Take It Easy Now

Trying to be productive can add to the stress of isolation: experts
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2020 6:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – You might be feeling a tad lazy what with all those images of home workouts, fresh-baked bread, and organized closets shared online. But in the midst of a crisis, taking care of yourself—and leaving the rest on the back burner—is doing enough, writes Taylor Lorenz at the New York Times. Lorenz spoke to several people across the country who are feeling the pressure to make the most of their time in isolation at home. One planned a kitchen renovation project, another aimed to complete a Peloton challenge. The former found there was not enough time in the day, while the latter couldn't force herself onto the bike. "I feel a bit like a failure" but "I'm trying to be more OK with just being," she said. "This urge to overachieve, even in times of global crisis, is reflective of America's always-on work culture," Lorenz writes. And it's especially common with millennials.

But with many people balancing childcare with working from home, there's not necessarily extra time to spend as you wish, Lorenz writes. There are also added stresses. As productivity consultant Chris Bailey explains, "we have much less attention because we're living through so much." With jobs and livelihoods at risk, piling on pressure to be productive can actually be counterproductive. Instead, "get yourself some Indian food and drink a bottle of wine with your spouse," Bailey suggests. "We're going through a lot and we all just need to take it easy." Maija Kappler makes the same argument at HuffPost Canada. "For some people, just getting through the day in sweatpants, with dirty hair and lapsed responsibilities, is enough to deal with … and that's OK," she writes. Experts advise practicing self-compassion as people grieve "the loss of control and connection." (Read Lorenz's piece here and Kappler's here.)

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