On the days when you have free time, when you have hours upon hours to get shit done, you might feel extra pressure to be productive. You might feel like you need to cross everything off your to-do list. You might feel like if you don’t do the laundry and exercise and walk the dog and cook a healthy meal, then you’re a failure. You might feel like there’s no excuse for slacking when time is on your side.
But you need more than time to be productive. You also need to be in a healthy state of mind — and if you’re not in a good place right now, you might need some rest. You might need to sit back and give yourself a break. You might need to go easy on yourself for a little while.
If you don’t get anything productive done today, you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. You shouldn’t feel like you’ve wasted a perfectly good day. You shouldn’t feel bad about what a screwup you are.
Not every single day is meant to be filled to the brim with activities. Some days are meant to be catchup days. Not when you catchup on work, but when you catchup on sleep, catchup on shows, catchup with friends.
You need to give up the idea that you’re lazy for spending the day on your couch. You’re allowed to relax. You’re allowed to give your brain a well-deserved break, especially at a time like this.
No, you shouldn’t make a habit out of procrastinating, out of putting things off until tomorrow, out of lounging around when you should be working. But you shouldn’t make a habit out of forcing yourself to go go go when you’re not in the right state of mind, either. You don’t want to burn yourself out. You don’t want to push yourself over an edge.
If work is the last thing you want to think about right now, that is okay.
If you aren’t able to get anything productive done today, that is okay.
If your emotions are all over the place, that is okay.
But if you feel like you’re the only one who isn’t taking advantage of their newfound free time, you’re wrong. There are plenty of other people in the same exact situation as you right now. There are plenty of people who aren’t able to keep their minds focused, who aren’t able to keep their attention on their work, who aren’t able to motivate themselves when there are so many other things to worry about at the moment.
Even though you might be kicking yourself for not getting anything done when you have so much time on your hands, you need to give yourself a break. You need to understand that it’s okay if your confusion and disappointment and fear are getting the best of you right now.
Maybe tomorrow you can get yourself back on schedule. Maybe tomorrow you can get your motivation back up. Maybe tomorrow you can do something productive. But it’s okay if the only thing you do today is survive.