It’s Ok If You’re Not Being Productive During Your Coronavirus Quarantine
Just because Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine doesn't mean you have to
Yes, ok, by now we all know that Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine.
It’s a fun little fact that has been shoved down our throats in the form of a meme in recent weeks — mostly shared by people who have spent their own coronavirus quarantines being slightly less productive than The Bard.
But so what? Leave us alone. Shakespeare didn’t have Netflix.
I don’t need that kind of pressure, Rosanne.
— Lauren Hough (@laurenthehough) March 14, 2020
everyone on social media: writing inspiring quarantine self-care threads that follow a timely schedule, catching up on work/being overall productive, “shakespeare wrote king lear during the plague”
me: *stress-eats rice pudding*
— vee (@veelioth) March 31, 2020
It’s no secret that our society has a bit of an obsession with productivity, and indeed many people are using this time to bake, paint, run, sew, write, workout, learn, or otherwise grow as a human being.
But it’s also ok if you’re using this time in limbo to do none of the above.
The myth that productivity equals self-worth is torn apart in the latest episode of Frugal Forever, a lifestyle podcast that is heading into their second season in partnership with Junkee.
In their latest episode Katie Cunningham and Josie Parsons discuss the cult of productivity, and how it’s perfectly normal if you just need some time to grieve the way our lives have suddenly changed.
Without the structure of an average work day, or the stability of a social life, many people are understandably struggling to adapt to this new purgatory we’re living in.
It’s not only ‘okay’ to not be productive right now, it normal and should be expected. Ordering take out food is a way to support small businesses while you can. If you’re eating more junk than normal, make sure you drink extra water & brush your teeth more to avoid the dentist.
— Amy Thunig (@AmyThunig) March 31, 2020
The girls also dive into their individual struggles — Katie was already grappling with recently turning 30 and is trying not to feel the pressure of not having “time to waste”.
“I guess I would also just say, like, to anyone who’s worried about productivity or feeling like they should be doing more — cut yourself some slack,” she said.
“The world is fundamentally changing right now, it’s ok to be distracted and upset and to just want to watch some comfort TV and cook and whatever.”
According to steam I spent 22 of the last 72 hours playing video games (not including hearthstone battlegrounds which ive played more than steam games)
What do you want from me? To be productive? To sleep? Anxiety & Covid-19 says otherwise.
— irl catgirl (Gaymer™) (@SlimeStarshine) March 30, 2020
Said in reply to someone earlier, absolutely zero has changed for me amidst this isolation period but I’m feeling more pressure to be productive and do something than ever before; and failing at that worse than ever too. Why? Is this some sort of pseudo-mass hysteria effect??
— Jay (@awayfromlife) March 24, 2020
The world is falling apart, but “muh prOdUctiViTy
— Spóks (@SpooksH) March 30, 2020
Meanwhile, Josie has also been feeling guilty for the way her mental health has suffered while she readjusts to working from home, considering she’s privileged to have that option.
However, she’s gotten some reassurance from an article in The Financial Diet which says you can acknowledge both.
“Keeping a healthy perspective on what truly is and isn’t a sacrifice, and being grateful and present in the things that are ultimately privileges, is not a matter of denying your own experience,” it says.
“It’s a matter of correcting your internal monologue to be more grounded in reality and a sense of perspective, especially when that monologue feels like the loudest thing in the world.”
If social distancing becomes social isolation you could potentially have a mental health problem more damaging than anything else.
The government needs to be aware of the profound psychological impacts of all this&be prepared for the possible emotional fallout#COVID19Aus #auspol
— 💧Emma Meconi (@SpotlightForYou) March 30, 2020
The episode also dives into a little bit of class warfare (both at home and abroad), and celebrates some unlikely celebrity allies.
There’s plenty more to absorb, so if you’ve got some time up your sleeve (like we all know you do) you can listen to the rest of the podcast here. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.
Feature Image: CC0 Public Domain