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Brighton Journal | 31st May 2020

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Quarantine self-improvement is great…just don’t put too much pressure on yourself

Quarantine self-improvement is great…just don’t put too much pressure on yourself
Angus Walker
  • On 3rd April 2020

‘I really want to do that, I just haven’t got time’. How often do you hear someone say that, or think it yourself? It’s got to be at least twice a day. In normal life, we’re all forced to rush around so much that we rarely get time to focus on ourselves, to pursue an interest or hobby completely separate from work. Well, right now life isn’t normal. Suddenly, with the country in ‘lockdown’ for at least 3 weeks, we all find ourselves with an abundance of time at home.

In an attempt to combat boredom, anxiety, and to use this time productively, more and more people have been filling up their time learning new skills, like instruments or languages. One popular language learning app has claimed increased usage of more than 200% in the UK, while others are reporting new sales up more than 50%. 

The last couple of weeks have also seen a surge in people doing home workouts and yoga to stay active, with hundreds of gyms and fitness sites currently offering free video classes. YouTube yoga star Adriene has reported the biggest jump ever in subscribers to her site. 

Youtube yoga teacher Adriene has seen a big surge in subscribers to her site over the last few weeks. Photo from Facebook.

It’s great that people are embracing this time at home. Working towards small personal goals in a time of crisis can provide a sense of accomplishment and routine that may otherwise be lacking. Lockdown has forced us all to slow down, giving us the chance to prioritise looking after ourselves and our loved ones. 

Doing things that make us feel good and maintaining a sense of routine during this crisis is going to be incredibly important for our mental wellbeing. But so is not putting too much pressure on ourselves. 

There is plenty to worry about at the moment, without the added anxiety that you’re not using this time as productively as possible, spending every free minute doing something to ‘improve yourself’. It’s equally important to just sit and be still in the garden (or a sunny window) for a little while, and to make the most of our one daily outdoor exercise!. It’s also completely ok to acknowledge when you need a total break, to just be distracted by a film or a book for a little while.

By all means focus some of your energy on learning new skills and doing the things you’ve been meaning to do for ages, but keep self-improvement goals realistic, otherwise you might just end up replacing the stresses of ordinary life with a whole new wave of stresses. 

You haven’t failed if you don’t come out the other side of this a guitar playing, Italian speaking Yogi.

Featured image: Flickr

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