It’s Okay to Not Follow Self-Improvement. Here’s Why.

Another lockdown, and more of “How to be productive every second of your quarantine.”

As appealing as the idea of becoming perfect is, with just one wrong turn, it could make one delusional. Hence, if you’re not careful, you could lose yourself in the world of self-help and toxic positivity.

What’s wrong with being productive? Nothing.

However, when you get obsessed with self-help and think that your life will be ruined if you waste a minute — that’s where the problem begins. We’re humans, not automatons; it’s healthy for us to rest and enjoy.

Some YouTube videos will tell you otherwise, prodding you to work 24/7 until you feel burned out. Social media will show you people whose lives have been butterflies since they started self-help and became productive to the power infinity, making you feel inadequate about your lousy life.

There’s a massive community of self-help around the world that relies on your insecurities and forces you to channel them to deepen their pockets. Self-improvement tells you to get out of your comfort zone, and while that is usually a good thing, pushing yourself all the time beyond your abilities could backfire, leaving you exhausted and disappointed in yourself. Now that you’re probably depressed, you seek even more self-help content. The cycle goes on.

The world of self-help will teach you toxic positivity, tell you to smile even when everything goes downhill. But it’s not necessary. Everybody feels pain, and there’s no shame if you have a mental breakdown or a panic attack.

We’re flawed. There isn’t a single soul who hasn’t binged Netflix shows, woken up late, or felt hopeless during the pandemic. Even your favourite celebrities who have been claiming that they have been super productive in the quarantine had their fair share of bad days.

So what if you couldn’t schedule every second of your quarantine? What if you couldn’t wake up at 5 in the morning? What if you felt so bored that you took a nap in the middle of a day?

Not everyone perceives a situation the same way as you. Your neighbour takes a run every morning to feel happy, and you read thriller books for bliss. Why add that extra anxiety to follow something that’s not your cup of tea?

Don’t get me wrong. It’s perfectly okay if you have plans for the upcoming days of being locked indoors. If you find tranquillity in planning, don’t abstain from it. If writing, painting, or any productive activity fills you with ecstasy, do it. Do something because you want to, not because some motivational speaker said so.

So, in this lockdown, don’t stress too much over being productive. Do what you love, and hopefully, that’ll bring what you need most — peace.    

Sabiba Hossain is a Hufflepuff who plans on going into hibernation every winter but never succeeds. Send her fantasy book recommendations at:

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