Maybe the most productive thing you can do right now is grant yourself a period of deep rest.
Maybe the most productive thing you can do right now is to stop comparing your grief to someone else’s, trying to determine whether you’re sad enough, anxious enough, enraged enough.
Maybe the most productive thing you can do right now is allow yourself to savor the little bits of joy that peek through your day: your coffee, your friends, the semblances of normalcy, and hope.
We have spent our entire lives beneath the unrelenting pressure to do more, be more, become more.
What if, right now, we were being given a chance to reset?
What if, right now, the best thing you could do for yourself and everyone around you was to just let go a little bit?
What if, right now, what you really needed was longer naps and even longer nights of sleep, lingering days in comfortable clothes, books you like to read and shows that make you laugh, friend dates and long walks?
What if we actually learned to trust our instincts instead of resist them?
For so many of us, our instinct is to hibernate.
Our instinct is that we are in a state of stillness, and quiet, and yet there are still voices in our minds clamoring to remind us that we could be doing more, should be doing better.
What if the best possible thing we could do was restore ourselves in a way we never have before?
Have we ever in our lifetimes received a period of time in which we were totally and uncompromisingly “off-the-hook” for pretty much anything but what we wanted to do?
No, we haven’t.
And we know that there are so many people around us who do not have this opportunity, who are at the frontlines of this thing, who have to work non-stop in order to keep our world running.
The truth is that, sooner rather than later, we will begin reintegrating into society again.
When this happens and how is still up in the air, but it is coming.
What we can do now is understand that when the people around us are encouraging us to capitalize on this time, they don’t always mean that we should start a new workout routine, pen a novel and start a small business.
Sometimes, what they mean is that we are allowed to take rest.
We are allowed to turn off the TV.
We are allowed to find joy when it comes.
We are allowed to let go.
We are allowed to stop reaching so far into the distance.
If we have learned anything, it is that the world is fragile, and so are we.
Life is precious, and fleeting.
Do we really want to spend the rest of it as half-versions of ourselves, exhausted and constantly pushing toward the next goal that empties us out just a bit more?
No, of course not.
All great periods of growth are preceded by times of great challenge, pain, and uncertainty.
You will come out on the other side of this.
Who do you want to be when you do?