So much has changed between my last post and this one. For one, I and about a million other Nigerians have been cooped up indoors for about a month because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
I’ll admit that it honestly hasn’t been easy.
From having to mute WhatsApp statuses because – my mental health and sanity are precious and I will not expose myself to misogynistic and fake ‘motivational’ speakers. Especially in times like these.
One other thing I have also noticed is the rise in Microsoft Teams meetings and Instagram Live sessions on topics along this line –
“Developing A New Skill Amidst A Global Pandemic”
“Earning A Six-Figure Income In the Face of Economic Meltdown”
“Being Productive From Home – The New Normal”
It’s like there’s some unspoken contest about who can appear the most ‘productive’ to an audience of people who just want peace of mind.
Someone somewhere has decided to open up this big hole of unwanted productivity, and unsolicited motivational advice and is trying to pressure us all into falling into it. If you don’t measure up, you’re thought to be lazy and not making the most use of the break.
You know the crazy part?
Even though I sound like I am pro-lounging (which I will always be), I have found myself falling down this rabbit hole a couple of times.
People around me are planning their lives, hosting IG live sessions, learning to cook new meals, releasing songs, and basically just doing other productive stuff.
Then, there’s me by the corner trying to get some rest after struggling with finding the perfect spot for my 9am-4pm meetings on Microsoft Teams (at a time, I had to put my MIFI inside a plate in the kitchen cabinet). After these meetings, I am mentally exhausted and I honestly just want to binge-watch shows on Netflix, listen to podcasts, and sleep.
However, someone on the outside will look at me and shake their head at how I’m not doing the most. Or how cooking is the last thing on my mind. Or how I’m not joining any Zoom meeting that a link is sent.
I REALLY JUST WANT TO SALVAGE THE REST OF MY WEEKDAYS AND ENJOY MY WEEKENDS. CAN I BREATHE, PLEASE?
I’ve noticed that Nigerians do not understand the concept of mental exhaustion. If you’re not learning a new skill or carrying unnecessary things on your head, you’re lazy.
Thinking of how every day just blurs into the next day is enough to strain people’s minds already.
Yesterday, I had to stop myself when I started thinking about how I had not successfully seen any of the IG live streams through, completed my online courses, or how I left a meeting on Microsoft Teams because my brain couldn’t comprehend what the speaker was saying.
I had to remind myself that I had had online meetings for four weeks despite Nigeria’s internet problem. How I had been working (still over the internet) with an amazing group of people on a ‘top secret’ class project. Handling a side hustle. Reading for tests that could hold anytime and a couple of other mentally tasking projects.
I know I’m not the only one who has felt this way and I’m grateful that others are beginning to realize that doing the most isn’t always what being productive is about.
If you’re one of the guilt trippers, please, allow people to breathe and have peace of mind. Sometimes, all we want is a quiet house, no forced human interaction, and for you to stop sending links to Zoom meetings.
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