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Mental Health

Why It’s OK to Not Be Super Productive During Quarantine

There is no expectation while we’re in quarantine. I know we’ve all seen the posts about how “Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine” and numerous others that are supposed to be motivation for all of us to make the best of being stuck inside all day long. However, it’s important to keep in mind that no one is on vacation right now. COVID-19 has negatively impacted us all to some degree. 

Yes, some of us recently found ourselves with more time on our hands than we know what to do with. Yes, there are more opportunities to get things done during this time. Yes, it is okay if you don’t do anything with the extra time we have while under quarantine. We are currently dealing with extremely stressful times and you should remember to place your mental and physical health over trying to accomplish any one great feat. 

Currently, a large portion of the United States is under a stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents are urged to only leave their homes when completely necessary in order to prevent overwhelming hospitals and other resources with a high volume of infected people. Those who are still considered essential workers are risking their lives to help keep the economy going and are treating those who are in need of medical attention. The truth is, I don’t think anyone was fully prepared for what’s happened in the past couple of months. Everyone’s lives have been affected and changed in one way or another. There is no rule that says you have to make productive use of every single moment. There never is.



Now more than ever there are going to be days when it’s a battle to get yourself out of bed, and that’s OK. Everyone is having to make individual adjustments and dealing with personal struggles. If you find yourself unable to find the motivation to get assignments, it is important to reach out to people. You should do whatever is best for your mental state. While there will still be deadlines and expectations, there is an understanding by most professors that things are hard right now. 

Personally, it was a huge adjustment when my college courses moved online. I spent the week before and during what should have been my Spring Break trying to figure out what the rest of the semester would look like and trying to adapt to the circumstances I was placed in. If all you get done for the day is to attend one online class or write 100 words of your essay, then you’ve accomplished something.

I admittedly had a lot of goals set during the beginning of quarantine of all I wanted to be able to complete. However, this was when it only seemed like I was going to be home for an extra week before spring break and would be returning to campus and my everyday college life afterward. When compared to the global pandemic going on, online assignments seemingly hold very little value. My main concern every day is the well-being of myself and my loved ones, and schoolwork is very low on the list. 

For some people, setting small goals for themselves encourages them to get more done and stops them from getting overwhelmed. If you find yourself with the time and motivation to cross a few things off of your to-do list, then, by all means, do it. No one is allowed to tell you what you’re supposed to be doing with your time.

There are times when I can’t even find the strength to answer a group message. We are all trying to get a sense of normalcy. It still feels to me like I haven’t caught up to where I’m expected to be. The severity of the situation we are in still doesn’t feel real. If amidst trying to wrap your head around the current state of the world and trying to find any sense of normalcy you find yourself unable to do much, that’s totally fine. Staying inside when you are able to and taking care of your own basic needs, while seeming like almost nothing, is actually doing wonders for yourself and others in the long run.

World closed sign
Edwin Hooper

You don’t have to write the next New York Times Best Seller or Tony-award winning musical during this time. It is perfectly fine if all you do while under quarantine is survive. Prioritize whatever aids your mental health the most and gives you the strength to make it through another day. 

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