• Rebecca Landesman

In the New Normal, Off-Days are OK

Cut yourself some slack.

We’re social distancing which means we’ve got the perpetual Monday blues. There’s nothing to differentiate Saturday from mid-week, or at least the criteria have changed. We distinguish weekends by the number of cities hitting their “apex,” which shops now require masks to be worn inside, and how far the grocery store line snakes around the block—we’re talking to you, Trader Joe’s.

We’ve had to reconfigure our lives, to establish a new normal. Some of us are reveling in the extra at-home time, others are going stir-crazy; there’s a wide spectrum of feelings. Some of us are trying to spin this into a challenge, a test of patience and organizational skills and multitasking abilities. We skipped the evolutionary process and adapted in a matter of days to being teachers, chefs, entertainers, housekeepers, baristas, mixologists, motivational speakers, and yoga instructors. No biggie.

It’s difficult to discern whether more time at home is a good or a bad thing, and it seems that we base this judgement on how successfully the day went. If we actively listened during many hours of Zoom meetings, managed not one but two workouts, bought groceries (against all odds), and re-assessed our five-year life plan, maybe this whole quarantine thing isn’t so bad?

We’re shaving off hours of unproductive time that was once spent on commuting and getting distracted by coworkers’ conversations, and we didn’t even need to put on shoes to do it (we did need pants though. We will not advocate being sans pants).

If we woke up late and exhausted, ate leftover curry way too early, continued our sweatsuit streak, skipped yet another hair wash, took a nap, didn’t go outside, and polished off a pint of ice cream before bed, then we feel like a slob and social-distancing sucks and we miss human interaction that once motivated us to wear hoops and heels and perfume.

Whichever version you’re experiencing, we can relate. Revel in the good days and don’t be so hard on yourself on the bad ones, quarantine or not. If your day’s a dud, at least you’re probably in the comfort of your home with family or a significant other or a pet, and you can take a breather or a quick time-out for a meditation session.

Bad days are allowed. They’re encouraged, in fact, because they make us appreciative of better moments and of good days.

We’re not here to judge because we’ve all been there, and because most of us are locked up inside, we’re far out of judgement’s reach.


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