We live in an extremely fast-paced and chaotic world. Everything from work and school to even home life seems to demand that our time is spent working hard and staying busy.
While COVID-19 may have caused some aspects of life to slow down and certain responsibilities to drop, there are countless more ways that it has contributed to stress and chaos in our world. Amid the transition to largely remote work and school, there is little to no distinction between home, work and school and all of them can feel like they are a part of the same sphere.
For me personally, I already found it hard to take time for breaks and time for myself, but now that I am always at “work” or “school” when I am really just at home, getting away from my computer and setting down my to-do list is more difficult than ever.
Not only has the recent year and the pandemic impacted our values of how people spend time, but our culture has never been one that valued slow-paced life or time to care for oneself much. The constant push and drive to work harder, make more money and stay “ahead” is at the forefront of media and real life. However, while there is nothing inherently wrong with these things and it is important to stay motivated, there needs to be a balance.
Oftentimes the pressure to be productive can overwhelm the demand for rest. Living in a society that places more value on what and how much people are doing instead of how people are doing can contribute to toxic work environments and exhausting career paths.
This originates from the perspective that rest is not a productive way to spend time. The overwhelming feeling that nothing is being accomplished has stopped me from taking time to slow down.
In fact, studies have even shown that taking time to rest can lead to overall better productivity when it is time to accomplish work.
According to an article on lifehack.org, “Down time is essential for boosting motivation, learning from the past, planning for the future, processing new information, making memories, problem solving, maintaining your ability to concentrate, and even sustaining a personal code of ethics.”
One of the first places to begin in order to have a healthier overall relationship with work and rest is to view the two as equal importance and not allow slowing down to be seen in a negative light as it so often is.