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  • Writer's pictureAna Lokotkova

How to stay sane during COVID home productivity outbreak

These past few weeks have been a struggle.

Ever since massive quarantine started, I've been constantly feeling like I'm not doing enough.

Everyone is buying online courses, doing live webinars, sharing a ton of content on social media, working out 3x a day...and STILL finding time for movies, books, 5-star home dinners, and new hobbies.

Meanwhile, here I am buried in work tasks, writing up job search documents for rushing, stressed out clients, trying not to get distracted by yet another corona news flash, and barely finding time to keep up with everything on my to-do list.

I'll be honest - I haven't felt this much frustration with myself in a long time.

I've been constantly thinking what I SHOULD be doing, and giving myself zero credit for what I've been actually doing.

Not paying attention to how much everything that's been going on around me has affected my concentration and anxiety level. Pretending like life is normal, and I'm working at my usual pace.

Yes, work is great medicine from unwanted thoughts, boredom, and even anxiety. And I happen to love what I do.

Yet, social media these days has me feeling like I've been in a race where, no matter what I do, I just can't get to the front lines.

Who are we kidding? Right now is not the time to ignore your feelings.

Social media influencers are telling us not to give in to negative emotions, and use quarantine time to work our butts off.

Even the most emotionally resilient person can't ignore everything that's going on in the world right now.

One thing is hearing dissociated news about growing numbers of COVID cases in other countries.

It's a completely different story when a good friend tells you their family member has passed away because of the virus.

When everyone around you suddenly seems to have so much extra time for all kinds of things, don't beat yourself up.

We live in a world where we constantly feel we don’t live up to expectations. We love comparing ourselves to others. And the highest bar is often the expectations we set for ourselves.

When I got my certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP, I learned one very important truth: we are what we think.

In short, NLP is super practical therapy. Unlike traditional therapy, NLP doesn't focus as much on the ‘why’ as it does on the ‘how’. It teaches you practical ways how you can change the way you think and approach your life with all of its past and current events.

We can't control much in our lives right now, but there's one thing we CAN take control of: what goes on in our heads.

I know of one sure way to escape the cycle of ongoing emotional hell:

Acknowledge that you're only human, and it's OKAY to feel everything you've been feeling recently.

We are living in a new "normal". We ALL are going through an unprecedented experience.

No matter how others are handling current situation, you are enough - just as you are. And you ARE doing the best you can.

Productivity may come and go - and that's okay, too. But your mental and physical health is what's going to get you through these tough times.

Before you start thinking I'm encouraging you to give up on your self-improvement, let me tell you one thing.

Showing human empathy to yourself and others around you doesn’t mean you can’t strive for more and become a better version of yourself. Neither does it mean you can't use quarantine time to be productive.

What is does is release all those self-blaming emotions and extra anxiety on top of the regular stress of our lives BC - before corona.

Because there is no other way.

You can't force yourself to be at your 100% when mentally you're nowhere near that.

Don't forget you can do things at your own pace, and still succeed.

It's okay to pause and take a break.

To react deeply to overwhelming news updates.

To cut yourself some slack when you're dealing with an unprecedented situation.

And take one step at a time when you don't know what could happen tomorrow.

We have a shot at the greatest luxury of all.

Managing to stay healthy, and keeping our loved ones healthy when this is all over.

This is the new definition of success, if you ask me.

Stay healthy!


Welcome to my blog! My name is Ana.

I'm an international career and LinkedIn branding advisor. I help professionals market their career stories using text (such as their resume) and video, online and in person (like during job interviews).

If you are ready to make a change and take your job search to the next level, we should talk.

Follow me on social media: LinkedIn | Instagram | Twitter

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