In our society, there is this spoken and unspoken pressure to be productive at all times. I don’t know about you but I find myself equating my sense of self worth with my level of productivity. The more “productive” I am the better I feel about myself. The less “productive” I am the more I feel like a failure and the harder I am on myself.
During these past 10 months of being at home during quarantine, I found myself feeling guilty for allowing myself to rest and do things I enjoy. I had this notion ingrained in my brain from society that if an activity wasn’t making me money or checking off a to do list towards a career focused goal then it wasn’t productive. Throughout quarantine, I have been in the process of unlearning the idea that self care and rest are unproductive and challenging myself to rest and do things that are usually considered "unproductive".
Through this process, I started to question why is it that I value external accomplishment more than internal rest and self care? What is “productivity” anyways? I started to notice that what is defined as "productive" is sometimes not even good for us and what is deemed as "unproductive" is sometimes exactly what we need for our physical and mental health.
Our western society is obsessed with productivity as tangible measurable goals achieved such as working out, starting a business, going to work, editing a video or photo, etc.. Productivity is defined as doing things that have a tangible immediate output such as checking off a to do list, making money or getting praise for an external source. Because of this, time spent not constantly “doing” things is deemed unproductive.
Self care activities such as resting, meditating, self reflection, taking a bath, and doing something just because it's fun are considered lazy and not worthwhile. Because of this and because of western society’s obsession with productivity, we have learned to equate our self worth with our level of external production and thus we feel guilty for allowing ourselves to find pleasure in these moments of self care.
“Time spent in self reflection [and self care] is never wasted” - Dr Paul TP Wong.
Well I’m calling BULLSHIT on this belief. Self reflection and self care is the KEY to growth and achieving your goals. Without knowing where you are how can you get to where you are going? And without taking the time to rest how will you have the energy to accomplish your goals when the time comes?
You need to allow yourself time to rest and to self reflect so you can get clear on who you
are, what you want and where you are going. I’m here to remind you that periods of self care and inner work are in fact productive and are just as important (if not more important) than external work and getting things done.
So guess what? It’s 2021 and we are no longer feeling guilty for resting and doing things we love and enjoy. You do not need to be productive all the time to be worthy. You do not need to be constantly doing and accomplishing your goals to feel good about yourself. Allow yourself the time to rest and find pleasure in the things you love to do and don't waste a minute feeling guilty for that!
Treat yourself, love yourself, and do what YOU need to do to take care of you <3.
I created a fun little Self Care Workbook to help you assess what areas in your life could use some more self care! Download the Self Care Workbook for FREE here!
Hi, I'm Kendall and I'm a recent USC grad who's been able to manifest my dream life of traveling and working for myself! I quit my job in 2018 and started my own marketing agency and have been traveling the world ever since. Now I own multiple online businesses, a marketing agency and a Manifestation Coaching Program teaching other young women how to manifest their dream life. Connect with my on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok for more travel/manifestation videos and join my manifestation club for the latest updates on my courses!
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