Down Time vs Projects

Some of us have found ourselves with additional time while we are socially distancing – time we would normally spend travelling to work or school, or with friends or on other clubs and activities. This has led to many of us undertaking “isolation projects” – everything from baking sourdough bread to painting up a storm or fashioning MET Gala costumes.. you have probably seen a lot of photos of these on Instagram.  You may even have been wondering – what am I doing with my time?

This is a worthy time for a reminder of two things – that some people may genuinely have more time than others is a start.  Many who have been stood down from work, may genuinely need a project as a positive way to feel passion and purpose again. And I commend them for that – what a smart choice and a constructive way to deal with those feelings of uncertainty.  But if you are working from home and/or schooling young children from home – it’s just not realistic for you to also be culturing sourdough starter right now.

Projects can be amazing to stimulate creativity and connection – to feel that sense of achievement that may be lost right now.  It’s great to have a project on the go – I encourage you to choose something manageable and of genuine interest to you.

But we also need to allow ourselves to actually have down time – time where you don’t need to be working on anything.  This could be time to just listen to music, and hang out with family members, read a book or even yes, binge watch TV.  Down time is like turning a computer off and on again – it allows us to recharge ready for the next challenge.

Dr Lea Waters explains it brilliantly here:

This week we have encouraged students to have a FeelGood Friday, a day for catching up and looking after their wellbeing.  This means something different to each person – it might feel good for some to finish up work and cross off deadlines.  Others may feel good to do extra work and really get on top of their studies.  For many, it is a good opportunity to embrace a project or some down time – be honest with yourself about what you need and maybe devote some time to each.


PS. The second thing worth noting is that Instagram is curated! People only post their best highlight moments to the public – never the times they are sitting unshowered on the couch watching Netflix. So never mistake a beautiful inspiring moment for 24-7 reality! Your life is probably more like an influencer’s than you think!!!