The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the word upside down in a matter of months and everyone has been affected in one way or another. There seems to be an ongoing pressure from social media for everyone to be productive during this time, which is is seemingly impossible for most, myself included. I have barely blogged or posted on Instagram during this time, which is unusual for me. In fact, I was in a groove before this pandemic took a toll on the US. I re-vamped my entire blog, changed my brand colors, updated my press kit and started doing extensive research on ways to build and monetize my brand.
Most days I have a mental to-do list of general things I would like to accomplish. However, I do not beat myself up at the end of the day if I do not start or complete any of the tasks on my list. “Tomorrow is a new day and opportunity” has been my mindset throughout my time at home. I knew productivity would be difficult, as I usually am never productive at home. Home is my safe place and comfort zone, where I relax and de-stress by binge watching my favorite tv shows and pinning on Pinterest. Therefore it has not been easy to be disciplined in a space where I normally let my hair down.
Although I have not been pumping out new content, I have peace of mind and clarity during this time, which is extremely hard to come by for someone who struggles with anxiety on the daily. That alone is an accomplishment within itself. Any day that I do not feel like a dark cloud is hanging over my head is a good day. Instead of focusing my energy on what I have not accomplished, I have been celebrating small wins, such as my ray of sunshine during what feels like the darkest hour. The Ashley a few years ago would have been bedridden by something like this, as change gives me more anxiety than literally anything else, especially when it is abrupt or unexpected. I have taken such a negative, dark situation and have found the silver lining. I wake up every single day feeling grateful and refreshed. This to me means that I am growing and evolving. I am in full control of my life and my mental health after I fought so long to get here, so I’ll be damned if I allow my lack of “productivity” as social media defines it, steal my joy. In a time where we are surrounded by so much grief, death and fear of the unknown, we must remember to be gentle and kind to ourselves. The last thing we should be worried about is productivity when we are literally fighting for our lives. Stay safe and be kind to others and yourself.