Up until (most) of our daily lives changed some weeks ago, it seemed (to me, at least) like there was a lot of social pressure to feel great all the time. And if you weren’t great, the universal embrace of this brilliant notion of self care made for plenty of pressure to do all of the things to get you to great.
Remember the good old days when it was acceptable to just feel ‘fine’? Just OK, not amazing, but middling, or indifferent. But at some point in the past 10 years, things changed.
I think it’s safe to say attitudes about this have changed in fair 2020, year of clarity (remember that? HA!). All of a sudden, OK became pretty exceptional. Don’t get me wrong- I welcome and embrace evolved perspectives on and commitments to mental health and personal wellness. But the expectation that we’re always going to feel great all of the time is wholly unrealistic.
I’m sure social media may have helped fuel these expectations. We are supposed to be living our best lives - isn’t everyone else? Not doing everything you want? That’s not right. You should be suffering from FOMO because YOLO! Have problems? Self care it out. Talk it out. Meditate it out. Sweat it out. Pray it out. Whatever you need to do, just make it better…
And that’s not a bad thing, per se. Getting to happy. It’s great to take care of your mental health and well-being, to want to be better. But to feel pressure to do that… that in and of itself can also be stressful.
We’ve all suddenly found ourselves in a space where many people are just… OK- or fine. Lucky enough to be in a comfortable home, presumably not deathly ill, with a reasonable stockpile of food, but suffering from trying to figure out a highly unrealistic life/everything else balance in a very abrupt new normal. On the contrary, many people couldn’t be further from OK, suffering from sudden sickness, sudden unemployment, sudden food insecurity, sudden isolation.
The bar has officially been lowered. All of a sudden, doing OK is actually pretty fantastic. And if you’re less than OK - it’s even, gasp - understandable.
We finally have some space to wallow. Maybe the sun will shine brighter after this. Maybe it’ll be exactly the same. Who knows. But at least it finally seems like we've finally started to re-accept that it's not realistic to feel amazing all of the time- and that sometimes, it's actually OK to just be... OK.