The pressure of having ‘meaningful’ activities

Updated: Apr 19, 2020

What does ‘meaningful’ mean?

Through these first few weeks of lockdown, you might have felt that you needed to 'do something' with all of the extra time you have had - except if you have children, then you are probably hoping for a minute to yourself and that’s a story for another post!

At times, seating idle at home, you might have gone through a whole spectrum of feelings : restless or apathetic? Agitated or disheartened?

We live in a world where productivity, proactivity and large achievements are valued. We aim to achieve better, push ourselves higher, build our strength, and increase our speed. We often fall into the pattern of aiming to constantly better ourselves.

But on the way to success, we have forgotten that sometimes ‘meaningful’ is not something as tangible...

What does ‘meaningful’ mean?

And meaningful to whom?

In our society, many people tend to build their identity and self-worth around their educational, career and family achievements. They will feel that their lives are meaningful when they HAVE... when they have the degree, the job, the girlfriend, the children, etc.

In order to ‘have’, we are taught that we need to ‘go and get it’. We are encouraged to be swift and proactive in taking what we want from life.

Obviously, being proactive and hardworking are great qualities to develop and maintain!

Having a good education, a job that we love and a healthy relationship with our families are things to be grateful and highly contribute to our overall health and wellbeing.

But what is ‘meaningful’ to you deep down?

To your body/physical health?

To your mind/mental health?

Do you think if you are feeling distress that your body needs to expend loads of energy learning new things?

In the current circumstances, I feel that we need to re-evaluate what is ‘meaningful’.

Perhaps a meaningful activity is simply giving yourself what your body/mind needs.

Therefore those ‘meaningful’ activities will be different for everyone as we do not all have the same needs.

Your neighbour might be at a place in his life where focusing on learning is what his body/brain needs.

Your friend might feel that her body needs to go jogging everyday.

And you, you might feel that you need to rest! And if that’s what your body needs, isn’t it a meaningful activity?

Perhaps learning the art of standing still is ‘meaningful’?

Perhaps mastering the ability of standing where we are and being happy is what our body needs?

Perhaps learning to be ok with feelings of boredom/restlessness/ennui is the most difficult thing you will have achieved?

Perhaps today your meaningful activity will be to just make yourself a cup of tea and read my post ;)

Make sure to accept yourself wherever you are in your life journey and check what your body and mind need today!

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