While stuck at home in quarantine this past year, countless Americans have felt pressure to be especially productive so that they can make the most of their time in lockdown. However, there’s no single correct way to cope with a pandemic, and it’s important to look after yourself and do what’s best for you, even if you’re the leader of the free world: President Joe Biden just announced that he’s going to stop pressuring himself to be hyper-productive during the pandemic and instead just focus on doing what’s best for himself.
Yes! It’s okay to not be okay right now, and it’s so nice to have a president who realizes this!
At a press briefing earlier today, Biden revealed that he will no longer be pressuring himself to perform at 100 percent every single day during the pandemic and will instead focus more on prioritizing his mental health. The president explained that he feels that in order to truly care for the country he must first learn how to care for himself, and he believes he can do so by distancing himself from the “rise and grind” culture that has long defined his political life and giving himself the space he needs to “relearn how to find joy.”
“This pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint, and I’ve realized that sometimes I need to allow myself the grace to forego tasks that I might not have the emotional bandwidth complete at a given moment,” said the president, adding that adjusting to this new normal is hard enough as it is without having to stress about things like stabilizing the global economy and preventing nuclear war. “I’ve been pressuring myself so hard to come up with the perfect executive orders and to have all these incredibly productive cabinet meetings and to all-around just maintain a ‘normal’ workload when we’re living through a time that’s anything but normal. This is a time of unprecedented collective trauma, and I’m realizing now that it’s perfectly okay to sometimes just stop what I’m doing, curl up in a ball, and cry. I can give myself the time I need to grieve and replenish, and when I come back, all the treaties and wars and existential crises will still be there. And even if I don’t deal with all those things totally perfectly, I am still enough.”
Biden went on to explain that even though it might seem like quarantine is a good time to put the pedal to the metal and figure out exactly the direction the country needs to take for the next four years, it will actually be better in the long run if he accepts that now is not the best time, mentally, for him to be pushing himself beyond his capacities.
“Making some tea and listening to a mindfulness recording on my meditation app rather than preparing for a meeting on vaccine rollout might at first feel like the wrong choice, but it’s actually what’s going to keep me sane and healthy and in the right headspace I need to be in to do what’s best for this country,” he continued while lighting a palo santo stick to cleanse the energy in the White House briefing room. “Sometimes you’ve just gotta say ‘no’ to high-stakes phone calls with belligerent foreign leaders and ‘yes’ to phone calls with your therapist. There’s no guilt in that. Focus first and foremost on replenishing your own emotional inventory, and then you can confront Bashar al-Assad about gassing his own citizens. That’s what I’m finally figuring out, and I trust you all will respect how I choose to go about my personal journey.”
Well said! Treat yourself, Mr. President!
Kudos to the president for understanding that, actually, things are really hard right now, and there is no blueprint for dealing with all the big feelings of this moment in time. Here’s hoping he continues giving himself all the self-care he needs to effectively lead us through this unyielding crucible of death and disease that has upended life as we know it!