Back in the day, we looked to Cosmo to gauge our place in the world. Remember those one-page quizzes toward the back of Cosmopolitan magazine that quantified how successful, how sexy, how happy we would make our mates? The internet blew that out of the bathwater with its interactive quizzes now featured prominently on sites like BuzzFeed and PopSugar. Today, you can find out the name of your soulmate, your Disney princess doppelganger, and where you should take your next vacation — all by checking a few advertiser-sponsored check boxes.
It’s fun and harmless — although I am pretty sure each quiz is a personality test that feeds some giant Big Brother algorithm destined to come back to haunt you. Nursing Home Intake: We see here you are a Lucky Charms/Gryffindor/Snow White/Cat Lover? Third Floor!
But recently, I came upon a much more relevant quiz than Are you more Winnie the Pooh or Paddington Bear? This one was titled If You’ve Done Any Of These Things Today, You’re Actually Doing Better Than You Think, written by Patrice Peck (Buzzfeed).
Call this Candy Corn curious!
“If you’ve done any of these things today, you’re actually doing better than you think,” Peck writes, “because life is really, really hard.”
And there it was — right in the middle of a little mindless time out — a BIG reminder about self-care. You know, those things we know we should do for ourselves much more often than we actually do? Like:
- You hit snooze this morning to give your body and mind some extra TLC.
- You haven’t given up on your professional dreams.
- And you haven’t given up on your personal dreams.
- You remembered to drink water throughout the day.
- You have community, including work family, a MeetUp group, your neighborhood.
- You went to the gym.
- You’ve read a book that made you feel something.
- You called a friend or family member.
- You laughed at something funny.
- You thanked someone.
- You checked off at least ONE thing on your to do list.
- You listened to some damn good music.
- You wrote in your journal.
- You flossed.
- You got through the day in one piece, physically and mentally.
Now as much as we might guffaw at these quizzes — What kind of Sandwich are you? or Are you More Cake or Pie? — they are, in themselves, a little bit of self-care, aren’t they?
Silly. Nonsensical. Irrelevant. Unproductive. Immature.
And who, in the middle of this really, really hard stuff, doesn’t need a little of that?
Essay ©2018 Jen Payne. QUIZ: “If You’ve Done Any Of These Things Today, You’re Actually Doing Better Than You Think” by Patrice Peck, September 14, 2018, ©2018 BuzzFeed/As Is. IMAGE: Woman in Bath,
Roy Lichtenstein. SOME ANSWERS: Isaac, Snow White, Amalfi Coast, Winnie the Pooh, PB&J, Cake.