8 Things You Don’t Have to Do Anymore

As your life starts to slowly fill up again, find a few ways to keep cutting yourself some slack

Annaliese Griffin
Forge
Published in
5 min readMar 29, 2021

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Photo: tolgart/Getty Images

Years ago, in a prenatal yoga class, I heard a question that fundamentally changed the way I think about everything, from hosting Thanksgiving to handling my inbox: “What can you not do?”

The instructor didn’t mean it as an assessment of our limits (“What are you not able to do?”) but rather as an invitation for us to take stock of what we could drop from our crowded lives (“What can you stop doing?”).

That invitation was life-altering, and I want to pass it on. Even if you’re a hyper-organized planner who zooms through to-do lists and self-soothes by researching better ways to bullet journal, you need a release valve. If it feels weird to let yourself off the hook, please allow me to give you permission. You’ve earned this slack.

Here are eight things you don’t need to do after surviving a global pandemic.

Reconnect with a bad friend

After a year of canceled travel plans and curtailed celebrations, many of us have folks we can’t wait to see. We also have people we’re not exactly looking forward to reconnecting with. Ask yourself: Has this person’s absence from your life been a relief? Maybe they’re toxic. Maybe you’ve just grown apart and you don’t miss them. Maybe you never really liked them all that much and you were just close because of circumstances.

Whatever the reason, you have a year of separation between you now. Consider it a gift and don’t invite them back in.

Reach your “goal weight”

There’s been a lot of judgy, bad takes on pandemic weight gain. Whatever number of pounds you think you want to lose, cross that off your to-do list. Throw it away. Burn it to the ground. Find some movement you love, eat food that makes you feel good, do something that relaxes you — knitting, yoga, walking…

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Annaliese Griffin
Forge
Writer for

Annaliese Griffin is a writer and editor who most recently led the Quartz Daily Obsession, an award-winning newsletter. She lives in Vermont with her family.