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When the term ‘Goblin Mode’ was declared the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year for 2022 by popular vote, many of us felt confused. Oxford defines goblin mode as “a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.”
When Covid lockdown restrictions were lifted last year, many people around the globe decided to reject the idea of returning to life as ‘normal’. Across all areas of pre-pandemic life, our existence involved many unattainable standards and unsustainable activities which were flaunted on social media. Post-pandemic, the traits of goblin mode suddenly felt somewhat desirable.
Indeed, two years of panic and instability has changed the flow of people’s lives and the thought of returning to ‘normal’ is no longer the dream for many. We’re a generation fed up with trying to live up to impossible and unrealistic expectations. We want to figure out what’s important to us. In short, we want to get our goblin mode on.
In today’s modern world this means being unapologetically self-indulgent by adopting a lifestyle which is balanced by focusing on self-care, comfort, and enjoyment. A lack of motivation, increased self-isolation and depression can be signs that you’re falling out of sync, so it’s important to set goals for yourself:
- Set aside 15 minutes a day to take care of you. Spend time writing in your journal, meditating, or having a break from screen time. There are many good ways to prioritise yourself.
- Release built-up stress as a way to protect your emotional wellbeing. Watch a movie, listen to your favourite music, and reach out to family and friends for help if you need it.
- Nurture your physical body which is essential for your overall health. Drink lots of water, eat well, and get plenty of rest. Try incorporating a small walk around the block into your schedule to add physical activity to your day. Just getting outside for a moment instead of being cooped up will improve your physical and mental wellness.
- Make sure your professional and personal spaces are tidy and organised. Set a goal to declutter and clean one space at a time. Remember that progress is progress no matter how big or small.
- Enjoy yourself! Discover a new sport or find an interesting hobby. Open your mind to getting creative and just having fun.
- Check on your family and friends. We all have someone we’ve been meaning to call and catch up with, but our busy lives get in the way. Pick up the phone. You might be surprised at how happy it will make both parties to get connected.
Remember, there’s no need to feel guilty if you’ve been contemplating going into goblin mode. As long as it doesn’t spiral out of control and endanger your mental health, prioritising your wants, comfort, and enjoyment is beneficial. However, if you or someone you know is constantly in goblin mode and doesn’t care about how they look or what they do, try encouraging them to speak to a therapist, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional.
Ann Thomas is the founder of Revel, an online destination that straddles the border between lifestyle and mental health. Her work has been welcomed at Raffles Hotel, Design Orchard, and Merci Marcel. Her background in early childhood and psychology lends itself to a compassionate approach to mental health, which she believes is a fundamental part of human development. As such, she strives to make the most out of each day by being mindful of her thoughts and actions, and she encourages others to do the same.