Letters From Lockdown 47: Alice Fortt

Dear Quarantine-Me,

You’ve got to stop putting yourself down for not doing ‘enough’ during quarantine. You don’t have to spend every waking moment of every day looking for a way to supposedly ‘better yourself’, otherwise known as a way to make yourself more appealing to other people, whether that be employers, friends or lecturers. It’s okay to just do things for YOU; doing the things that make you happy, even if they could be classed as wasting time, it’s really not, because you’re having fun! Relying on other people for validation isn’t going to make you happy. Doing the stuff that you enjoy is going to make you happy.

I know that with all this new free time on your hands the hours can sometimes stretch out forever, and sometimes slip away seemingly in seconds. Just because this time is here doesn’t mean you need to spend all of it forcing yourself to be productive in a way that you think other people would like. If you like doing something, then of course do it. But don’t make yourself do it just because you think you should. And don’t beat yourself up for not being productive. Motivation is hard on the best of days, and especially at the moment it’s in short supply. You need to stop hating yourself for that. And those times when you zone out and suddenly lose track of time; that’s okay too.

Life is weird, as per usual, but especially weird at the moment, and that is going to make you, you guessed it, feel pretty weird. That means that some days things are going to be harder to do than they were on other days. Getting dressed might be harder, washing your face, eating three whole meals. It’s okay to still have bad days. You’re getting better, much better than you were, but there are still going to be days when the bad things come, and that’s okay. What matters is that you still have those good days in between. And that you’re trying to get better; that right there is the most important thing.

This is a reminder to look after yourself, and give yourself some space to breathe. No one ever won anything by tiring themselves out before they even got halfway through the race, and you don’t even have to win to feel accomplished in the first place. You trying your best is good enough; that in itself is something to be massively proud of.

Keep your head up,

Me x

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