Life in Lockdown – “I am absolutely terrible at taking my own advice”

Sussex Student Jenny Bathurst is hoping to study journalism at the University of Brighton (Eastbourne campus).

Sunday, 3rd May 2020, 5:00 pm
Jenny Bathurst

The coronavirus crisis has robbed her of the chance to sit A levels. We have asked Jenny to share her thoughts on the difficult times we are living through... Here is her latest contribution.

"It has been made clear to me this week that I am absolutely terrible at taking my own advice. In last week’s article I touched on the importance of not pressurising yourself by endeavouring to fulfil society’s expectations, yet in the past few days I have done just that. And failed miserably. Where I hadn’t taken a day’s break from running since the beginning of lockdown, I eventually reached a day where the prospect was absolutely revolting due to a number of reasons. Firstly, in true typical British fashion, the weather was appalling. Secondly, I had noticed that my cat Marius (who, embarrassingly, is my best friend) was unwell which sent me into complete panic. And finally, if I’m honest, I just didn’t want to go. I felt terrible, the pouring rain was horrific, and I didn’t want to leave Marius on his own. However despite all this, I still felt myself staring at my trainers telling myself I’d leave in the next ten minutes. I decided to take the day off in the end but sitting in my pyjamas eating yet another chocolate digestive I felt like I’d failed myself. Why do I still feel like I have to conform to this imaginary set of expectations I have built in my own head? I’m still here, I haven’t lost any ‘fitness’, I just happened to break one part of my routine.

"Perhaps this is a classic example of my overthinking at the time that the quarantine period was announced, but it seems that my idea of how lockdown would feel has been completely turned on its head. My visions of having long, stretched out hours with very little to do has turned into the exact opposite. Now I feel overwhelmed when waking up with the smallest number of tasks, contemplating how it’s possible to get everything done and the repercussions if I don’t. Where previously I felt that I’d be unimaginably bored, my now long list of chores and activities says otherwise, and yet again I stupidly put immense amounts of pressure on myself to get them all done, despite being trivial and inconsequential. The thought of tidying one corner of my bedroom fills me with dread, leading me to the conclusion that I’ve simply lost all motivation. Without the responsibilities to revise for A Levels or the endless tasks from work, there’s now very little to work towards, with very little consequence.

"But I know that with lack of motivation often comes a natural lack of desire to complete the task in the first place. This time is for us to do as we please, and if I don’t tidy that corner of my room, I’ll still sleep at night. Yes, some tasks are unavoidable, but to put any unnecessary burdens on ourselves in this already challenging and bizarre time will certainly do more harm than good, and to finish this lockdown period knowing we are fully recharged for whatever life spring on us next is surely exactly what we need.

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