Misc.

Lockdown Letters Part One

Dear COVID-19

Hello!

It has been a while, for various reasons even prior to the pandemic we’ve hurtled into, so I’m sorry about that. This is the first of two posts about letter writing in lockdown that I thought people may find helpful.

I am finding that my Twitter feed at the moment is a 50/50 split of people being uber-productive (and making sure everyone knows how productive they are) and people feeling completely drained of creativity. I have definitely been in the camp of the non-productive and that is okay, I’ve barely been reading or writing and certainly not pushing myself to achieve more than I can manage. I truly believe that if all we do is survive that is perfectly okay, great actually.

I have had various conversations with different people about trying to make sense of what we are all experiencing in this global pandemic, the main themes of these conversations have been that of grief and trauma. It is traumatic to have everything pulled from underneath you virtually overnight and then find yourself trying to work out a new way to live your life amidst concern about COVID-19. It’s also okay to feel like you are grieving the life you usually have, lots of people lost independence and things that give them a sense of purpose overnight. Processing this grief takes time, it isn’t linear however it does benefit from a big dose of self-compassion. The cycle of grief includes feelings of anger, denial, shock, helplessness, we bargain with it and do eventually move towards acceptance. This is incredibly difficult to cope with, without the added pressure of achieving anything whilst in this state. If your mother died or you were in an awful car crash I am sure you wouldn’t expect yourself to finish writing a play or make your way through a ton of novels in the weeks that followed, this situation is the same. Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to process what is happening in the way that feels best for you.

With all of this in mind, I am a big fan of using letters to help us to process difficult feelings that we might be having and there are a lot of those going about at the moment, they can also just help us get our thoughts and feelings off our chests, so thought it might be helpful to have a framework for writing to COVID-19. Yes, I am suggesting you write to the virus that has seemingly taken over the world for the time being. Below is a suggestion of things you might want to include but anything goes, it can be as short or as long as you like:

Dear COVID-19,

  • Before you came I was…
  • A normal day for me with you around is…
  • I am angry at you for…
  • You have taught me…
  • After you have gone, I will…

Love,

Hannah x

I would love to feature some of your letters on this blog and/or on social media so tag me in them or send them to createhealthyminds@gmail.com if you would like to share however there is no pressure to do this, keeping it just for you is okay! This is not about perfection, it is about allowing yourself to feel the way you do and maybe sharing that with others who will likely feel similar. It made me feel so much better seeing people post about struggling with creativity so I am hoping this will be a similar experience for people.

Much love,

Hannah

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