- On April 29, 2020
Another month is ending, and the whole world is still in lockdown. Many have been unable to return to their jobs and are wondering how they’ll pay the bills. Others have been confined to their house or apartment for weeks now with no end in sight. Some have had to say goodbye to loved ones via electronic screens or messages relayed through an ICU nurse. Every one of us has, in some way, been affected by this global pandemic.
So this month’s topic is: writing as therapy. Numerous studies have shown that putting your thoughts down — whether it’s in a blog, a journal, a letter to a loved one, a short story, a poem, etc. — can have incredible therapeutic benefits. Writing helps reduce stress, offers perspective on short- and long-term problems, encourages analytic thinking and shifts focus away from the crisis at hand. Even the simple act of producing copy creates a sense of accomplishment.
This outlet can be especially helpful while we’re all dealing with the Covid-19 crisis and our movement and companionship has been severely limited. Instead of dwelling on the constraints of lockdown, we can pick up a pen or boot up the computer and get writing. If you’re not sure where to start, just begin with jotting down your own experience and what you and your loved ones are going through. Or maybe you want to dive into a fictional world that you control, and everything happens according to your specifications. If you’re sad or scared or confused, use that in your writing. If you’re angry, pen your rage. Feeling numb? Write out a list of things you’re looking forward to when the lockdown is lifted and why those items are important to you. Share your creations if you want, or write just for you.
Someday — hoping it’s someday soon! — Covid will be under control and life will resume, maybe with some changes here and there. The work you’re producing now will be your own personal time capsule of who you were during the pandemic and how you dealt with the situation. In the years ahead, you can look back on these troubled times and congratulate yourself on making it through, one day (and one word) at a time.