Lockdown Self-Care: The Lost Art of Writing
I encourage all my clients to write things down. They’re probably fed up of me banging on about it, but I say it for good reason. We float through our day, from experience to experience, with thoughts swirling around our heads constantly. We need a place to put these experiences and thoughts, to allow our brains to process them. Otherwise they’ll stay in our minds and load us down.
When we write what we’ve been through, what we think and how we feel, we get a chance to slow our thoughts down, and see them facing back at us. You may be surprised by what you see, often we have no idea about some of the things our minds are saying to us.
You can choose to write the old-fashioned way with pen and paper, or the modern way with a keyboard and screen. There’s no right or wrong here.
If you’re going traditional, look out an empty notepad and designate it as your private journal. If you don’t have one, grab a pile of paper and maybe keep it together in a file of some sort. Pinch an unused jotter from the kids if you have to, whatever works!
If you’re a modernist, consider creating a folder on your device where you can store your ramblings in one safe and secure place.
As time goes on I'll give directions on how to use your journal, such as prompting questions to get you exploring important areas of your life, as well as short written exercises to work through - easy ones I promise!
What I hope you will also learn is how rapidly our thoughts and feelings change. You may read back something you wrote just a few days ago, and see that it’s a world apart from where you’re at now. This is vital knowledge, as it helps us see that hard times and difficult feelings don’t last. But don’t take my word for it, hopefully you’ll learn this for yourself.
Finally, imagine looking back on your lockdown diary a year from now, two years from now, five years from now. Just think what a valuable resource this will be for learning about yourself, your responses and your resilience. You might meet parts of yourself that you’re proud of, and maybe also notice behaviours that aren’t serving you. Whatever you find, it’ll help you grow.