During this time of social distancing, some of us are experiencing more stressors than we have in the past and we are seeking new creative ways to deal with the pressures of everyday living. Many of our usual coping mechanisms are closed off to us due to current stay-at-home orders.

The fitness center, shopping malls, bars, and clubs are closed. While phone communication and video chatting are excellent tools to maintain communication with the outside world, sometimes we also need self-reflection. I suggest you consider writing to relieve stress.

Writing may take many forms. Here are a handful of ways to get started: 

  • Write a handwritten heartfelt letter to a dear friend that you don’t speak to often. Reaching out to someone important in our lives reminds us that we are loved and not alone. 
  • Write a true family story that you want to pass along to your children or grandchildren. Sharing important history with past generations is an essential responsibility in our families. 
  • Journal the events of each day, including your thoughts and feelings. Writing down our thoughts and feelings gives us an outlet to express ourselves in a manner that we may be hesitant and unwilling to share with our significant others. A journal can become a safe place. 
  • Write down your frustrations and the things you want to say while you are blowing off steam and counting to ten. Writing doesn’t have to have the permanency that a conversation may have. You can write your innermost thoughts and then delete them on the computer, shred the paper or if you have a flair for drama—burn it!
  • Write a book or a play. If you’ve always wanted to write a book or play, now is the time. With the increased time on your hands, now may be the perfect time to get started. Such a large project may also be just the distraction that you need during this time.

More than fourteen years ago, I started writing late at night after my children were asleep as a way to reflect upon my long workdays and busy home life. The multitude of hours with a glass of wine and my computer were truly cathartic. 

During the time spent alone, I gained insight into my thoughts and feelings. In addition, I identified my personal obstacles and how I could overcome them. For me I enjoyed writing so much, it led to a fulfilling writing career. Writing romance helps me to relieve stress and I hope you find a form of writing that works best for you!

Learn more about becoming your best self in our Healthy Living section.