I am sure that I am not the only person that feels like they need someone to talk to these days. Whether it’s professional therapy or just a friend or relative that can act as a sounding board for you, sometimes the need to unload or get advice is overwhelming this year. Civil unrest, Covid-19, distance learning, polarizing politics, and financial uncertainty add to the stresses and concerns we are all feeling. Common questions running through my head are, especially at 2am: should I be homeschooling my son this year?, will I be secure financially, even if I am right now?, is the stress and lack of appreciation from the public too much for my husband right now?, am I going to punch a liberal in the face today?, when will the Covid-19 restrictions and cancelations come to an end?, should I move my family out of New York state right now? It’s no wonder I can’t sleep some nights!

One cannot blame an individual for seeking some kind of therapy or venting outlet with all of these concerns weighing on us. While everyone has their own method to decompress, from binge drinking or eating to professional therapy to unplugging, writing is my preferred method of getting it all out. I find that I feel freer and more at ease when I write instead of speaking my concerns out loud. Writing can be kept private or shared with others. Writing also allows me to focus on what the real issue is instead of letting it fester in my mind. I can figure out what my solution options are easily once I get it on paper (or my computer screen). It can serve as a way for me to communicate with someone when I feel too intimidated or shy to say things out loud, or if it would be impossible to speak directly with someone. Many times, writing in my journal makes me feel as though I have unloaded a huge load out of my head. I find that I can focus better, sleep better, eat healthier, and be more patient with others. And we all know that these days a lot of patience is required!

Here are a few writing methods that have worked for me in the past:

  1. Write a letter. Write your concerns in a letter to whomever. Write to the Governor, your spouse, God, or a deceased loved one. This works especially well if you cannot speak to whomever you have a gripe with. If you want to scream at the Governor because of frustrating Covid restrictions or you need to ask aa deceased loved one a question, put your issues in a letter that they may or may never see. Just start writing to them. Don’t worry about editing or how it may sound. Don’t worry about an introduction or a closing. Just write.
  2. Write in a journal. Put your thoughts down on a regular basis. Again, don’t worry about editing or organization. Just start writing. Write down what your dreamt about or what irritated you at the grocery store or that thing your spouse did that got under your skin. I recommend keeping your journal in a private place that won’t be tempting for someone in your house to come across and read. As a teenager, I found journaling very therapeutic. That is until my manipulative mother found it and use its contents as entertainment and ways to make fun of me. I didn’t write anything again until I moved out.
  3. Start a blog. It’s kind of like a journal, but for me I know there are only a few people that read this. It’s like venting to some people, but not the entire world.
  4. Send cards. It sounds silly, but I always feel better when I send someone a card. If you’re thinking of someone and can’t figure out what to say, just write a little ‘hello’ on a card and send it to them. Besides, everyone likes to get mail that isn’t a bill.

These are just writing methods that I have tried and liked. There are many, many writing methods with may work better for you. Let me know what they are!

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