It’s officially Fall in our Northern Hemisphere with no surprise that the days are growing shorter, the air cooler, and some leaves beginning to fall. BUT not so predictable is the state of what’s going on in our world. The COVID-19 pandemic, political, societal, environmental and economic ‘news’ bring uncertainty to our world every day. Then there is our personal ‘world’ within it. It seems only appropriate to say this is the New Normal – change and uncertainty.
I see us operating within this New Normal in three basic ways. Some of us as if business-as-usual, some searching for meaning, purpose and direction in life and some of us struggling as we are filled with overpowering stress and emotion. Each of these ways-of-being impacts our physical, mental and emotional health and well-being whether we are aware of it, or not.
In this New Normal, what we know for sure is to expect uncertainty and the question is how to address it? For those of us doing business-as-usual, the uncertainty might be a nuisance. For those of us seeking meaning and purpose for the future, we are perhaps striving to be forward thinking to get beyond it. For those of us who are totally stressed out, we need relief in order to survive. How do you identify with these categories?
Whether you see yourself in one of these categories or not, a least common denominator is to create certainty for yourself. You can do this simply by getting in touch with your emotions, your thoughts, what matters to you and seeing a way forward, whether for the next hour or next year. To get right to the point, an easy way to do this is simply by writing! Why? Because it is amazingly flexible, simple to do anytime anywhere, and it works. It is proven to provide benefits for health, well-being, stress relief and discovering what you need and want to move forward in the New Normal.
Two quick examples of how writing helps are:
A June 2020 Wall Street Journal article entitled: “Feeling Upset? Try this Special Writing Technique” shares the experience of a man whose father was rushed to the hospital with internal bleeding. Feeling panicked and fearful about his father’s situation the article states: “So he did the one thing he knew would calm himself, and he wrote: ‘I’m so scared……I don’t know what I’ll do if I lose my dad.’” The article details that he filled many notebooks while laughing, crying, expressing what he was experiencing and feeling and concludes with: “Something troubling you? You should write about it.’
I recently heard from someone I had coached who shared she lost her job, returned to journaling to relieve her emotion then wrote to set a path for the future. I was happy to learn the only writing she is doing now is jotting down the 5 things she is grateful for each night with the first being her new job!
Whether you are business-as-usual, searching for direction, or stressed out, please do try writing and experience the benefits it brings. Whether you write a little, a lot, every day or now and then, it works! Go for it!
Be well, Diane