Now the vast majority of people have settled in to the reality of staying at home, working remotely and not having the luxury of bars, restaurants and shops to visit, it’s interesting to see how conversations and ideas are changing with work colleagues, friends and families.
Whilst it still seems impossible to source toilet roll… I mean who is hoarding it all? People I talk to are coming to terms with an heard of level of isolation, and our conversations turn to how they can maintain their mental health and wellbeing during what could be months of limited face to face contact.
One of my first suggestions in these conversations actually came from something one of my kids said. He suggested that this event is on a scale that hasn’t been seen since the second world war, and as such he was wondering whether he would one day tell stories to his grandchildren about wartime Britain like his grandparents and great grandparents had told to him.
And this made me think that we really ought to write it all down. Many of the stories of the second world war came from diaries and written accounts of those living through those times. And the risk is nowadays that those intimate moments of history are lost in unrecorded video conferences and facetimes, or worst still, people never talk about how they are feeling, and consequently our mental health suffers.
Both of my kids have started Coronavirus diaries to document what it was like, how they felt and what they did to keep themselves entertained. It might end up in our loft for evermore, or it could be something that their grandkids read to learn about what it was like back in history. They aren’t writing lots, just thoughts, activities and the occasional photo when the mood takes them.
So I’m encouraging people to take some of the extra time enforced upon us, to write down our accounts of what it’s like to be in this situation. Write about what we learn to do differently and better in these testing times.
You can write it in a diary or use an online tool like Day One, which is what I use because it works on multiple devices and allows you to record and annotate photographs too. You’ll find a link to Day One in the description. Alternatively you could post something to social media, just to a close circle of friends or family, without the need to get lots of likes.
And if you don’t know where to start with what to write, here’s a few suggestions.
Start small. Write one line about today. What’s new, what happened that took you surprise. Take a photo and explain what’s going on.
Track or log something
Log what you did today. What did you achieve? Did you rediscover an old classic movie that turned out to not be as good as you remembered? Did you manage to do an extra press up?
What ideas are you considering for work, how to entertain the kids, or a book that maybe you’ve finally got a chance to read.
List your worries
What’s bothering you? Get it off your chest. This can be particularly useful in putting worries to one side before sleeping.
What are you grateful for today?
Maybe it’s having more time with the kids, or the ability to have a nap at work for a change. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but it’s good for our mental health to find something to be grateful for every day.
Please let me know how you’re using journaling in this difficult time, and if you’d like to see more videos on how to survive the coronavirus or perform at your best, please click subscribe and I’ll see you in the next article.