It’s day two of my on and off line diaries whilst confined to the house with my family. I’m keeping both sorts. I have a hard copy diary which I use to process my thoughts and feelings, record what went well, what was miserable, what I miss, what I notice. I’m doing it twice a day, just for ten minutes each time.
I’m also planning on doing the same here online. Posting some suggestions about what you might find helpful to try out to support your own well-being, or your family’s, in the days to come.
For my old school, hard copy diary, I’m using this format:
I free-write and draw whatever I like. A free-write is where you put your pen to paper and just write whatever comes up. You don’t worry about grammar or punctuation You let go of any judgement you might have about the quality. You just write whatever comes and you don’t lift the pen until the timer goes and tells you its time to stop, even if what you write is ‘Help! I don’t know what to write…’ Maybe during these days my thoughts and pens will take me down the road of hopes and fears about the day ahead, maybe I’ll doodle, maybe I’ll write a poem. I definitely know that some days it will be a list of trivial complaints. It’s good to get that out of my system somehow. It can be anything, simply whatever comes into my head!
First, I write down anything I want to leave behind today: any niggles, anger about something that happened, what I don’t want to carry over into tomorrow. We might have to be in this house together for a while and grudge-holding won’t help us get through that. After I’ve got those out of the way, I write a gratitude journal: three things for which I am grateful today. Just a word, phrase or sentence is enough. They can be anything, mundane or sublime – it’s about paying attention to things that have enhanced the day in some way. There’s nearly always something if you think hard enough. On a really bad day, the good thing might be: I got to the end of today!
Why not have a go at keeping your own pandemic diaries?