In last month’s blog I talked about hostile encounters in the workplace and suggested some ways to respond. In the aftermath of such situations,however, emotional stress can linger for weeks or even months! If that happens to be the case for you, I suggest a simple but powerful self-care exercise called Writing! Yes, the act of writing down your honest thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper, smart phone, tablet or computer is likely to bring measurable and long lasting relief! A recent article from the New York Times adds further evidence of writing’s benefits.
I've listed below five suggestions for getting started with your writing from my book, The Nature of Caregiving.
1) Write for 5-10 minutes a day or whenever you feel the urge. You might want to keep all your writings together in a notebook or journal.
2) Write about anything on your heart or mind, paying no attention to grammar or spelling. Your writing is just for you.
3) Describe your feelings in detail: "I feel tense like a knotted up rope," or "I feel anxious like dark clouds gathering before a storm." Stumped as to what you are feeling? Check out this list of Feeling Words.
4) Depict a feeling with crayons or paints when words don't come.
5) Try writing in the form of a letter you don't send, to the person who mistreated you, to the universe, or to God.
Finally, don’t be held hostage to negativity, anger and resentment. Instead, start writing!
Rebecca Hauder BSN, M.Ed.