Start writing and watch your mental health improve

Clarissa King

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

When most people think of writing the most common misconception would be that writing has to be a long  activity.I am here to tell you that that is not the case. 

 Maybe what pulls people away from writing is that a book is typically the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about writing. But writing is a fun activity that we can make time for with our busy schedules.

There are so many fun ways to write as a leisure activity. Writing can even help improve mental health. Many studies have been done to show the positive correlation between writing and mental health by helping increase self-awareness. Becoming more self aware can increase your confidence. Your intention switches and you begin to look inwardly at yourself.

Turn your feelings and good messages into poetry or songs. Using any number of literary devices, you can convey meanings in a unique way. That’s the best part about poetry- there are no rules. You can also make music like raps or songs for another layer of art to your creations. Make independent works or eventually create a collection or album.

 A fun way to share your poetry, raps, or songs is at Loudmouth Monday, hosted by Lyrical Graffiti in the Joslin Atrium the first Monday of every month.

Writing a journal entry every night or every other night detailing your day and week may be simple but very beneficial. You can share the meanings that you found, lessons you learned, events, and, of course, how you felt. You can find meaning and value in your day and reflect on your wellbeing. It will be a record of your college years. Journaling will also track any day-to-day feelings which can provide a record so you have a better way to control how you feel.

Journaling is also a great form of therapy. Writing how you feel can be therapeutic for many reasons, one being that you are prioritizing your feelings on paper. Also you may feel better writing something down especially if you are handling everything on your own. 

According to the University of Rochester journaling can help manage anxiety, reduce stress and cope with depression. Journaling may have many positive outcomes. One of the most important aspects is keeping it simple.

Throwing it back to before texting, writing letters to family and friends is a fun way to practice writing and connect with a loved one. You can do it via email, although I suggest a traditional letter or even a card. You can send a letter to show your family and friends just how much you care, and it is more meaningful than a text. Exchange letters back and forth, every once in a while, or around various holidays. Add even more of your own touch by decorating your stationary and you could even draw a picture for the recipient. Letters are one of the best ways to share your writing with people you care about.

Letter writing can also be quite therapeutic. It allows you to connect with family members or friends as well as expressing yourself. Connecting with your loved ones is extremely beneficial to mental health. Even writing to a past or future version of yourself can be beneficial.

Writing short stories (fiction or nonfiction) does not mean you have to write a best-selling novel. Focus on a short story. You can write a fiction story or about one of your experiences. You could even write fanfiction. Whatever the genre, you can have characterization, conflict, and meaning without several pages of writing. Eventually you could make a book of your short stories, but short stories ensure that you are not thinking about writing an entire book first.

Short stories whether they are fiction or nonfiction can be therapeutic because they can be an escape from reality. Writing a made up story can allow someone a safe space to express themselves while creating  their own world. 

No matter what school throws at you, make time for yourself to be creative and expressive. Writing can be a quick escape to help better your mental health.