An exercise known as expressive writing can help make misgivings manageable
By Wendy Haaf
If the pandemic has you fretting about the future or grappling with caregiving responsibilities that have become doubly demanding and complicated, you might benefit from a useful online tool.
Some research suggests that expressing feelings of worry and uncertainty in writing can be beneficial for both mental and physical health. Expressive writing is especially helpful for people who repetitively think about, dream of, or dwell on a specific concern.
The University of Michigan’s website “Making Meaning” allows you to pour out your thoughts and feelings completely anonymously, prompting you with two or three quick questions and providing a short analysis (and, if you want, a copy of your text) once you’ve finished.
The site isn’t monitored, so you need have no concerns about your privacy. A text on the site stresses that expressive writing “is meant to be a learning experience. Although writing can be a powerful coping tool, it is not a substitute for professional therapy. Expressive writing is not recommended if you are currently highly distressed or depressed.”
To give the exercise a try, go to mi-makingmeaning.org/topic/rogel-patients-coronavirus.