When was the last time you wrote something with a pen?
Remember back in the day when we didn’t have keyboards at our arm’s length at every moment, and actually had to put pen to paper? When we would write in our diaries, or hand write assignments and essays and to-do lists and short stories and letters to pen pals and notes to our friends during class?
What happened to that?
Did you know that writing for just FIFTEEN minutes a day can help relieve stress, fear and anxiety? That handwriting personal notes can result in a healthier state of mind and a greater sense of life satisfaction? Isn’t that WILD?
Do you ever stop to think that maybe our brains are so scattered and we get so stressed because we never take the time to get in touch with our feelings and thoughts? That perhaps recapping our experiences in a journal would help consolidate our day and help us realise what is truly important? What is worth making note of, and what simply shouldn’t be worried about?
Would we write in our journal about how some boy we like didn’t text us back? About how you just missed out on the 50% sale at your favourite store and how at the time it ruined your whole day? About how the coffee you bought this morning was cold? No. I bet they wouldn’t even make the list. By writing down your day you might realise what is not worth your stress, and therefore stop worrying about it! If you wouldn’t bother writing it down in a journal to reflect back on in years to come, then why are you making such a big deal of it now?
What happened to sending letters to pen pals and writing notes to friends? I have an entire box filled with hand written letters, every birthday card I’ve ever been given, every note a friend ever passed me at school and even blank receipts my colleagues would print at the checkout when we worked nights at the supermarket and scribble notes to me on while we waited for customers. Would I print an email and put it in that box? No. It doesn’t have the same meaning. What happened to the handwritten touch? Have we become that “busy”?
How do you manage your tasks? These days is your phone just constantly bleeping at you, telling you what you haven’t done and what you have to do? How much of a failure you are for not finishing all of your work, and making you feel guilty every time you snooze an alert? I bet you SWORE you entered that reminder in your Outlook calendar, so when the notification didn’t go off and you missed the deadline, surely that’s technology’s fault, right?
What happened to to-do lists? To that amazing feeling of crossing something off when it was done? To not having excuses when technology fails us? To actually paying attention to what we are doing because we have to physically write it down and embed it into our memory, not just shoot off a quick text or email and forget about it 2 seconds later?
What happened to mindfully connecting with our lives through the written word?
If you haven’t already heard, this month Officeworks is running a nation-wide campaign to encourage Aussies to spend a little bit of time each day writing.
Being a hand letterer, it goes without saying that I am 100% on board with this movement! Taking the time to handwrite or hand letter slows you down, makes you focus on one thing at a time, allows you to truly connect with your day and be more present, along with the health benefits mentioned above.
For me personally, I have been able to ease my impatience, to be present in the moment, to focus on one task at a time, and to stress less.
I have also suffered from a pinched nerve in my right shoulder for the last few years, and had been trying as much as possible to avoid over-using my preferred arm, as per doctor’s advice. Unfortunately it wasn’t helping.
I worried that starting my new obsession of hand lettering 9 months ago would do me even more damage. Isn’t it interesting that my pain has reduced by 95%, all since I started writing and using that part of my body every day?
I also stick to hand written to-do lists and post-it notes at work, no matter how hard everyone pushes to go paperless. To me, writing down my list connects me to the work, helps me be mindful of what I’m doing, realise if a task isn’t worth doing right now, and improves my memory. I also get to experience that wonderful feeling of crossing something off!
So join us, write something! A letter to your overseas friend or family member, a post it note to your parents or partner, a to-do list for work or school, your first best-selling novel – anything!
Take the #TimeToWrite today, and experience the benefits.
For more information on the campaign, please click here.
Thank you to Artline AU for asking me to be involved in this campaign.