01 Dec 2015

Letter Writing Day: How Pen-to-Paper Helps Us

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When we’re drawn to fill a page, we’re often surprised at what is summoned. Oftentimes, we don’t truly know our thoughts until we put language to them.
Mark Sisson, Health Advisor

You might not expect a health advisor to encourage writing. You might think nutrition, exercise, and routine blood tests to monitor health. But writing? What’s writing got to do with wellness?

In essence, writing serves to clear our minds and hearts. When putting pen to paper, we can tap into feelings and thoughts which are not as easily accessed otherwise. Upset? Pondering a dilemma? Not sure which career path to take? Or even just elated at a recent success, or an upcoming family celebration? Sometimes we don’t even know what to do with our thoughts and feelings – they seem to stay inside. While for some people, talking it out (getting things off of our chest) is a relief, for others it’s writing that does the trick.

An opportunity for writing occurs this month, on December 7th, which is  Letter Writing Day. In an age where digital communication has by and large replaced written communication, letter writing has become a lost art. Post offices around the world have restructured to accommodate the huge decrease in personal letter mailing, and even that might not be enough – the US Postal Service, some say, is on the brink of going out of business. The market shifted, giving way to emails, SMS texts, and many other internet-based forms of quick, paperless message sending. Out with the pen, in with the touch-screen keyboard.

For many in our Rockaway Care Center population though, letter writing is still well lauded.  We call on everyone to go retrograde and bring back the letter writing for its positive emotional and mental health effects – that’s what Mark Sisson, quoted above, is promoting.  

Writing a letter is not necessarily for just being in touch. As mentioned above, writing is therapy. Sit own to compose a catching-up letter to your family member or friend, and you might discover untold feelings or thoughts which only get revealed through your writing. As well, if you want to express yourself more freely, you can even pretend to write a letter to the person you wish to speak to. In fact, some therapists suggest writing a letter that you would want to mail, but then set it aside. Reread the letter only after three days, in order to gain insights on how you felt before moving forward with any decisions.

Whether you choose to commemorate Letter Writing Day specifically or not, consider putting pen to paper for any occasion. You’ll feel better, gain clarity, and best yet – have something tangible to show for it.  And if you choose to mail it, Rockaway Care Center will assist you.


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