The Pandemic Journaling Project
You may have heard of “The Pandemic Journaling Project”, it has been circulating in the media, including within social media communities. This is a fascinating project!
You can read more about it in this recent article in the New York Times .
The article reads…
‘Right Now Feels So Long and Without Any End in Sight’ More than 700 people have been keeping digital diaries as part of Pandemic Journaling Project. It may be the most complete record of our shifting moods in this isolating year. Click here to read more.
Your Pandemic Journaling: Please share your voice and words here…
This article got me thinking about our IAJW journaling community and how we as journal writers are using our personal writing practices to tap into resilience, well-being and to cope during this pandemic time.
I would love to learn more about how journaling is supporting you during this continued Covid pandemic time. I so hope you will add your voice and perhaps even and excerpt from your journal in the comments below. We learn from one another’s stories, thank you!
I will start us off…
Dear Covid, you were declared a Global Pandemic just over one year ago now. Since that time you have stolen millions of lives, leaving a wake of grief, loss, stress, exhaustion, fear and frustration rippling through individuals and families and long-term care homes and communities and hospitals and workplaces and businesses and the world.
You are a virus of mass destruction – emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Your presence is breeding increased racism and hatred and conflict.
You are causing high levels of stress, anxiety and depression in many, many people. People who never suffered from such mental health challenges before can barely breath, barely sleep.
I can breathe and I can sleep, most nights. But there are nights when I lie awake looking at the moon through our bedroom window – awake in the dark – I count my blessings and feel my tears all at once. Sometimes I am so tired that I can’t sleep, truly exhausted from it all. I want to keep my family safe, myself safe, our island community safe. I want my mom to be safe in her care home a half a country away.
There have been many changes and many losses because of you Covid. There are positive gains too, like more time together as a family and not being away from home traveling for work.
Positive. I have been thinking a lot about the importance of staying positive and hopeful and optimistic, as all of these things are aspects of being and staying resilient during times of adversity and disruptive change.
Covid you are a disruptive change. You are the mask I wear over my face, you are the threat that lingers. But even with you here, I am choosing to look beyond you and notice the beauty and joy in the simple pleasures of daily life – writing in my journal over morning coffee, doing work that is meaningful, sharing a great meal around our kitchen table, calling my Mom to say “I love you” and wish her a good night’s sleep, and tucking in beside the man I love at the end of each day.
I walk in nature most days, I notice the daffodils and other signs of spring. I watch the tide go out and in. I stand amidst tall trees under blue skies. The sun still comes out Covid. We are going to survive you by finding the bright spots in our days.
I pause and I inhale deeply, taking air deep into my lungs, grateful I can breathe fully. Exhaling, I release anything I want to let go of, even just for a moment. I breathe thinking about my own aliveness at this time, a time which will be eventually written in history. You Covid, are making history. So are the rest of us.
Ok, your turn…
Please offer a comment below, perhaps you want to share…
- How you have used journaling to cope during this pandemic
- A pandemic experience of your own
- An excerpt from your journal during this Covid time
- What is one bright spot you are able to notice at this time?
May journaling support us all to tap into our resilience, stay well and live authentic lives during this pandemic and beyond!
My First Journal Entry for 2021:
It’s rather a belated start to my journal for 2021 as I have been pondering on whether to continue with it this year due to all that’s happening in the world impeding my self-motivation.
It has felt like I’m constantly writing about doom and gloom in reference to this strange time of darkness we find ourselves trapped in.
As we are held to ransom by mutant strains of the virus raging through the world, a lot of hope has been placed on the vaccine getting us out of this major problem, yet the media have already began to challenge that hope with their scaremongering reporting and questioning of its effectiveness. They have gone so far as to state that more problems could arise from time lapse between the two dose protection being given. Here I go again. Doom and gloom.
Stop right there!
This journal (and the 2021 theme for National Poetry Day) is entitled ‘choice’. Therefore, I am choosing to focus on hope within this journal
Hi Julie, thanks so much for sharing your voice here through your journal entry. I am grateful to read it. To “choosing to focus on hope” – not always easy to do, but a worthy pursuit alongside the very real challenges in our midst. Thanks again!
At the end of March 2020 and before the sun rose one day, I wrote in my gratitude journal that I was thankful for the light in the window across the road as it helped remind me that I was not alone in battling the world’s latest challenge. Over a year later, the virus has taken much, but has also provided me with the time to acquire two new certifications, learn to play the Native American flute, and hike on a secluded Idaho trail to an elevation of 9,000 feet. Today, I continue to choose to focus on that light in the window and the hope that came with it. Although we all face unique challenges in life, we can gain strength from knowing that there is a light inside all of us to not only guide ourselves through our obstacles, but also to help illuminate the path so others can also find hope amid the darkness.
Hi Vicki, thanks for sharing your rich reflections. To the light…
Where do I begin…….
Covid, you’ve changed the world both good and bad. I lived through your darkest appearance as you took many from my life as a healthcare worker in long term care. Throughout your evil presence I gained strength keeping those in my care safe and loved, providing hope and company. October 2020 came and I lost my own strength and determination. Spiraling into a deep depression myself, no longer able to mentally, physically go into work. I shut down as you did to so many. Now my time to go inwards, why at 55 is this happening to me? After 7 months of inner and outer work to rally back to my “New self”. So much has changed for me good and bad as I now figure out where do I go from here. The new appreciation I have for life but also the struggle of day to day, a tough balance, I now work through on my own. There looks to be light at the end of the tunnel for your leave Covid but the destruction you have left behind will take a “village” of kindness to repair. This is my hope and my purpose now.
Hello, new world, my name is Karin and I have plans for you, listen in……….. to be continued…….
Hi Karin, Thank you for sharing your meaningful reflections. I’m sure you know you’re not alone feeling the despair and impact of this Covid time. I can really feel your optimism and your hope for new beginnings. May journaling be part of this new awakening/energy!