How Journaling Can Cure Loneliness During (and After) The Pandemic
Do you want to hear something obvious? The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard. No matter who you are or where you come from, this past year has been a test unlike any other. While there have been some silver linings to this incredibly difficult time, the truth is that social distancing and extended isolation are hard to deal with on a semi-permanent basis.
You might be thinking: at least it will be over soon. But some things that were lost during this pandemic cannot be replaced. Maybe you lost a friendship over differences in opinion — your “pandemic mindsets” were different, and it was impossible to reconcile your opposing perspectives. Or perhaps you lost something even greater: you experienced the death of a friend, a family member or even a partner.
The truth is, the pandemic may be over sooner than we think, but it has left a gaping hole in our lives — one that’s hard to fathom. How are you supposed to move on from this? While we certainly don’t hold all the answers, we do have a tool that might help if you’re feeling especially lonely, lost or confused.
That tool is called The Journal That Talks Back. Think of it as a two-way journaling service. You choose a prompt, write about what you’re experiencing, and your journal is read by a qualified responder specifically paired with you to meet your needs. It’s as simple as that — but it’s also much more, depending on what you want out of it.
Here are just a few ways The Journal That Talks Back might be able to help you weather the after effects of the pandemic.
When they write the history books about COVID-19, we wouldn’t be surprised if they called it “The Great Loneliness Pandemic.” That’s just as deadly a name as the disease itself. In fact, extended isolation has been proven to be twice as harmful to your physical health as other serious health conditions such as obesity or substance abuse disorders. With both your mental and physical health at stake, it’s important to address feelings of loneliness before they become a chronic issue — a default, instead of a disruption.
How does our journaling service help with loneliness and isolation? By pairing you with a certified responder, you’ll be writing journal logs to someone who is specifically trained to help you navigate your worries, fears and anxieties. Not only that, but a certified responder will work to actively break you out of those damaging thought patterns. How? By asking critical questions, digging deep and uncovering the source of your loneliness, they will push you to open yourself to new opportunities and ideas that can help with social isolation.
In addition to their benefits as “loneliness navigators,” certified responders can help with loneliness in their own right — they are a new relationship to be fostered, explored and nurtured! Our service works best the more you journal, meaning you’re encouraged build a relationship with your responder and share as much as you are comfortable with them.
Of course, this is a no-pressure relationship. Unlike therapy, you’re not required to show up at a specific time each week to talk to someone and unlike personal or business partnerships, you are not responsible for holding up your end of the relationship. Instead, you’re encouraged to journal when you need it. Responders will reply in near-real time, giving you quick feedback no matter what you’re currently experiencing. That’s what makes The Journal That Talks Back so intuitive: you get what you want out of it, instead of what we “tell you” to get out of it. Use it as much or as little as you need to cope with isolation, loneliness and feelings of loss.
Helping heal relationships worth healing
There’s another aspect of The Journal That Talks Back you should know about. Certified responders aren’t simply here to help you get through a bout of loneliness. Instead, they’re a little more like a life coach (not exactly, but you’ll see what we mean). The point is that they’re trained to help with a wide array of issues — not just one or two.
One of those issues is restoring broken relationships. No doubt the pandemic has caused many friendships and family ties to fade. Some of them have been fiery burnouts — everyone yells, and nobody talks anymore. But others simply withered and died due to extended isolation. Either way, if you’re looking to restore some of those relationships in a post-pandemic world, certified responders can help. They’ll get to the root of your disagreements and “falling outs” with friends and family, helping you pinpoint and address problematic behaviors that led to the end of meaningful relationships.
There is a world out there beyond the pandemic
Whether we like it or not, we’re all a part of history for living through the COVID-19 pandemic. We will be branded as survivors. We will be called resilient. And, after all, weren’t we? We weathered this storm as best we could. We faced challenges no one in our lifetimes has ever been expected to face before. Most of all, in order to get through this, we turned to ourselves, drawing on both external and internal resources: friends, family, hobbies, passions, faith, creativity, inspiration and more.
But if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t have to do this alone. The Journal That Talks Back is a wonderful outside resource in your post-pandemic arsenal — one we hope you find useful. So, COVID-19 warrior: if you’re feeling lonely and your current tools just aren’t doing the job, check us out — and see if we’re right for you.
We are a coaching company with expertise in lots of different areas like mental wellness, career, relationships, parenting and a whole lot more. While coaching in The Journal That Talks Back™ can help you to take a deeper look at the above topics, we recognize that there are times when other resources, like therapy and/or counselling, may make more sense. As such, we have begun to develop a Mental Health Directory with well over 800 resources and we are investing time and effort into really growing it. It is also developed in a super user friendly way (we hope) so that it's easier to navigate than say another government website. Click the button below to check out our Mental Health Directory.