A single grain of millet makes no sound upon falling, but a thousand grains make a sound. We can conclude a thousand nothings can become something. It is called the paradox of the grain of millet. This concept is synonymous to the creative therapy of writing.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has been mentally stressful across the globe. Obsession(especially smartphone addiction), loneliness, traumatic stress and gaming disorder are few of the mental health issues facing the global youth community.  Since mid-March, the Harvard T..H Chan School of Public Health has hosted a weekly online forum on mental health topics. The audiences were modest at the beginning, but as the crisis intensified, the attendance has swelled, with about 700 people joining weekly. Karestan Koenen, professor of psychiatric epidemiology at the school noted that people, especially youths, have been reaching out for information about mental health. While most of the interventions we have received aim at hunger alleviation and sustaining the economy  we must pay attention to this. Fear and anxiety have become two unwanted options to live with. Though we overestimate the effect of the pandemic in the short run we must not fall for the falsehood of underestimating the long term effect on mental health of youth. 

Common solutions recommended by WHO are limiting news consumption, talking to a health worker and social contacts with loved ones. But something as trivial as journaling has been found to be helpful. Research published by Cambridge University Press revealed how the act of writing for 20 minutes daily can improve mental wellness. Writing about earlier traumatic experience was associated with both short-term increases in physiological arousal and long-term decreases in health problems (Pennebaker & Beall, 1986: p. 280). The habit of populating an empty piece of paper with alphabets arranged seems little until its potential for keeping in shape during this pandemic is explored. Journaling is self-care therapy everyone can engage in.

Meditation and mindfulness are accepted ways of improving mental wellness and writing especially expressive writing thrives on this. It helps with better comprehension of thoughts and feelings. This is because writing takes feelings out of the imagination and lays them bare on the paper. You see them eye to eye and you can dialogue with every of those feelings. No wonder every great person keeps a journal.

Thinking about an event, as well as expressing feelings, seems to be important. In this way, writing helps to organize the event and give life to it. The University of Texas, Austin found that people were more likely to talk about a traumatic event after writing about it privately. It was noted that writing helped in breaking the prolonged mental cycle of thinking among the participants of the study.

A “pandemic journaling” is a low-cost and easy self-therapy for mental wellness. A single word on paper makes no sound but a thousand of them make a sound of victory in the strife for mental wellness.

This article was written by Aderintto Nicholas; connect with him on Instagram via here  

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