“A cherished lockdown hobby that I hope to keep up long after we return to ‘normal'”

Naomi, our Business Development Assistant, shares the way she’s tackled feelings of isolation during lockdown, in the hope it inspires others to give it a try or find something similar that works for them. Since it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we thought it was apt to share this little bit of kindness that Naomi is spreading among her friends and family, and receiving back by return post <3

One of the ways that I’ve been trying to combat feelings of isolation during lockdown is to write letters (the old-fashioned way!) to my friends and family. What started as a cute way to stay in touch with those I love and bring a small smile to their faces, has turned into a cherished lockdown hobby that I hope to keep up long after we “return to normal” (whatever that means). Here are five reasons why you should consider ditching the keyboard in favour of a pen and paper:

  1. It’s a lovely surprise!

As I’m sure we are all discovering, life in lockdown can feel pretty mundane and monotonous. When an unexpected letter from a friend lands on your doorstep, it can brighten your day and makes a welcome change from bills and junk mail! For me, receiving a handwritten letter takes me back to my childhood and the excitement I used to feel at the prospect of receiving post.

  1. Positive thinking

Telling your friends and family how much you appreciate them can help you feel grateful and notice the positivity in your life. This is especially important during these uncertain and frightening times, where our outlook on life can naturally focus on all the negatives. Being reminded of how great they are and how much you love them can also help your loved ones feel less isolated or low.

  1. Forging deeper connections

We are incredibly fortunate to be able to reach the people we care about with the click of button, but sometimes communicating online can feel a little impersonal. Taking the time to pause, and really consider what you want to say to someone can lead to more heartfelt conversations, and help you open up properly. Whilst we can’t be physically close to friends and family, we can become emotionally closer, learn more about one another and feel close in a different way.

  1. Shows that you care

Writing a letter takes that extra little bit of time and effort that lets the recipient know that you really care about them. Small acts of kindness like this can mean a lot to someone you love, particularly if they are struggling with social distancing, or feeling low at the moment. I like to remind my friends and family of my favourite memory of us, tell them a funny lockdown story, or send them doodles of my cat. These little anecdotes bring a smile to their faces and let them know I’m thinking about them.

  1. Writing unlocks creativity

We’ve all been told about the benefits of crafting/being creative on our mental health. For those who fear paint brushes and knitting needles, writing letters requires concentration, and has similar meditative properties to other creative outlets. It can also feel really rewarding to accomplish small tasks, particularly in our current circumstances where it can be difficult to maintain our normal productivity levels.

Thank you to Naomi for her blog contribution. Have you picked up a new habit during lockdown that’s helped you? What are some small ways that you enact kindness? Get in touch, either via our social media channels, or via email (info@leedsmind.org.uk)