Start Your COVID-19 Diary NOW!

Start Your COVID-19 Diary NOW!

by Anthony Teles
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

In March, bustling work schedules and social lives came to a halt. We suddenly found ourselves at home day after day with offices, restaurants, and malls all closed. What to do with this frightening, unprecedented downtime? Write about it. This is the perfect time to start a personal diary, or continue a journaling habit that you might have previously stopped. The benefits of doing so extend beyond yourself to your friends, family, and future.

This is a traumatic time for many. Maintaining a journal can help make sense of the chaos and unpredictability. In turn, this can mean reduced stress and an improved mental and physical state. The Journal of Medical Internet Research published a study in 2018 that found that keeping a journal resulted in lowered stress and anxiety levels within a month. Studies have also found that the habit can improve IQ and sleep, as well as immune functioning for those dealing with various medical conditions. Organizing your thoughts on page or screen can have profound effects on your physical and mental well-being. This is all the more reason to start right away.

Beyond your own health, a diary can have a positive impact on the people around you. We are getting through this together. Sharing your experiences in a blog, from the good to the bad to the downright awful, can help strengthen the connection with friends and family despite the distance. Your family can work on journals together and read what they feel comfortable sharing. These words can be a simple summary of your day, the news of the week, or a cathartic venting of emotions. Any and all of these things will help build an emotional bond with your family and friends as you struggle and work through this together.

Your current friends and family may not be the only ones to read your diary. It could also serve as a time capsule for future friends or even your children. The COVID-19 pandemic is a generation-defining event that will likely be in future history books, and your diary would be a primary source from this historical time. With more of us creating first-hand accounts of our daily lives in the time of COVID-19, we are building a great foundation for future people to study and learn from this era. Many minor details, like the news from a particular day to the various struggles involved in going to get groceries or celebrating holidays and birthdays with friends, can easily get lost in time. Diaries ensure that these tidbits do not become forgotten memories.

No one knows for sure when or if our daily lives to go back to the way they were before March of this year. Start your diary right now. Open a Word document or types some notes on your phone. If you are not sure what to put down, start with “Dear COVID-19 diary” and write whatever comes to mind. You can not only improve your own body and mind during this difficult time, but you can also better connect with friends and family, and have recorded memories to look back on in the decades to come. There is a lot to process from the emotional, societal, and economic fallout of this pandemic. Your thoughts are an important part of that processing. Your words matter.


Daley, Paul. “We are witnessing a critical time in history. You should keep a diary.” The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/14/we-are-witnessing-a-critical-time-in-history-you-should-keep-a-diary

McGinn, Dave. “Journaling can help children make sense of life in the age of coronavirus.” The Globe and Mail. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-journaling-can-help-children-make-sense-of-life-in-the-age-of/

Vermes, Jason. ‘We want it all’: Keeping a COVID-19 diary? It could help future historians – and your mental health. CBC. https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-april-23-2020-1.5542275/we-want-it-all-keeping-a-covid-19-diary-it-could-help-future-historians-and-your-mental-health-1.5542907

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