Reflective Writing Can Help You Take Perspective 

By Kelly L. Ross, MS, PCC.

This week I have been starting calls and video meetings asking how are we each arriving? On my side I am all over the map: grumpy that there are rules that I need to stay home, excited for extra time at home, overwhelmed (especially if I have been watching too much news or scrolling Twitter for too long), bored, etc. etc. Pause and breathe. How are you right now? 

As I work to redesign much of my work to move to a virtual setting, I am enjoying the creativity of considering how to engage us from our own homes, connected on a platform such as Zoom video. And it is a challenge. Not everything translates easily. Things take longer virtually: “turn to a partner and discuss” requires that we activate the breakout room feature and pause, for example. We have more distractions and need to be more patient with kids and dogs and construction in the background, and with our ability to stay focused.  

One of my projects this week was to design a session where the Arden coaches will come together virtually next week since we will not be together in person, as planned. I wrestled with how to meet us where we are each at, find ways to be productive, and also allow grace in these wild times. Finally, a few reflection questions came to me and I am sharing them in hopes they might be useful to you.  

What are you GRATEFUL for?

Be as specific as you can. Today I am grateful for these colorful blooms in my window. And the sunshine. And getting out for a walk — staying six-feet away from others, of course. 

What do you GET to do right now in our current time?

This you might say is the opposite of FOMO (fear of missing out). I get to work from my lovely home. I get to virtually connect often with many people in my life. I get to take a walk most days while having a phone chat with a friend or family member also out for walk. I get to cook healthy, yummy food. I get to curl up with a book for fun before bedtime. 

What are you happy NOT to be doing from your “normal” days?

I connected with clients today that I typically drive over an hour to see. I did not miss the drive. I realize that I am often running from thing to thing, and now I am moving a bit more slowly with more time in between things. I am not missing that frantic rushing around. 

I find reflective writing to be very powerful. Are you up for trying it out? 

Pick one of these questions above, grab your journal or a piece of paper, and write whatever comes to mind for five minutes. Set a timer and try not to stop writing, even if you are writing that you don’t know what to write. 

I resisted this technique initially. Now I am finding it powerful. No one has to read what you write, and sometimes I am not sticking to the question I start with. All is ok! Write. Reflect. Notice. Breathe. 

Wishing you and yours health and safety, and some grace too! 

To learn more about leadership, perspective, and organizational change, schedule a consultation with Kelly.