Brought to you by Officeworks.
This September, Officeworks wants to inspire Australians to put pen to paper and reconnect with the lost art of handwriting. Research has found that between 15-20 minutes of handwriting each day can provide a greater sense of life satisfaction and well-being than those that don’t.
The study, conducted in partnership with Deakin University, found that those who handwrite their thoughts, notes, ideas or memories are 2 .5 times more likely to feel relief from stress, fear and anxiety. The research also found that seven in 10 people who handwrite consistently each day are more aware of their feelings and thoughts and have an overall greater sense of well-being.
On Sunday I headed to my local Officeworks to meet with Shana who sat with me and encouraged me to do more handwriting. I hardly write these days – I’m always typing on my computer or phone. I used to enjoy handwriting when I was a kid. Learning how to print and then running writing – all the letters flowing beautifully together. My Nan bought me a calligraphy set and I was obsessed with how the letters and shapes would form on a piece of paper.
Remember our high school diaries? Those were the days. I would bubble write, graffiti write and put smiley faces over the letter ‘i’. We even used to get textas and write all over our canvas duffle bags. Handwriting was super cool when I was a kid.
Officeworks will be conducting four workshops this month as part of their handwriting initiative – themes of goal setting, letter writing, gratitude journaling and creative writing. I did the letter writing.
First we started with writing a page about “something I loved”. This could be a pet, a person, a thing. Something that evokes special memories and why. I chose to write about when I was a little girl playing with my sister. Then we wrote about positive reminiscing. Just dot points on some big things throughout my life I’ve achieved and proud of – like finishing Uni, having three great kids, building and renovating houses, being on The Block and now being able to work from home.
Lastly, I was to write a letter to my past self, telling the old Katrina what I’ve achieved and where I am right now. This was a challenge! The reason is because I can usually type much faster than I write so the thoughts come quicker, but when you hand write you have to slow down and think…
Today I woke up and decided to hand-write things I have to do this week. I put my phone’s notes away and thought it’s better to have the tasks on a notepad right in front of me. I am going to do this every morning now – add to the list or cross it off.
My plan is to start with a fresh, brand new notepad. I like ones where you can easily rip off the sheets as you’ve scrubbed out any jobs. Then I love a new felt-tip pen. I feel like my writing is much neater when I have a good pen to hold! Then each day I want to add subtract to two lists – daily tasks and long term goals.
Admittedly, the long term goals might not get enough pen action, but the daily tasks will get a work out.
The idea behind writing down your goals gives you a better chance of actually achieving them. Being specific and sitting them in front of you each day makes you accountable. I won’t accomplish them if I don’t write them down. This is how I will incorporate handwriting in to my everyday life and I will make it my mission to add and subtract tasks from my list each day. A fresh notepad and fancy pen will help!
- Handwriting increases activity in certain sections of the brain, similar to meditation. So just 15-20 minutes of writing each morning can set the tone for the entire today. Slowing my brain down and helping me to feel more focused.
- Handwriting sharpens the brain and helps us learn. The old hand-eye coordination gets a workout and gets my brain ticking over.
- Handwriting forces us to slow down, promoting creativity and mindfulness which allows us to think and feel more positively.
Check your local Officeworks for their gratitude journaling workshop happening in your area this weekend and creative writing workshop next weekend. Or you can download all of the workshops online here.
How is your handwriting looking these days? A little scrappy like mine I bet! I really enjoyed taking the time to sit and write. My thoughts were more considered and it made me feel good to slow down for a while.