Feeling stressed or down in a world with COVID? Try this writing tool

A new tool uses expressive writing to help cancer patients, others cope with life challenges during the coronavirus pandemic
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

Newswise — ANN ARBOR, Michigan — Living with a cancer diagnosis – whether your own or a loved one's – is difficult under the best circumstances. Living with it during a pandemic adds a whole new layer of challenge. 

A new tool that gets people writing could help provide calming relief. 

The University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center created a new expressive writing tool called Making Meaning that allows people to put their thoughts and feelings into words to help relieve stress and anxiety. 

“Many people with cancer, while they receive excellent physical treatment, have unmet needs around their emotional care. Making Meaning is a simple way for people to express themselves and gain a sense of control and agency over these challenges,” says Lawrence An, M.D., co-director of the Center for Health Communications Research at the Rogel Cancer Center. 

While the tool was conceived to help people with cancer, anyone can participate by choosing one of three writing prompts:

  • What are your thoughts and feelings about your life right now?
  • Find the positive
  • What are your thoughts and feelings about the coronavirus crisis and cancer care? 

Participants are directed to write for 5-10 minutes, expressing their deepest thoughts and feelings about the topic – without regard to spelling, grammar or sentence structure. The idea is just to write. 

The whole process is anonymous and private. Submissions are analyzed by a computer using natural language processing to provide feedback based on keywords and tone. No person reads the submissions and you’re never asked to provide contact information. The site includes additional coping resources for further follow-up. 

Hundreds of studies have shown expressive writing can help reduce stress, improve sleep, improve mental health and potentially even boost the immune system. An and team partnered with James Pennebaker, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, who published the first article on expressive writing in 1986. 

“One of the nice things about expressive writing is it’s simple and something you can do on your own. It’s a method that has a good track record and is worth trying out,” Pennebaker says.

Visit the Making Meaning website at http://michmed.org/kvLao.

 




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 4204
access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 9-Dec-2020 4:00 PM EST Released to reporters: 3-Dec-2020 4:50 PM EST

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 9-Dec-2020 4:00 PM EST The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 9-Dec-2020 4:00 PM EST Released to reporters: 3-Dec-2020 3:50 PM EST

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 9-Dec-2020 4:00 PM EST The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Newswise: 250384_web.jpg
Released: 3-Dec-2020 3:05 PM EST
Study finds COVID-19 hindering US academic productivity of faculty with young children
University of Tennessee Health Science Center

The academic productivity of higher education faculty In the United States in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) fields with very young children suffered as a result of the stay-at-home orders during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, the University of Florida College of Medicine, and the University of Michigan School of Medicine.

Released: 3-Dec-2020 2:50 PM EST
Kidney disease leading risk factor for COVID-related hospitalization
Geisinger Health System

An analysis of Geisinger's electronic health records has revealed chronic kidney disease to be the leading risk factor for hospitalization from COVID-19.

Newswise: Identity Verification During the Age of COVID-19
Released: 3-Dec-2020 2:25 PM EST
Identity Verification During the Age of COVID-19
Homeland Security's Science And Technology Directorate

S&T's Biometric Technology Rally focused on the ability of acquisition systems and matching algorithms to recognize travelers without asking them to remove their masks, thereby reducing risk for frontline workers.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 10-Dec-2020 11:00 AM EST Released to reporters: 3-Dec-2020 2:20 PM EST

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 10-Dec-2020 11:00 AM EST The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 7-Dec-2020 4:45 PM EST Released to reporters: 3-Dec-2020 2:10 PM EST

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 7-Dec-2020 4:45 PM EST The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 3-Dec-2020 2:00 PM EST
Testosterone May Contribute to More Severe COVID-19 Disease
American Physiological Society (APS)

New research suggests that levels of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone could contribute to infection risk and severity of COVID-19.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 10-Dec-2020 12:00 PM EST Released to reporters: 3-Dec-2020 1:50 PM EST

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 10-Dec-2020 12:00 PM EST The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.


Showing results

110 of 4204

close
0.98921