Creative Writing for Wellbeing shared at the Hospice

  • 15 May 2024

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Females sitting in a chair writing

Patients visiting the Living Well Service at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity spent an informative and meditative morning learning more about how creative writing can support wellbeing.

Health Care Assistant, Emily Ward, started by sharing different writing aids, that the Occupational Therapists had put together to support those who might need some physical assistance with writing – although she added that people can also write with their finger, use voice recordings (which can be converted to text), use iPads or computers etc. to capture their thoughts. Aids included large grips to hold onto pens or pencils, slip mats etc.

 

Emily shared a short insert from a Podcast, ‘Just one thing,’ presented by Michael Mosley. He said that in a recent study it was found that people who wrote, went to their Doctor less.

Female showing another female a writing aid

He said that writing for just 15 minutes a day can improve sleep, boost the immune system, help with forgetfulness, help people learn better, improves your social life, people can be a better friend and they talk and laugh more!

Emily added that creative writing can have many benefits but should not replace talking therapy. She suggested different prompts for writing personal thoughts – which do not ever have to be shared with anyone else:

Male sitting in a chair writing Journaling  – scribble your thoughts onto paper. There are no rules – write continuously and don’t worry about grammar, spelling etc. Michael Mosely suggested writing down something that keeps reoccurring in your mind and maybe worrying you.

Unsent letters – write a letter to yourself now, your younger self (what you wish you had known then), someone you love or loved and lost or write to your pain or illness.

Gratitude – suggestions of things to be grateful for included: birds singing, hot water, sunshine, family, spring flowers etc. Emily added that remembering things you are grateful for can ground you and remind you of what is important.

Poetry – Emily shared more about writing a Haiku (pronounced Highkoo) – a Japanese poem that consists of three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third.

Each patient was given a notebook to write in and given time to think of five things they are grateful for or to write a Haiku.

As she opened her new book one lady exclaimed:

“I love new things – new days, new years, new relationships and friendships etc”

Females sitting in a chair writing

Kathryn Webster, shared a Haiku that she wrote, reflecting on a personal memory in Northern Spain:

“Memories, cycling in sunny climbs through beauty, reflecting on life.”


Our ‘Outstanding’ services are provided free of charge to patients and their families. Our aim being to provide the highest quality care, helping people to make every moment count. You can find out more about how we are funded here: arhc.org.uk/how-we-are-funded.