In some ways, I was already preparing for COVID-19 and I didn’t even know it. A self-proclaimed germaphobe, I already had hand sanitizer in every handbag and stashed everywhere in my house. I already washed my hands obsessively. I’ve been working from home since June. And, whenever possible, I was already opting for going for walks outside instead of on the treadmill at the gym.

I was also already using writing as a way to calm my anxiety.

2020 hasn’t been kind to me. I’ve faced a devastating medical diagnosis, a death in the family, my mother being hospitalized, and constant car trouble to boot. Oh yeah, and now I — a proud extrovert — can’t be around other people thanks to this global pandemic.

Related Reading: 7 Things Writers Can Do During the Coronavirus Crisis

Writing in my journal consistently has been one of the things that have kept me sane.

I hope writing can also help you find a sense of peace in the uncertainty that the coronavirus crisis has caused.

Of course, if you are suffering from depression or an anxiety disorder, please get the professional help you need. But if you just need something to help you chill out, here are some of the writing prompts I’ve used to find calm in the midst of chaos.

Journal Prompts to Fight Anxiety

1. Be present. Take a deep breath and look around. Write about something you see, something you hear, something you can touch, something you can smell or something you can taste at this moment.

2. Did you feel stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed today? If so, what triggered this feeling and what can you do to overcome it?

3. Consider the woman you need to be to get through difficult and uncertain times.  What is she like? What are her morning and nighttime routines? Write a manifesto describing this woman and declaring that she is you.

4. Make a list of 20 things you are grateful for right here, right now.

5. Make a list of accomplishments that you’re proud of.

6. What do you need to let go of?

7. What was the most difficult experience you’ve had and how did you overcome it?

8. Write about a time when you relinquished control over a situation (or realized you had no control over a situation) and everything worked out.

9. What do you have control over right now? What is one thing in your life you have the power to improve? What can you do to improve it?  

10. What are 10 things you can do to take better care of yourself?

11. Write a letter to your future self.

12. Write a love letter to your body.

13. Write a thank you letter to someone who has helped you.

14. Stop focusing on your own despair by focusing on how you can help others. Make a list of things big and small you can do to help people in your sphere of influence.

15. For Christian women writers: If you truly believed, as Romans 8:28 states, that all things work together for your good, how would your thoughts and actions change?

Also, check out these 7 Journal Prompts That Will Help You Tackle Anxiety from Bustle.

What writing prompts do you use to tackle anxiety?