Wellness Wednesday: Writing a letter to your future self

This summer has been BUSY. With lots of back to back travel, long days at work, and a big transition on the horizon, I’ve been feeling out of whack in more ways than one. When my mental health starts to suffer like this for prolonged reasons, I turn to one of my favorite wellness practices to slow down and reflect: writing a letter to your future self.

I did this during a difficult time in my high school years, during my first year of college, and during a challenging period of a long-distance relationship. Each letter was left unopened until a specific date a couple years later.

If you’ve never written this kind of letter before, I recommend you try it! Here are just a few of the benefits:

-Establish a deeper connection to yourself by uncovering your truest identity. How much of who you are do you think will be the same in six months? One year? Two? Depending on how long you wait to open the letter, you may be surprised by what you find out. Is what you wrote about still important, and what does your answer teach you?

-Reinforce that whatever season of life you are in right now will eventually pass - both the good and bad. Knowing you are writing something you won’t read again for a while can help you feel more gratitude in the present. Upon opening the letter, it’s also rewarding to retain the understanding of what your past self was going through while appreciating how far you’ve come in only a way your future self can.

-Unburden yourself. Much like journaling, writing out your biggest fears, struggles, etc. can be therapeutic. You’ll be the only one reading it, so you can really open up.

-Create a time capsule of your feelings. As we get older, it’s easy to unintentionally forget what it was really like for our younger selves to experience certain things. Documenting it in a letter will help you preserve those emotions.

-Brighten your future self’s day. When was the last time you built yourself up and treated yourself the way you’d treat one of your best friends? If you’re like me, it’s been too long. Really commit to this exercise by purchasing or making a nice card and writing the kind of heartwarming message you’d be grateful to receive.


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© 2019 by Erin Cornell.