Typing on your laptop or smartphone may be a lot faster than handwriting your notes, but there's no reason to throw away your pens and notepads anytime soon. In fact, many people in the United States observe January 23 as "National Handwriting Day" in honor of John Hancock, the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Even if you're living outside the US, there are plenty of good reasons to celebrate Handwriting Day. It's been proven that writing by hand helps you retain information longer more than typing on a computer.Â Studies have also shown that calligraphic handwriting helps reduce stress as the repetitive and rhythmic motions can put one into a mindful and meditative state.
Ready to celebrate? Grab a pen (or a dozen) as we show you several fun ways to spend what may just be your new favorite holiday!
In this day of constant connectedness, we get bombarded with so many mindless messages regularly. The typical inbox is filled with "LOLOLOLOLOL" and "K". Why not brighten up someone's day and pen them a thoughtful letter for a change?
Can't think of anything to write about? Gratitude is always a good topic! Thank your co-worker for helping you out on a particularly challenging project, show appreciation to your mom for cooking your favorite dishes, or express your belated thanks to your teachers for molding you into the person you are today (also for putting up with your shenanigans as a kid)!
If a letter seems too daunting to write, try a postcard. It doesn't take much to fill the space at the back, and you can keep things more casual and lighthearted. If you're traveling, send one to your loved ones back home to give them a feel of the place your visiting. You can even send one to yourself to relive the best moments of your trip!Â
Can't think of anyone to write to? Try Postcrossing. It's a platform for exchanging postcards with random snail mail enthusiasts from around the world.
Maybe you're not ready to share your handwritten masterpieces to the world yet. That's OK, you can write just for yourself. Grab one of the many journals you keep receiving as Christmas presents (or dust off that diary you started months ago) and get writing! Journaling is a good way to practice your penmanship while expressing your thoughts. Think of it as therapy on paper.Â
Not all entries have to be gut-wrenching confessionals. The New York Times has compiled a massive list of writing promptsÂ to keep your creative juices flowing and not run out of topics to write about.
Longform writing is not the only way to practice your handwriting. You can perfect your penmanship by practicing on a single word or an inspirational quote. Make a motivational poster with your personal mantra or doodle your planner with words of encouragement to keep you fired up even on toughest days.Â
Handwriting can also have a more practical function. You can also celebrate Handwriting Day by labeling your things or personalizing your favorite objects.
Leave your electronic devices on your work desk (or in your pocket) and bring a good ol' notebook and pen to your meeting today. Jot down important info by hand and enjoy the added benefit of not getting distracted each time your phone buzzes. Maybe this is a new habit you can practice throughout the year too!
Handwriting is not just a tiring, mechanical task. It can be a stress-relieving memory aid, creative outlet, and more mindful way to communicate. How will you celebrate Handwriting Day? Let us know in the comments!