An Introduction To Journaling And Simple Tips On How To Start
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say the world feels overwhelming right now. The effects of lockdown are being well documented and it’s more important than ever that we take care of our mental well-being.
On a personal level, I mostly take comfort in some alone time. But even for an introvert (and seasoned overthinker) like for many of us, these slower, groundhog days and quieter moments have led to way more time spent ruminating than ever before.
Journaling, due to its many benefits, has been a particularly useful tool in helping to manage my feelings and anxieties. Using those quiet moments to reflect on life, myself, and the things I feel grateful for has been the best way for me to get my feelings out of my mind.
Journaling looks different for everyone, but here are some tips that I’ve found particularly helpful in getting started…
- Give gratitude
List 3 things you’re grateful for that day and write out the ‘why’ for each one. From the big picture things like your health and family, to the tiny moments that make you smile such as the morning coffee or seeing snowdrops—one of the first flowers of the year—pop up on the daily walk. There are so many reasons to be grateful. Acknowledging these things helps us to gain clarity and reframe our mindset.
- Use prompts
Words don’t always come as easily as I’d like them to. One thing that helps is using prompts to get things going. For example, ‘Today I felt…’ and elaborate on why. Once you start to explain yourself the pen will begin to flow.
- Set goals
I find it really useful to list weekly or daily goals. It doesn’t have to be work-related. Whether it’s to do with personal growth, development, health, fitness, anything. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t tick them all off. Simply roll them over to the next day or week.
It’s so tempting to go down the rabbit hole of stationery heaven. But all you really need is a pen or pencil and some paper.
I’ve personally found it helpful to have three separate notebooks—one for gratitude lists, another for general thoughts and feelings, and one for goal setting. I love these from Etsy as they can be personalised (and I’m partial to any excuse for new, coordinated stationery).
Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong way to journal. Some like to evaluate their day by journaling in bed on an evening for five minutes. Others prefer to journal in the morning as a way of setting positive intentions for the day ahead. You might want to do both. Or when something comes to mind that you feel is significant.
Find what works for you.
Have you tried journaling? Share with us any tips and tricks to stay on track and what you’ve gained from it below…
Amanda is the founder and editor of Blossom & Preen. While she has many interests, especially those revolving around creativity, she is mainly passionate about the journey of self discovery, cats, baths and her morning coffee.