A week into the New Year, and for those of you from the UK like myself, it’s not been the best one. Yes, Lockdown 3.0 has begun, homeschooling is back, we remain humbly grateful to our key workers and everyone’s too over it to bake banana bread this time…On a serious note, many of the people I’ve spoken to are struggling with their mental health right now and I’ve been thinking about some things I try to do to help my own and a really important one is journaling. When I talk about journaling, this doesn’t have to be a bullet journal or any other kind of extra, fancy, creative book, it can literally just be a classic diary or even an App on your phone.
At 21, I was relatively late to the diary-keeping club, although with the recent popularity rise of bullet journalling you could also say I was early. I haven’t really thought about it too closely before now but I suppose it makes sense that I felt the need to start writing more when I was at a huge crossroads in my life. I was in my third year of university, I’d just decided that I didn’t want to pursue the career path relevant to my degree, I was feeling super stressed over my upcoming dissertation and I was going through the ringer with my feelings too…no wonder I needed an outlet to share!
Journaling has evolved a lot in recent times but the concept is the same. An outlet to write down your frustrations, emotions or write about happy moments that you’d like to look back on. Whatever the content, journaling can be a really effective way of releasing stress often created by bottling up a lot of overwhelming feelings.
5 Benefits of Journaling
- Reduce stress and anxiety Keeping emotions or stresses bottled up inside can only last so long. Talking to other people about these things is so important but if you don’t feel ready or able, writing in a journal is an excellent way to let some of those stresses or worries free.
- Set Goals and Track Progress Especially around New Year/Birthdays, journals are a great way to jot down your goals for the year ahead and continuously track progress.
- Work on your personal growth (and track negative behavioural patterns!) We’ve all heard the phrase “Hindsight is a wonderful thing’. Well journaling is a tool that can sometimes offer that hindsight by allowing you to look retrospectively at situations you have been in and learn from what happened.
- Help heal negative experiences If you are dealing with heavy trauma, professional therapy is always going to be the best road to recovery, but journaling also has some benefits in the healing process. The physical act of writing emotions and feelings down on paper is incredibly therapeutic and cathartic.
- Clears and refocuses your mind How often does your bad day(s) affect your ability to focus on work or even fall asleep? Journaling is a fabulous way to clear the mind, especially at night when thoughts can tend to run riot and keep you up ’till the early hours.
I read back through some of my older journals recently and (once I’d gotten over the embarrassment) it was quite uplifting to see how much I’ve grown without realising it. 29 year old me and 21 year old me are somehow both the same and also miles apart, some for the better some perhaps not. There’s definitely an extra level of cynicism you grow as you get older, because whilst you’re experiencing all the wins, the love and the laughter you also go through rejection, grief, sorrow and disappointment resulting in a difficulty to remain as optimistic as you were before life got real. The best thing about journaling? I’ve got it all down on paper ready for a trip down memory lane. The worst thing about journaling? I’ve got it all down on paper…😂
- I love this Vintage- Looking Journal
- This Floral notebook is so pretty
- This Magnetic Journal quote on the front is a nice touch!
- This is a great starter set for bullet journalling
- I love a motivational sticker in my diary and these are great.
- There are so many great prompter journals on the market, this one is a great way of refocusing every morning
- A slightly less structured prompted journal, this time focusing on mindfulness.
- This is a great, affordable starter kit from The Range.
Do any of you have journals or diaries that you keep? Or are you interested in starting one in 2021? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments below 🙂
Thanks for reading,