During times of uncertainty and even in daily life it’s completely normal to experience different feelings of anxiety, sadness, doubt etc., we’re all human after-all. But how you deal with those sensitivities are what create healthy habits. Journaling is one amazing way to help you cope with the worries in your world.
Where to Start:
It can be intimidating staring at blank lines/ pages, even when you have been writing for a long time. A good place to start is by simply jotting down what’s in your head. It gives you a chance to express what emotions, feelings and thoughts you’re going through at that moment or what you’ve felt throughout the day. Use an old notebook you have laying around, buy (an eco) one that you’re drawn to, write on your laptop or even just a piece of paper. The key is not to focus on the writing materials, but the actual content and doing. If you’re having writers block, you can also Google/ Pinterest journal entries to get you started with writing ideas.
There’s also amazing tools like guided journals which come filled with exercises like writing down things you’re grateful for or the things you’re most proud of yourself for that week. A lot of them also come with motivational quotes throughout them to inspire you as you write. These are a great way to keep you on track for journaling and give you a variety of tools to use.
Finding Your Time
Everyone is different when it comes to the time of day they like to journal. Some prefer to write in the morning to use it as an intention setting for their day; while others use it as a tool to declutter their brains before bed. Frequency is the writers choice: it be everyday, a few times a week or when they really need to let something out. Whatever time of day you choose to write, it’s important to use this as a time of rejuvenation, not just another feel good ritual we try to shove into our day. It can be therapeutic like meditation because you’re giving your brain a chance to finally unwind.
You also get some much needed alone time, to release everything you’ve been holding in, the bad, the good and the ugly. Take this time to find a comfortable spot, maybe light some candles, throw on a diffuser or anything that brings you relaxation to make you look forward to writing. It’s important to find a rhythm, to create a self-care practice that doesn’t feel like a chore, but something you truly enjoy, though it can take time to enjoy it. Like with anything, it can take time to get into creating a habit of journaling and finding out when writing works best for you.
There’s things we’ve said and done, goals, and the list of things we’ve bottle up inside because we’re too afraid to tell others. That’s when journaling comes in as a side kick that isn’t going to judge or doubt us, and is completely private to just you (with no one looking at your spelling either). Journaling gives you the chance to express everything you’re keeping inside and to get it out of your mind. It can be an emotional time during some writing topics, and don’t let that stop you from writing them. If you need to cry while you’re writing, do it, because it will help you release all of that emotion, while decluttering your mind.
When you keep running through a scenario in your mind it can be hard to see it any other way. That’s why when we talk to a family member or a friend about a situation, we usually end up feeling better about it afterwards because their advice is something we may not have thought of. When we write down what we’re going through, it makes it a lot easier to see it from a new lens. We end up becoming more sure of ourselves because we start to rebuild a trust inside that may have been lost with all of the often untrue and negative comments we say in our heads. It might even unleash some more creativity, and inspire you to doodle or even add in pictures. This might even get you interested in bullet journaling, a mix between planning, journaling and drawing.
We often search outwards when we’re seeking advice whether it be from a friend, professional, sibling or even the internet. But rarely do we ever give advice to ourselves, even if we’re good at giving it to everyone else. You know yourself, what you need, truly want and aspire to, so who better to give you that advice than yourself? A great way to do this is when you’re writing out a situation, think about how you would talk to a loved one if they were in a similar position. It would definitely be something kind and encouraging, not the brutal insults that we say to ourselves if we “mess up”.
The more journaling is brought into a scheduled routine, the more we can bring these practices into real life. The blank pages start to become your best friend and you can pour your heart out without any judgement or worry about what anyone is going to think or say. There’s no right or wrong things to write, it’s all about what you feel needs to be said. Use your writing time to not judge yourself but to compliment yourself, because you’ll feel a lot better. You may even want to look back on some of your past entries to see how you were feeling, happy memories you wrote from a trip you were on or as a reminder as to why you’re writing in the first place. It becomes an amazing tool of self-expression, because it’s just you and your book, without any limits.
Here are some Canadian journaling accessories we love including a Guided Clarity Journal, Refillable Bamboo Pen and Frida Notebook: