When It comes to keeping a journal, I’ve had one since 5th grade. Having a space to write whatever thoughts I had was comforting. When I was little, the only vacations we had were going on road trips. From a very young age we liked keeping journals to have a project to work on in the car. We would tape in different tickets and trinkets along the way. I think that’s what got me into the idea of writing my thoughts down. It all started with a normal school ruler notebook. As a grew up I always found myself leading on my journal. It’s a time capsule. Sometimes it’s exhausting to keep track of everything and remember what goes on day to day. I find myself going back sometimes just to see what a day looked like back in high school. Man, it wasn’t easy but it was simple.
I think journals don’t need one purpose. It doesn’t need to be for one thing—it can, but it doesn’t have to. Journals can be for keeping track of time, events, moments of sadness and anxiety, but for also the once in a lifetime sweet moments. I love going back to look at what I wrote about leading up to prom and picking out my dress, when Alex and I first met and the amount of butterflies I had.
If you’ve had a journal before, but stopped, there are always moments in life where I find myself writing more or less. For me personally, I come to my journal a lot more in moments of stress when I need to release something. I do write about happy moments I want to cherish, but for me, when I’m happy I don’t have a lot of time to write. Personally I’ve been wanting to change that because I do want to get better at keeping it like a planner if that makes sense. I want to use it to help keep track at different moments in time. Especially now. Now more than ever my days go together and it’s already May. Mentally I’m stuck in March when everything closed. I was just getting used to April—maybe you’ve seen some of my typos in May being about April (LOL). But here we are. May is my favorite month because of the way the world around me blooms. I’ve had some of my favorite moments of life in May. I love the way the sun comes through the trees in May. I love the way that the air feels—before it gets sticky and hot. I love the way that the yard is in full bloom.
If you’re new to the idea of keeping a journal…welcome! This is a tool for you to use how ever you want. There’s no judgement in your journal. You don’t have to show a single soul what you keep in your journal. This is your safe place. You might find that it takes some warming up to being honest and letting her heart fully trust. And that’s okay. Start with a little. Try writing about what you did today. For me, I like keeping goals for me to fixate on in the future to keep me going. If you like something to look forward to—to work towards—try defining your dreams. Each day doesn’t have to be the same. You can talk about different things. Maybe you have stress and worries to release. Instead of holding them internally, let them go in your journal. That way they are released but also if you need to come back to your thoughts later, you can reference them. I find that when I have worries, I need to keep remembering them or making a game plan—again, I need to remember them. By writing them down, I no longer need to hold them in my head clearing up so much space for happy thoughts and a clear mindset. This could also help you focus.
Since there are no rules in your journal, feel free and safe to experiment with your writing. Don’t feel boxed in topics. Sometimes I change what I’m talking about as it pops up in my head. At night, the way that our brain works you might feel the most creative or feel like you have the most thoughts. It’s natural. Try looking up stream of consciousness. This is a literally term that we used in College when studying novels. Basically, you just ramble off what the voice in your head says. Yes, that little voice in your head? Yup. It’s essential in mindfulness and can help you in your journaling journey.
Here are a few ideas for what you could journal about:
- Life at home
- What your day was life
- What your week was like
- 3 things that bring you happiness and why
- Talk about things that keep you up at night
- People you admire
- New skills you’d like to learn
- Goals for yourself
- Talk to yourself about your anxieties
- Write about milestones in your life
- Think back to a time where you felt most alive
- Your favorite tv show/character
- Set long term and short-term goals
- What life is like during quarantine
- The first thing you think of when you wake up
- Qualities that you want to work on
- Remembering a vacation you went on
- What your childhood was like
- 3 things you’re working towards
- 5 things you want to release
I just want to mention that the journal is yours for doing whatever you want with it. If you need clarity, if you’re working through anxieties, or keeping track of what makes you happy. Journals can be about good but also the hardships we face. You don’t need answers, you could write down prayers or well wishes for yourself. Just try to be kind to yourself. When thinking about mindfulness you have to forgive yourself of your mistakes and choose grace. Grace is a huge word for me. Have grace for yourself and others. You’re not perfect, the world isn’t perfect, and your journal doesn’t have to be either. This free, neutral space is yours. It doesn’t need to be a place where you give yourself answers, you don’t have to grow from it---it’s whatever you make it and I want you to know that there are zero expectations for what you do with yours. I can’t stress that enough. This belongs to you. This is whatever journey you want. I hope it can help you in some way if it’s relaxing, giving yourself time, being a place to plant seeds in yourself to watch grow, if it’s a place where you are vulnerable, or maybe a place to find creative happiness. I wish you the best on your journaling journey. I’m so excited to have journals for you in the shop to join me!