I love to journal. I’ve kept a journal off and on, mostly off, since I was about eight. For the past 5 years, I have been writing entries into my journal/dairy/whatever-you-want-to-call-it about once a month at least for multiple times a day at most. I really enjoy just writing down my thoughts. I typically journal when:
- I’m stressed and need a release.
- I’m sad and don’t want to talk to someone else.
- My therapist tells me to.
- I have very intense feelings (either positive or negative).
- Something awesome happens, and I just have to record it.
For journaling some of my favorite supplies are:
Journaling has been such a great way for me to get in touch with my feelings in a safe, low stakes environment. Here are my tips to be successful in journaling:
Number 1: Keep It Low Stakes
It’s absolutely OK if you don’t journal every day. I’ve gone months without a single entry – that’s okay. It’s ok if you misspell a word. Lastly, it’s ok not to journal about every single thing. One of my friends records every single thing she does every day in her journal. That could never be me. It’s also OK is you’re the person who wants to record every moment in your journal, but you don’t have to.
Number 2: Find a Style that Suits You
It doesn’t have to be perfect, pretty, or aesthetic. It just needs to be functional and work for you. Until this week, I only really ever journaled in one way; just blurting out my thoughts on a page. I don’t really even have paragraphs – just my sentences on a page. Occasionally, I write in my journal as if I’m writing to my future self, or to someone who may be reading it. One of my favorite entries are my “State of the Union” entries. In these there are two columns: In and Out. On the “In” side are things that I’m enjoying: this could be anything (people, movies, pens, activities) and on the “Out” side are things I’m over or are upsetting me. Last, is a style I’ve just recently started. One night, I was lying sleepless in bed around 12am, and I decided to journal to get all my thoughts out in hopes out actually getting some rest. But I just had too many thoughts, so I just started a numbered list of everything that was running through my head. I keep writing until I get all my thoughts out or get tired, normally the latter.
Number 3: Set a Time to Journal
Generally, I journal before I go to sleep. I do almost all of my journaling in bed, so I keep my journal on my nightstand. Setting a dedicated time to journal helps to cement it into a part of your routine.
I hope these tips can help you in writing and maintain a journal!