To Journal Or Not To Journal

Did you ever have a diary growing up? Don't be shy, I won't judge. I know I did and I definitely had more than one. I remember writing my deepest darkest secrets (however deep they may be when your a kid) and hiding the diary in my bedroom where no one could find it. I think I might have even had one that came with its own little lock and key only to be opened by myself. 

The reason I ask is, when did writing become a chore? Do not get me wrong, give me an essay on a topic I have no care for, you better believe I will be waiting until the last possible second to begin writing that thing, but when did writing for one's own pleasure become just another check mark on a to-do list?

I have had this same journal since November of 2015 (or at least that's when my first entry was), 3 years later and I am only almost halfway through it.  No, I don't write in it every day, try to, but sometimes the day is busy or I am just not in the mood. 

I've found that writing my thoughts down really brings me inner calm. I am the type of person and maybe you are too, that always has something on my mind. Whether it is big or small, a voice in the back of my head is constantly reminding me of an idea I had or chore that has to be done. Writing my thoughts down puts me at ease.

I wouldn't say I have necessarily established a "routine", but my favorite thing to do is journal first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee in hand, or the exact opposite, before I go to bed with a cup of tea on my nightstand (sleepy time or yogi stress relief are my favorite). 

It doesn't matter what you write about, the point is, JUST WRITE. On top of clearing your mind its also fun to be able to look back on past entries to see how you have grown, or where your mind was at a year ago from today. Some of my favorite things I've written are silly little reminders for myself like,

March 21, 2017  - "Just Breathe".

and my personal favorite,

October 31, 2016-  " NO MORE CHOCOLATE" (and yes I absolutely hand wrote this in all caps). 

So let me guess what you are wondering...This all sounds great, but how do I start?

Well, here are a few tips I have picked up on my journaling journey that I hope will inspire you to give it a try...

1. Fall in love with your journal... what I mean is make sure you really like your physical journal because if your like me, you will have this for a LONG time and you don't want to hate something you are going to see a lot of, especially if its every day. My favorite place to find cute and affordable journals is Marshall's!

 Thank you to Dottie's Coffee Lounge in Pittsfield, MA for your delicious lavendar latte!

Thank you to Dottie's Coffee Lounge in Pittsfield, MA for your delicious lavendar latte!

2. Get cozy...wherever you are, whether its in a coffee shop or at home, get comfortable in your space. For me, I like sitting at the end of my bed, snuggled with a blanket and burning my favorite candle or defusing my favorite essential oil (rosemary is my absolute fave).

3. Don't worry about what you write, Just Do It! Other than yourself, no one is judging you on what you write about. We live in a universe where we constantly analyze and compare ourselves to one another. Journaling is the time to let this all go and write about everything and anything that is on your mind, and if it doesn't make sense, WHO CARES, this is the time to concentrate on yourself.

4. If you don't know what to write about, start small. Try writing one sentence a day. For example, write down one thing you are grateful for. Then overtime you might want to write more. If you are having a hard time giving yourself a topic to write about there are hundreds of journaling prompt ideas online that I have found helpful when feeling stuck (checkout pinterest boards for ideas).

Whether you decide to start a journal or not just remember this is all about you. So often we forget to take care of ourselves and it is important to check in and be mindful of how we feel.

 

So go out today and remind yourself of how incredible you are! As always, thank you for reading. I hope this post brightens your day and inspires you to smile a little more too!

 

 

 

 

Jenna Atkinson