One of our ideas for self-care in our Memory Makers Self-Care Edition is taking time to journal. If you love the idea of journalling, but aren't sure where to start, we've put together 5 tips to get you going!
1. The Right Tools
If you are anything like me, you put off starting to journal because you don't have the right tools. Sure you have paper and pens, but they aren't quite right. Not pretty enough, the wrong colour, can't find the right pen.
Here are some places to start looking.
1. Use old writing paper - remember way back when we used to write snail mail letters to each other and bought letter sets? I still have a bunch of these sets that were given to me, so I use them for my daughter to journal and she loves it! And it's making a comeback!
Don't have any writing paper? Just use printer paper! Use full A4 size or cut it in half for A5.
Store the finished pages in a box.
2. Create your own! We'll bring you a tutorial soon if this is something that interests you.
3. Use one of our 100 Days of....Notepads to get started with simple (and fast!) guided journalling.
4. Who said you have to use pen and paper? Type away on your computer, use the notes on your smartphone, or download a journalling app.
"But I don't have enough time," I hear you say.
Someone once told me that we create time for the things we really want to do, and you know what? She was right.
The beginning or end of the day are good times to steal 10 or 15 minutes to yourself to set everything down in writing.
It's lovely to create a routine around it - writing in your happy space, grabbing a tea or coffee, and letting everyone know that this is your time.
3. But what should I write about?
That is completely up to you. Sit down and just let it flow. Write down whatever comes to mind, even if it is disjointed and a bit all over the place.
Still stuck for ideas?
Every day I write down 3 things. It can be any 3 things, but they must be positive. 3 things that made me happy, that made me smile, that I am grateful for, that I will make happen, dreams, goals.
[Update - I wrote this about a year ago and since then I have stopped excluding negative things from my journalling. I felt like I was disregarding and placing no importance on problems and things that came up each day that needed to be addressed. If I can write it down, it makes me more able to face up to it and find a solution or work through it.
So I came to the realisation that I just have to go day by day and do what works for me at the time. I try not to focus only on the positive or only on the negative, but find a balance. It's not always easy, but I found being overly positive didn't translate to being happier about everything. I'd love to know what you think and what works for you!]
You could journal your ideas, dreams, goals, what you want your life to look like and how you are going to get there, things you are grateful for, kindnesses, what you learned today, the best thing that happened today, your favourite quotes, write lists, memories, funny or sweet things your kids said, write down things you want to let go of, or draw.
Try not to go down the anger, negativity, and self-recrimination rabbit hole. Make journalling an experience you enjoy. Write about the problems you are facing, but use it as a tool to try and solve those problems rather than wallowing in self-pity.
4. Be realistic
Don't beat yourself up if you don't write in your journal every day. It takes time for things to become a habit, but if you force yourself into writing, it becomes a chore that you don't enjoy.
You are going to miss some days - life will get in the way, things will come up - and that is absolutely OK.
Some days you may sit there and have no clue what to write. So mix it up a little. Draw a picture, write a list, write down the lyrics to a song you love, write about a special memory, or plan your dream trip.
5. There are no rules
This is your journal and it is just for you.
So write for yourself, about what you want to write about.
It's fine if it's messy, filled with mistakes, if your writing is not perfect.
Actually, there is one rule, and that is to enjoy the process.
If you need a little help to take more time out for yourself and keep a track of mindset and habits?
Memory Makers Self-Care Edition - for ideas to look after your mind and body.
100 Days of Self-Care Notepad - 5-10 minutes a day to help look after you and keep a track of how you are feeling.