At the beginning of 2018 I set a few intentions. Among these intentions is journaling daily to boost my emotional self care. Truthfully, journaling in an effort to only be a comedic a-hole and not a real life one. I need an outlet for my thoughts.
It took me a bit to find a journal that actually made writing fun. I found mine in the middle of January. It is an old fashioned grammar school notebook that has been repurposed to be a journal and it is fantastic. With this find in hand I started writing daily February 1st.
I felt a little weird at first just writing about whatever came to mind. Yet, after the first few days I realized I wasn’t carrying so much of a crappy day with me and I was reveling in the good parts of each day. Writing all of my thoughts and then re-reading them let me uncover my subconscious in a way I was not able to previously. It is not well written or edited or for public consumption, just a stream of conscious page of cathartic words.
After a month of dedicated writing I feel like it has become part of my routine. It is definitely something I look forward to at the end of each day. Recently, I have been holding all of my stress in my right clavicle. I have dealt with physical manifestations of stress before but this is a new one. As I work through it I find that after finishing my daily journal entry the pain has either lessened or entirely disappeared.
If you have ever been interested in writing a journal but not sure how or why to get started here are my tips:
- Be like Nike and “Just Do It”: There is no better time than now to start. You will feel ridiculous at first but embrace the weird and move through the awkward first few entries. The most important part of this initial step is commitment. If you are like me and are motivated by a fun new purchase to start this process buy something that will entice the James Joyce in you. Commit to this practice for a month. Make it part of your routine and see how it makes you feel at the end.
- No Thought, No Edits: The whole point of a journal is to be as real with yourself as you can be. Grab a writing utensil and just start writing. You may be surprised by what you uncover when you are just letting your hand write what is on your mind.
- Size Doesn’t Matter: Who cares if one day you write three sentences and another three pages. This journal is just for you and if you feel better and/or learn something after either length it has served its purpose.
- Re-Read: Finally, after you’ve poured out your thoughts read what you’ve written. At the end of this month I went back and read all of my entries and it is so interesting to me, not only how I have grown through this, how my writing style has changed. I went from writing a lot of UGH to writing the UGH and then highlighting the amazing and what I am looking forward to.
These are just a few of the tips that helped me through this trial month and I am definitely not stopping now. Let me know if you have any tips and tricks of your own or if you have found anything interesting throughout your journaling process.