I’ve kept a journal on and off for my entire life but about 3 years ago I started journaling frequently and have kept up the habit of journaling several times each week since then. I think the reason I’ve stuck with it this time is because I completely relaxed any rules I might have had in the past for what should and should not go into my journal.
These days it’s a catch all of everything: long rambling writings, mementos like ticket stubs and programs, cards and letters from friends, lists of things I have to do, goals for things I plan to do, travel logs, drawings and paintings and more. My journal of choice is a Studio Oh! coptic-bound notebook that’s 192 pages. When I fill one up I start another. I don’t worry about starting a new one on a particular date, I just move on and at this point I’ve got a shelf full of full journals along with the one I’m currently using and an empty one to go to when that one gets full. In other words: I’m prepared to continue and I like the continuity of them all being the same format.
The benefits of journaling are widely accepted. It can help with stress, anxiety and depression. It can improve memory, creativity, optimism and problem solving. Truly, keeping a journal is an amazing tool not jut for reviewing your life but for enhancing your life, too. I think there’s something magical about putting pen to paper and, as a writer, there’s just no better way for me to process my feelings than to write them down and read them back to myself. And clearly, I’m not alone. A quick search on Pinterest will produce countless prompts and ideas, netting everything from keeping track of your spending and moods to deeply personal questions to ask yourself and then write about.
Keeping a journal is a great way to practice self care and I encourage you to give it a try if you don’t currently have a journaling practice. If you aren’t sure where to start I would suggest writing a list of things you are grateful for and go from there. I think you’ll be amazed at what you discover.
I used to take an hour or so every Sunday morning at my favorite coffee shop to do this. One thing I struggle with is how my thoughts come faster than I can legibly put them down. But, for me, the experience is more creative, connected and meaningful when written by hand. I’ve always admired the glimpses of drawings you’ve shown that are included in your journal.
I have recently relaxed my journaling rules and it does really free up the flow. I like the self care Saturday theme.
I used to keep a journal regularly when I was younger, but I’ve gotten out of the habit as I’ve gotten older and life has gotten busier. Lately, though, I’ve been thinking that it would be good to get back to it. I think it’s all about making the time for it.
Jeannie Gray says
I journal too and enjoy it. Mine are nothing to get excited about, certainly nothing anyone else would want to read but I do note things that happened that day, what’s exciting or bothering me, things I did and didn’t accomplish and what I can improve on so that I can accomplish something next time… And I try to remember to always include a few things I’m grateful for that day. I just hope that when I die, a friend will quickly grab and remove them before my husband reads them and discovers how much yarn I bought. 🙂
I admire you for sticking with daily blogging this month and I LOVE your Saturday theme. Journaling – and the time that goes along with it – is one of my favorite daily habits. It’s healthy, creative and just plain fun. Also, I LOVE revisiting what I’ve written … last week, two months ago and especially two or 12 years ago. It helps remind me of the person I am … and was. xo.
I’ve been doing more journaling lately, sometimes it’s a recap of the day before-what I’m looking forward to-or what’s on my mind. I agree it’s great to go back and read these to reflect on where you’ve been, how far you’ve come, etc. It took me a while but I’m finally caught up on my blog reading and have thoroughly enjoyed all the lovely photos. Happy Monday!