Keeping a journal aids in mental health, providing much needed positive self-talk, especially in these trying times. It helps reduces stress and allows us to rediscover ourselves. The left side of the brain, which is responsible for analytical and rational thinking, is activated whenever you practice writing.
Reap these wonderful benefits by starting a journal this quarantine. Here are a few steps to get started:
1. Make time for it.
Make it a habit to reflect and writer every day. Allot at least 15 minutes daily to jot down feelings and thoughts, then compile them all during your free time. This would also help you practice time management and enhance your sense of responsibility.
2. Use what you have.
Journaling does not mean that you have to be a super creative or artistic individual or spend a lot of journaling materials. Make use of available resources. Not all journals have to be inked on paper either. You can simply download an application like Diarium, Day One, Daylio, and Five-Minute Journal, and start from there. The key is to to keep track of your insights and feelings. Let the words from heart to hand.
3. Embrace mess.
Part of journaling is embracing what comes out of your mind. So what if the colors don’t add up? Or if you can’t express in the most beautifully creative words? This is a personal endeavor. Allow your thoughts to simply flow like water and embrace the stillness and feelings that come with it.
4. Be present.
Do not let your mind wander. If you feel the need to check your mail, tell yourself that you will do this later. Focus on this activity solely for 15 minutes. Take it easy on yourself. This is not about perfection. It’s about allowing what is.
5. Journal when you are at your most comfortable.
Journaling doesn’t need to be the first thing you do in the morning. For some people, a cup of coffee provides a head start prior to journaling, while some do it at the end of the day as a way to unwind. Whatever time you choose, remember that journaling only works when you are doing it in a state that works best for you – be it during daytime or nighttime.
Try these tips for yourself and start journaling today!