Ever felt the need to channel all that mental energy you’ve built up somewhere? Or perhaps you have a plethora of thoughts you need to jot down somewhere: but you don’t know where! Well. you’ve come to the perfect place.
I’ve had piles of notebooks stacked up on the top shelf of my wardrobe ever since I was a child. The ones I received from birthday parties with Frozen characters tattooed onto the spine, those bound by secrecy with a lock and a key, and my favourite of them all – the ruled notebooks with floral quotes on the cover.
It’s always been hard for me to start using a notebook: I’m always second-guessing myself – ‘is a travel journal really useful’ or ‘this notebook is too pretty to be used as a dream journal.’ And the cycle goes on and on, and hoarding notebooks is now my speciality.
Honestly, though, this never seems to stop me from buying them. Nevertheless, on my thirteenth birthday, I finally found something that stuck: journalling. So, let’s get into why I love it so much!
Journaling? you may ask. Do you mean like AmandaRachLee’s bujo spreads? Or the Notion template videos that YouTube bombards me with?
Yes… and no.
Journaling is what you want it to be. It could be a notebook where you jot down what you’re grateful for, maybe a Notion template where you brain-dump or even a diary. It’s completely personalised; what works for you.
Journaling is an amazing way to keep track of your thoughts and your feelings – and, if you’re regular, you might even see a pattern. If you hang out with someone a few days a week and every evening that day, you feel angry or jealous – or any sort of toxic emotion, you’ll have something to tell you that he/she isn’t right for you. If someone isn’t making you smile, they’re not worth your time.
Perhaps it’s the writer in me that finds journaling so very fascinating, or perhaps it’s just the want to cling onto beautiful memories – the good, and the bad. Or maybe it’s something that reminds me that even in my darkest hour, I’ve made it to where I am now – and that truth holds good for my next misery. Nevertheless, here are a few tips I find incredibly helpful when it comes to journaling and making time for it + why you should journal.
But why is journaling so important? Why does it even matter?
it helps with your mental health + issues you might be having 🌼
A teacher that belittles you, a friend that doesn’t give you joy, these people don’t deserve a place in your life. You’ll slowly realise that journaling is just like self-care, and I’ve come to love it over these past few months. I think that letting out what you feel is so important because all of those bottled-up emotions can erupt at the wrong time.
It isn’t healthy; trust me.
So pick up a pen and let your thoughts flow – make it something you want to do. Its effects are mindblowing and it is such a stress-buster
the freedom is endless 🦋
Journals aren’t of ‘two types’ and there isn’t just ‘one way to journal.’ People may say that, but it’s their way of journaling. If you want to write about what you’re grateful for – journaling’s just for you: keep a gratitude journal! If you want to stay a little more true to your faith, start a prayer journal.
If you’re that disorganised, messy-haired girl with books strewn across her desk – I’m not looking away – then try a bullet journal or just one where you write lists!
I think your journal reflects who you are so don’t just do it because it looks ‘aesthetic’ and that Pinterest board be perfect for your journal. (It wouldn’t hurt to do that, but still.) Your journal is you and that’s what really matters.
it’s beautiful to look back on ✨
Do you ever get that ‘I wish I could relive that day!’ feeling? Well, journals are perfect for that. In all honesty, sometimes I write completely irrelevant things on big days but I still love reliving what I felt when something happened.
It’s very The Princess Diaries: maybe you’ll figure out something that’s been right under your nose, but you’ve not been paying attention. Journaling is your storehouse of memories – as long as no one peeks, of course!
But, Maya, I’ve tried! I’ve tried so very hard, and yet it doesn’t seem to be working!
Oh, but it will work.
Here’s my list of tips to begin journaling. It’s not all that glamourous as it’s made out to be when you first start because, well, you just can’t seem to get into the habit of it! It’s honestly not that hard: you just need to give yourself some time and first enjoy doing it ♥
It’s not a novel – it doesn’t HAVE to be sequential and perfect. Take the pressure off of yourself, and your consistency shall know no bounds. Honest.
use the time that you have 🕒
Those extra minutes you spend waiting for lunch to be served or that time you’re just tired of reading and you’re looking up at the ceiling at night because you just. can’t. sleep? Perfect.
If you really want to get something out, but you don’t have the time for it, jot down what you want to elaborate on, and do it when you do have the time to write.
Another option is to bullet point your thoughts and opinions. My personal opinion is that this works if you’re trying to list out things you’re grateful for, or maybe a fun list, such as your favourite couples from TV shows, but it might work for certain incidents you want to write down.
you don’t need to do it everyday 📔
As I mentioned, you’ll automatically see a change once you stop forcing yourself to do it. It might seem as though your life is boring and nothing’s happening, but that isn’t true. There’s so much happening. Text a friend who you last messaged only for their birthday (you don’t want to have to message them only next year on their birthday, do you?) Pay a little more attention to what people say. It makes a difference.
So journal consistently, but take the pressure off of yourself – it’s something you want to do, not a chore. And that brings us to…
make it something you love & look forward to 💖
When I decided to make journaling a priority, I realised I needed to love doing it. If I flip through it today, I see endless entries about how depressed I felt or about how happy I felt – nothing in between. It’s because I only felt like writing when there WAS something to write about.
So if today’s your first time journaling, don’t exhaust everything in one day. Leave in hanging so you’ll be super pumped to write tomorrow. Enjoy it.
Do you journal? Has this post made you want to journal at least a little bit? Hopefully, this made journaling seem a little less intimidating! What are YOUR pros and cons of journaling? I’ve missed this space so much 💖
P.S: the July & August monthly recap headed your way at the end of this month is already PACKED! drop your post ideas down here!