Journaling Tips + Tools
Raise your hand if you had a diary growing up. Maybe it was dripping in sparkles with a little heart-shaped lock, or covered in Lisa Frank animals + stickers. Mine often had doodles + drawings, stories of boys I had crushes on, + why I was mad at my parents. I mostly started writing in a diary because I saw girls in movies doing it + I thought it was cool. As I got older, I was encouraged by my mom to write, especially when we would take vacations. I never thought that one day I would be writing a blog about my journaling tips. I don’t know if I continued to do it because I love to hand-write, or because I love creative writing, or maybe it just became a habit, but it is something I still do to this day. Now I am sharing some of my favorite journaling tips + tools!
I journal for different reasons. I see journaling as a form of expression. It has become almost like a meditation to me + a way to work through many different things + feelings. Some days I write to let out emotions, some days I write about the happenings of the day, some days the pages are filled with things I am excited about + some days it’s a paragraph that literally starts with “I have nothing to write about.” Long or short, messy or neat, intentional or random, I am a huge advocate for journaling + here’s why you should be too!
Journaling is an amazing way to clear your mind. It is a stream of consciousness that allows you to say whatever you are thinking whenever you are thinking it. Your journal does not judge. Your journal does not have an opinion. Do you ever go to a trusted soul + tell them something you are worried about? Sometimes you get a response that is helpful + sometimes you don’t. Well, writing in a journal can be just like that, but you arrive to the conclusions on your own. I’ve found that it’s a great way to problem solve + it has helped me tremendously with my anxiety.
Now, I know what you’re thinking… I don’t have time. I don’t know what to write about. I WILL DIE IF ANYONE READS THIS! Hear me out, I understand!
Here are some journaling tips to combat the top excuses + worries I have heard:
Journaling is a form of self-care. You make time to shower, brush your teeth, + have coffee in the morning, so do the same for writing. Have you checked your “Screen Time” tool on your iPhone? My guess is that you are shocked at the amount of time you spend on Instagram. Take 15 of those minutes to write before you go to bed or first thing in the morning instead of scrolling through your feed + I guarantee you will sleep better ++ start your day in a happier mood.
You know all of those thoughts in your head? That’s a great place to start. Start with writing how you feel. I can’t tell you how many of my entries begin with “Here’s what I did today” or “I don’t feel like writing” or “I don’t really have a lot to say”. I know that starting an entry can be intimidating, but just write as if you were talking to a friend. It seems weird, but I promise you get used to it. I find myself writing things like “haha” or “that’s a weird thing to write”. Here’s the thing — it’s for YOU, so it really doesn’t matter. Once you get over the initial discomfort, it becomes a stream of consciousness. To start, you can write what happened in your day, maybe some feelings will come up or reactions to things that occured. Then go from there. Write about things you are excited for, things you are worried about, + don’t forget to include things you are grateful for. Acknowledging gratitude is an assured way to bring joy into your life- especially on the days that are a little harder to get through than others.
So you’ve written in your journal. You have pages filled with honest feelings + vulnerable thoughts. You live with your boyfriend//girlfriend//roommate + your biggest fear is that they won’t honor your privacy, + someday they will open it + read it. Don’t let this be the reason you don’t keep a journal. What is going to give you peace of mind is that your thoughts remain private + that you can safely write honestly.
Keep your journal in a safe place. I purchased a literal safe that I keep in my apartment [not just for journals- I keep important documents + belongings in there too!]. When I am done with a journal [also, can’t tell you how satisfying it is to write in the last page of a journal + buy a new one], I keep it in my safe. If you don’t want to keep it, you can burn it, shred it, or throw it away. The choice is yours — it is your book after all!
So, try it. Go out + buy a journal, a beautiful one that you want to write in. Invest in a nice pen! I challenge you to write in it for 5 days in a row. Morning or night — whatever you choose. Experiment with the time of day, experiment with different handwriting styles, DO YOU! See how you feel when you are done + try out some of these journaling tips. Miss a day? It’s okay. Start again the next day. I promise you will feel a sense of release, a sense of freedom, + a sense of knowing that you are helping yourself. Happy writing!