I’ve kept a journal most of my life; but it’s become more special and needed in this season.
As my thoughts and feelings have been all over the place, I’ve often felt like I’m both stuck in a cloud and wading through a mud pit. Dramatic? Perhaps. But visuals always help me. (We’ll chalk this up to my enneagram 4-ness)
I want to remember what we’re currently walking through. I want to give space for my thoughts and processing. And I want to tell this as a story that was my own. These past few weeks have been wildly complicated – full of anxiety and unknowns; but also, an immense amount of beauty. And I don’t want to discount all that is good and beautiful even though it does feel a bit guilty to talk about.
As I’ve tried to process and identify thoughts and feelings in this jumbled month, I’ve returned to doing a few different types of journaling. And I’d encourage you to maybe pick one or two to try yourself. There are so many ways to journal, and these are my personal favorites:
- Setting a timer for two minutes and continuously filling the page the entire time. I’m not stopping or thinking too seriously. All that I do is write and see what falls out of my mind. This is such an easy way for me to do a quick check on what I’m holding back. And if you’re not quite sure how to begin with this, jump onto what is next and circle back.
- Record a day. These are always the simplest to do and the most fun to look back on years down the road. You can do this throughout the day, making note of what you did, thought about, and felt. Or you can finish your day with a quick summation of the most noteworthy things. I’ve always felt that there should be no pressure to recall it all; the most important things will be at the front of your mind.
- Journal prompts. Every so often, I’ll write out a list of journal prompts. I find that when everything feels complicated and overwhelming, this helps me focus on one thing and give it time and worth. Take your time with this. You may find it helpful to begin with a minute or two of free writing (what I mentioned above), and then process those thoughts a bit more intentionally. It’s always a bit challenging for me to ease into it; but I find that making a space that feels safe and cozy helps. I’ll make a cup of tea, put on soft music, light a candle, and cuddle up under a blanket. And if you need help, I’ve listed a few favorites below:
- What was the strongest thing you felt today and why?
- Is there something you want to remember about today?
- Write a list of questions you to which would like answers…
- If my body could talk, it would say…
- Write the first three memories from this week that come to mind…
- What are some things I wish I could say no to?
- What is currently feeding my soul?
- Write the words you need to hear…
Remember: journaling probably won’t instantly feel comfortable. And there’s no being ‘good’ or ‘bad’ at something so personal. Relieve yourself of any expectations. These thoughts are just for you so there is no need to write like Jane Austen.
By giving your thoughts and feeling time and attention, you’re mentally opening yourself up to giving them more worth. For me, this leads to more grounded-ness, calm, and joy without fail. You may be surprised by tears or an unexpected laugh. This is normal and usually happens when your body is moving towards rest after a stressful situation (or season).
If you have any journal prompts or other methods, I’d love to hear them. And if you find yourself enjoying prompts and wanting more, I’ll continue to share the prompts I’m using on my Instagram stories and in the weekly newsletter.