Journaling is a continued series of writings penned in response to personal experiences and events. And it’s a great way to find inner strength and inspiration in everyday life. That holds especially true when faced with an illness (either your own or that of a loved one). Journaling can de-clutter emotions and help you achieve greater clarity, clearing the way to acceptance, bravery and strength.
Even better is that you don’t have to be a Margaret Atwood-in-the-making to take up journaling as a healthy hobby. Nobody will judge your writing!
5 tips to help you start a journal
Always remember that your journal is just for you and it can be anything that you want it to be. You may find that by revisiting entries, your own inspiring thoughts and “a-ha” moments can help you realize your own strength and gain an inspiring perspective.
- Understand the difference between a diary and a journal. A diary chronicles daily events but journaling should be about recording your innermost thoughts and feelings.
- If you’re journaling via desktop computer or laptop, create a special folder to store your writings. Create a desktop icon for the file in order to ensure accessibility. When the urge strikes to write, the last thing you want to be doing is a keyword search of your file directory.
- Purchase or custom-design a notepad that is as unique as you are. Stationary stores sell a wide variety of notebooks with beautiful cover designs. Alternatively, make your own journal using sheets of white paper, construction paper covers and decorations such as stickers or family photos. Whatever your choice, make sure it “speaks” to you.
- Let journaling be a no-pressure commitment. There are no requirements when it comes to journaling. Write as much or as little as you want each day. Actually, there may be days when it’s easier to draw or clip pictures from magazines to express how you’re feeling. And certainly don’t beat yourself up if your journal takes a temporary backseat to your other commitments. Just be sure to pick up where you left off as soon as time/life permits.
- Keep your journal in a safe and private place. An important part of any healing process is sharing your thoughts and fears with loved ones. But journaling should be for you and you only — a place to record your emotions without concern over what others might think.