Why I Started Journaling in 2021

2020 was most definitely the craziest year of my life. The pandemic hit, I lost my job, I had to learn how to navigate school, appointments, and internships remotely, and my mental health suffered at times. I started dating my current boyfriend two weeks before we got sent home in March of 2020, and we spent the first three months of our relationship doing long distance because we live in different states. I had to learn how to be okay with staying at home because that was the reality that we were living in. With all of that being said, I also grew a lot in 2020. Aside from being in a happy and healthy relationship, I became more confident in myself, I found remote internships so I could continue to learn over the summer, and I was forced to do a lot of thinking. The pandemic put everything in perspective, and I learned to let go of a lot of unnecessary stress. When 2021 was approaching, I felt very hopeful. The vaccine had started to be distributed, school was going to be a little bit more normal, and our new POTUS was going to be inaugurated soon. Instead of making a New Year's resolution, I made more of a thought-out plan to set myself up for success in the new year. These plans include budgeting my money, eating healthier, trying new recipes, waking up earlier, a workout routine, and journaling. My therapist recommended that I try journaling, and to be honest, I did not think it was going to stick. However, I went to TJ Maxx, bought a basic journal, and just started to write. writing in book with cup of coffee and croissant Photo by Cathryn Lavery from Unsplash The first few days I had to remind myself to write in my journal, but now it is a staple part of my routine. I write just about anything and everything in my journal. I write when I am sad, I write when I am happy, I write about what I am grateful for, I write about plans for the future, I write about anything that crosses my mind that I do not want to forget. Journaling has had so many positive effects on my life, and it really helps me process my emotions. Sometimes I will be so upset about something but once I write it down and read it to myself, I realize that it is not the end of the world. There are so many different ways to journal, and if you feel you want more structured journaling instead of my technique, there are endless options online and in stores. There are journals with prompts, journals with quotes, journals with confidence boosters, manifest journals, journals with stickers, journals to burn, and just about anything you can imagine. There are also tons of journal prompts online, if you ever feel like writing but do not know where to start. Journaling is a quick and easy activity to add to your routine to feel more grounded in the new year. Our entire country has gone through a lot and we definitely all have emotions we need to process. Your journal can be your own private safe space, where there is no judgment and just freedom. 2 journals spread out on a blank background with a pen and faux plant Photo by Gabrielle Henderson from Unsplash