Getting Started with Journaling

Journaling is something that I have wanted to do and tried to do since I was a little girl. I think I have tried to maintain some sort of diary many times and purchased several notebooks with the intention of journaling in them. I began consistently journaling about four years ago (by consistent I mean there have been more days in which I have journaled than I haven’t), and it has positively impacted my mental health in many ways by giving me a safe place to process my thoughts. It’s also been cool to see how I have grown and the person that I used to be through reading my old entries. If you have ever wanted to start journaling here are a few helpful tips.

What you’ll need:

  • A writing utensil
  • Notebook or paper
  • An open mind
  • Note: You can also journal by using your computer, but I have found that it’s really hard for me to be vulnerable while trying to do this, and the spelling and grammar checks are annoying and disrupt my flow. But it might work better for you, so if it seems interesting, try it out!

Nice to haves:

  • Music to help you get in the mood
  • A timer
  • Journaling prompts

Now the hard part: writing. There literally is no right way to journal which is nice, but also kind of intimidating. In order to get over this hurdle, I recommend giving yourself a manageable “requirement”. This helps me feel like I actually journal instead of being like “I am going to journal” and then I proceed to write one sentence. For example, you could tell yourself that you are going to fill up a page in your notebook or write for 10 minutes. During that time don’t check your phone or do anything else that is distracting. Do your best to write whatever that comes to your mind for the whole duration/ until you fill up your page(s). Remember that this is for your eyes only. If it’s too hard for you to decide what to write about you can find a prompt to journal to online.

If you want to make journaling a habit, I would suggest making a 30-day challenge in which you give yourself a similar requirement to complete each day. At the end of the 30 days, you will probably be able to tell whether or not journaling is helpful for you and if it’s something you want to keep doing.

Happy Journaling!

Here are some other helpful resources for your journaling journey: