In my opinion, journaling has always seemed like something for those who have their lives all figured out, were often happy or on some kind of spiritual journey. However, due to recent situations and fallouts in my own life, I thought I’d give it a shot. I figured, what’s the harm in trying something new and giving myself a place to write down absolutely anything, knowing not a single other person will read it? So, I did, and here’s how it went.
The first thing I noticed was that it wasn’t nearly as easy as I expected to make my journal look cute. I expected myself to use my best handwriting and to make sure that even though it was just for me, it looked nice. I immediately realized that people whose journals look that good dedicate a lot more time and effort to it. As I’m still just starting out, I decided to keep it simple and write down what I’m feeling and how my day went, and track my moods and my water intake (as that’s something I need to work on). If you’re starting out or are new to journaling too, customize it to your liking as much as you need to! If that means making each page beautiful and symmetrical, then do that, but if it means just using your journal as a way to express yourself, like me, do that.
An aspect of journaling that I’ve loved so far is the outlet it gives me to vent. I can go on and on about my day or my feelings and not feel any pressure to make my sentences perfect, to be grammatically correct or even to spell words correctly. I’ve definitely found myself scribbling out a word because I spelled it wrong, and that’s okay! Journaling is simply a form of release for all the things on my mind and that’s one of my favourite parts. Once again, remember that nobody else is reading it!
Something I noticed in my first few days of journaling is that it took a while to make a habit out of it. I decided to make a pact with myself that I’ll journal every night before I go to bed. That way, it’s a lot harder to skip an entry and it allows me to reflect on everything that happened that day. I also think it’d be really beneficial to journal a bit in the morning and a bit at night, but that’s for when I get better at this whole thing.
The last thing I want to touch on is how journaling has given me the ability to track my mood. Every night, after I write out what I did that day or how certain things made me feel, I go over every word that represents a mood with a highlighter (another bonus: it’s an excuse to buy new pens and highlighters). After that, I write out a list of the moods that I felt throughout the day, making it easier for me to go back on past journal entries and track patterns in my mood.
Overall, my experience with journaling has been great so far! I hope to get better at organizing my thoughts, but I’ve already come to terms with the fact that there’s no “right way” to journal. If you’re thinking of starting as well, I’d definitely recommend heading to your nearest bookstore to grab a new notebook and some nice pens to get started!