Have you tried journaling yet? If not, what is stopping you? It doesn’t matter how good (or not good) you think you are at writing. It doesn’t matter if you think you don’t have anything important to say. I promise that it doesn’t matter how bad you are at spelling. Your journal is your sanctuary to voice your opinions, struggles, frustrations, and achievements without criticism. Are you stuck or wondering where to start your journey? Don’t worry, I have your back. Here is a list of things that I find myself writing about in my personal journal.
- Gratitude: This is where my journal started last year. I was in a dark place emotionally and someone in my life suggested that I start a gratitude list. I wrote five things that I was grateful for every day. (It takes about 28 days to make a routine, so stick with it!) Sometimes I had to try hard to find those five things, but every day I made sure to complete my list. At times, my list included small things like leaving the house, getting a kiss from my puppy, or having food in the house to eat. No matter how pathetic I thought those gratitudes were, it helped me to realize how fortunate I am and I eventually got past those hard times. We all have a lot to be thankful for.
- Hopes and Dreams: Sometimes I have a hard time talking about my hopes and dreams for the future. I get scared that they are far-fetched and that people will know when I fail. Journaling has been my way of developing my thoughts about the future without being scared that other people will find it silly. It doesn’t matter if my aspirations change over time, but journaling gives me the opportunity to look back at my plans and see how my dreams have altered.
- Frustrations: Do you ever find yourself frustrated in a situation or upset with someone? I definitely do. Instead of continuing to talk it out with the people in my life, I tend get it all out onto paper. When I write things out and voice my frustrations in a private space, I can figure out how to handle the situation after de-escalating my emotions. It is one way for me to figure out how to talk through a situation without talking out of anger. This has, in many occasions, saved me from saying nasty things to others in the moment which has resulted in less stress and awkward situations. Next time you find yourself mad at someone, write them a letter. When you finish the letter, rip it in a million pieces or put it through your shredder. Getting those feelings out makes you feel better a million times better (even if they never know how your felt). Being angry and bitter toward people doesn’t affect them and only hurts you.
- Sadness: Fergie was wrong, big girls do cry. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Crying can be a healthy way to deal with things in your life that make you sad. It is not healthy, however, to bottle those feelings up. For me, writing out how I am feeling and why I think I might be feeling that way is a way to be more aware of my emotions and to gain closure. When I lost my pregnancy, journaling was a lifesaver. I was able to say how badly I hurt without feeling guilty for talking about it to others or putting them in an awkward situation. There is nothing wrong with being sad, but you need to take care of yourself and not carry those feelings around constantly.
- To-Do: More recently I have been writing recipes that I want to try, blogs I want to read, and errands I need to complete in my journal. Writing these things down not only helps me to remember them, but also makes me more apt to do it. If I take the time to write out a recipe in my journal, I get excited about making and eating the food. If I write about the things that I need to get done after work tomorrow, I am more apt to make sure they get done so I can reflect on it later. Even if that simply means I feel more accomplished about what I completed, it’s time well spent.
What do you like to journal about? If you haven’t started journaling yet, what is making you hesitate? Go to the contact page to answer. Even ten minutes of journaling a couple times a week can offer you closure, acceptance, and peace in your life.