For words you might want to know more
Journalling is the practice of keeping a diary, notebook or journal to express and externalise your thoughts.
The journalling of three pages of self-expression every morning, to collect, order and externalise thoughts before your day starts.
While we aren't really into the pressure of 'new year resolutions', we are into setting healthy behaviours that can help shape our time and energy positively. We love the idea of boosting our creativity in 2023 - and journalling is great for nurturing that, alongside supporting our mental wellness too.
A journal is a personal thing - you decide what it looks and feels like. It might be a notepad, a bound diary, a collection of notepapers. It might be typed, rather than handwritten. You might like to add drawings, stickers, or paper art to yours. Many people 'theme' their activity, and keep a happiness or gratitude journal. It might just simply be one to three pages you hand write every day (scribbles are fine!). It's up to you!
There are a number of reasons why writing is therapeutic. The act of taking time to write your thoughts down externalises them from swirling around in your head, and can limit catastrophisation if you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious. Some journal-keepers use loose pages to write on, and then burn or tear up their sheets to 'let go' of negative thoughts. Be careful if you choose to pop them into the fire!
When you have a condition like bladder weakness, you might find it useful to have a place to collect the myriad of emotions and feelings that we have when managing a health concern. If you struggle to talk to loved ones about what you are going through, a journal can be the bestest of friend to you and help you to manage your mental wellbeing, while you deal with the physical effects of incontinence, weakness and bladder overactivity.
For many of us, journalling is a time capsule of sorts. We can return to read about how we managed a particular situation, or remember the intense feelings we had around a particular life event, like having a baby, the end of a relationship, or caring for elderly parents and the mixed emotions that go with that.
For those with a yearn to get into creative writing, journalling can be a powerful way to unlock your inner author. Getting started when writing long-form pieces can be tricky, but journalling daily can help you get into the practice of writing and help you to identify ideas for your work.
For many of us, we wake in the morning with a thousands thoughts running through our brain about the day ahead. Things to remember, things to do, feelings about the day events, work, kids, menopause, and our relationships.
Julia Cameron, the author of The Artist's Way (which recently became a bit of a viral sensation!), advises writers who are in a bit of a rut to utilise the concept of 'Morning Pages'. These are three pages that you write every morning in a stream of consciousness. The idea behind it is that you can then unpick, cajole, nurture and clarify and find comfort in the power of those thoughts, feelings and words to find your creativity. We can use this in journalling too - it's a great bedrock for getting started and allowing your mind to do the work.
Tips for Morning Pages:
🖊 Try to commit to the activity every day - you might need to set your alarm clock half an hour earlier to do it!
🖊 Don't overthink. Let your mind wander and write whatever comes to the front - even if it feels like a jumble or a little chaotic at first.
🖊 Write three pages, allowing your hand to follow your thoughts as you do so. When you get to the end of the three pages stop.
🖊 You might like to re-read to pick out the key thoughts and words to carry you through your day.
We'd love to know how journalling works for you!