We’re big fans of journaling at Pure Impressions. BIG. Last week, we sent a love letter to our e-mail list explaining how it became such a huge part of our health routine. (Sign up for those e-mails here!) There is huge power behind putting pen to paper. It’s a way to process, release, and organize your thoughts and feelings. Life can get discombobulated fast with a multitude of things crying out for our attention. Journaling makes sure that some of your attention goes to the MOST important thing: YOU.
Maybe you’ve tried journaling in the past and had trouble sticking with it. Maybe you want to start now. Either way, we’ve put together a little guide that tells you how to make it a part of your life.
Journaling: Where to Start
Step One: Find a journal you LOVE. You’ve got some options here. Beginners to journaling might appreciate a Guided Journal. This type of journal already has prompts in it. All you have to do is open it up and start to fill it out.
Some folks feel way more inspired by a blank page, however. There are tons of beautiful blank journals available everywhere from Etsy to Target. I like to make sure mine are spiral-bound so I can open it fully and comfortably write. Your journal doesn’t need to be anything fancy either. A plain college-ruled notebook will do just fine. If you like to draw as well as write, a blank sketchbook from your nearest office supply store works great! To see a great example of art journaling, check out our friend Bri on Instagram! Typing on a tablet or computer is also an option. I personally feel that pen on a page is more therapeutic, but to each their own!
No matter what journal you choose, it should spark joy when you pull it off the shelf. :)
Step 2: Make a ritual. Now that you have the perfect journal, it’s time to create some space in your life to use it. First thing in the morning or last thing before bed are two of the best options. The idea is to create a distraction-free time where you can be quiet and intimate with your own thoughts. If you want to make this a long-term habit, it’s got to be a pleasant time you look forward to.
Brainstorm some ways to make your journal time the most enjoyable. Lighting a candle? Sipping the most delicious coffee or tea? Getting a new fuzzy warm blanket? Soft meditation music in the background? Set the mood and pamper yourself into this ritual so that you are excited to return to it day after day. Attach comfort to thought processing and the habit will solidify much sooner.
Step 3: Write. Where to start? Again, you’ve got options! If you’re using a guided journal, simply open up to page one and start responding to the prompts.
If you’re using a blank journal, you can find hundreds of thousands of journal prompts online. You can also use the prompts in our weekly e-mails. OR, you can prompt yourself.
Some things people journal about are:
- Feelings in the moment
- Feelings about a particular event or happening
- Narration of the day
- Processing something that happened
Another option is free-writing. That means putting pen to paper with no plan… just seeing what ends up on the page.
Step 4: Repeat. Try to do this daily, even for just five minutes! Just like going to the gym, you’ll get the best results with cumulative practice. That is, doing it again and again regularly.
We’ve still got lots to say about journaling this month. We’re taking our e-mail list into more of the specific how-tos of journaling for anxiety, depression, and anger. (Sign up here if this could help you!)