Allow me to reintroduce myself…
No but really, I feel as though a reintroduction is necessary to excuse my absence within the past month. Where to start, except to simply state that ‘life happened’. For those of you that know me personally, you know that my 9-5 requires a lot of movement, and this past month was simply nonstop (in the best way). However it’s good to be back, and especially with the following self-care topic that I’m currently exploring myself.
So I’m emotional to begin with. It’s the Virgo in me. When I say that I truly FEEL my feelings and I’m not afraid to express them, this is a known fact. However sometimes there’s the rare occasion where I want to bottle various life moments to only myself. More often than not life moments don’t happen to fall on the same day as my scheduled appointments with my therapist (now wouldn’t that be lovely?), and I find myself seeking an outlet to release all of my emotions. But to where if not to whom? This past week I took to social media where I posed the following question to my followers:
“For those that journal/have journaled in the past, what advice would you give to a novice looking to begin journaling? In addition, what kind of setting/mood do you like to create around you when journaling (i.e. journaling in the morning vs. the evenings, specific area of the home, music, etc.)”
…and then the responses began to flood into my inbox. Whether you’re a journaling novice like myself, creating a routine from scratch, or a journaling pro hoping to switch things up, I’m sharing the top pieces of advice I received from a variety of women.
“I began by journaling every time I was dealing with a problem indecisive issues, etc. in my head that I couldn’t sort out. It was my space to vent and release it all on paper. Then I could look down on it and sometimes come up with a solution or realize the issue is really not that deep. I like self-help type of journaling prompts though. Things that force me to think about the future, who I am, who I want to be, etc.”
“I journal in the morning and at night. In the morning I write what I want my day to look like, along with prayers and hopes. And at night I reflect. Sometimes your thoughts won’t make sense but just write them out! I love the quiet of the morning because it’s peaceful and I usually hop out of bed and journal on my couch or yoga mat!”
“Candles, hot tea, window (natural lighting), and no sounds except for nature (to avoid invoking any other feelings but centered with myself, resting yoga position on bed, carpet, or couch, and a good pen.”
“I love to journal first thing in the morning or right before bed to clear my head and heart. So relaxing with a cup of tea. Pinterest also has writing prompts for if you get stuck!”
“Write down questions you have for yourself on one page over the course of a week and tackle them one day at a time. Sometimes I write first thing in the morning to just see where my head goes. No particular plan, sometimes free thought is an exercise in itself!”
“Journaling changes to fit my needs at the moment. Right now I’m trying to get in touch with my emotions so when life happens, I write what happened and then reflect on how I feel about it, why I feel that way, etc. Because of that I really journal when I “feel” something, when before I spent more time writing about events and situations and not enough internal reflection (I did that mentally but writing helps me remember).
“My therapist suggested I journal a couple years and it’s been a game changer! But give yourself grace. I used to get disappointed if I forgot to journal and it soon became a chore. Now I just journal when I need to process a thought or just get something off my chest. So I would say don’t focus too much on trying to do it daily or even weekly. What works for you works for you! I’ve also started writing my prayers in my journal and when God answers then I can go back and see when I prayed for it. It’s also nice to read back on answered prayers when I’m frustrated or feeling like He’s not moving on my time…as a reminder that he’s always faithful and that I need to be patient.”
*a huge shout out to the lovely women that shared their sacred pieces of advice with not only myself, but Booked for the Weekend readers as well. Such gems you are.
It has only been a week since I began journaling and thus far I’ve concluded the following three things for myself:
1. I prefer to journal at night prior to the morning hours.
2. I can’t journal every day. I find myself flowing and being the most natural when I truly have something to get off my chest or that I’m excited to share.
3. I MUST have a cup of hot tea in hand, journaling in complete silence (no music).
Where to begin?
Journaling Starter Pack:
Below are some suggested journals & must-have accessories to get you going!
*a relaxing playlist (if listening to music while you write is your jam)
Whether you too are looking to start journaling, or, you already do but have gained new pieces of advice from this post, I hope that you’ll share some of your suggestions below in the comments!