My collection of notebooks and journals have always been a grounding force in my life. While journals can get a bit fancy and specific, as they do in the forms of bullet journals, art journals and gratitude journals, the simple act of journaling requires nothing more than some plain paper and a simple writing instrument.
Treat It Like a Pensieve
My number one use for my practical “journals” (which in the past have come in the form of spiral notebooks, loose sheets of paper and even the back of junk mail envelopes) is that they provide a place to jot down my to-do lists, plans and reminders. When I am feeling stressed about anything, I put my thoughts and feelings down on paper and I always feel like a weight’s been lifted. Just like Dumbledore (Harry Potter fans may have caught the reference), this process allows me to move my worrying thoughts from my head to a safe storage area. I give myself permission to move on, knowing I can always come back to them at a future time when I am ready to deal with them more fully.
Journal for Good Health
One of the most helpful aspects of my journal when it comes to keeping me on track with my wellness plan is my wellness tracker. It’s basically a chart I set up at the beginning of each month as a way to hold myself accountable. I keep track of simple wellness goals: getting enough water, sleep, and exercise and sticking to my intermittent eating schedule. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking Do you really need to make a chart to remember to drink enough water? Yes, unfortunately I do! There are a lot of ways you can customize a tracker to focus on the things that are important to you. To learn more about my bucket journal and wellness tracker design, click here.
There’s something about working in a sketch journal that feels entirely therapeutic. I think it’s because the art I put in my journal is solely for me, so there’s no pressure. I keep it simple, incorporating things like tangled lines and mandalas, or messy art explorations and sketches that help me to remember, a snapshot in time. Activities like this give me a chance to process my thoughts and ultimately helps to quiet the noisy chatter in my head. For more on the benefits of sketch and art journaling, click here.
Make it Yourself
I love filling the pages of a journal with words and art, but it’s even more enjoyable and inspiring when I am filling the pages of a journal that I designed and constructed myself. Handmade journals can be any size, can be filled with any kind or combination of papers, and can be as elaborate or simple as you want. They can even be made with inexpensive or free recycled materials, which makes them not only environmentally friendly but a great way to ditch the fear and guilt you might feel about “messing up” the pages of a pricey, purchased journal. To learn more about how to make your own handmade journals, click here.