Given the current climate we are facing as a country, anxiety and fear seem to be creeping in. Not having control over certain aspects of our lives can lead to anxiety and even depression. Journaling is one of the ways to improve mental, emotional and even physical health. It reduces stress and helps the body cope with heartache, instability and anxiety.
This is how you can keep a journal during these abnormal times:
Decide what you want to write about
In order to figure this out, you’ll have to answer why you want to keep a journal in the first place. If you’re keeping a journal for a practical purpose, to remember events about your day or at work, then the answer is simple: Write down the events of your day. And yet, in order to reap the full benefits of journaling, you’ll have to dig deeper than that. If you want to write about your feelings, then the whole point is to bring up issues that are emotionally charged.
Know the purpose of writing
If the purpose of your journal is to release your nagging thoughts, you might want to write before going to bed instead, so you can transfer those thoughts from your head onto paper. On the other hand, you might find this keeps you up, in which case you could choose to write in your journal throughout the day, when those thoughts begin to itch. Trial and error works, too. Try writing in the morning for a week. If it’s not working for you, switch to another time of day and see if you fare better. Whatever time of day you choose, keep your journal in an easy-to-reach spot, which should serve as a visual reminder to keep up with your writing. Plus, it’s one less excuse when it’s time to write.
Choose your medium
The next step is to pick a medium that works for you best, whether it’s your computer, an app on your phone, or old-fashioned pen and paper. However, there’s some evidence to suggest writing by hand may be a better option.
But what really matters here is that you’ll keep up the habit. Typing or even using a journaling app on your phone might feel more convenient or comfortable for you, so if that medium fits your lifestyle best and helps you journal regularly, by all means, do what works for you.
Finally, don’t let perfect become the enemy of good. Your journal doesn’t have to be brimming with profound thoughts and experiences, so try to separate your urge to edit from your desire to write.
Text by Wandile jama