There are so many ideas on the internet to help you get started. You can do a quick search for prompts and ideas. But there is no way you can skip the first step. Here are some ways to help you get started.
Doing! You just have to do it. Get over the fact that your journal has to look pretty. That’s not the goal. The goal is to write about anything that comes to mind. You will find that it gets easier over time. And I sincerely hope that you will begin to experience some, if not all the benefits mentioned above.
Set aside 10 minutes every day. Don’t be over-ambitious. Just 10 minutes. Start small, and in that way, you can extend your time as you move along. Treat it as exclusive time spent with yourself. Honor yourself. Give yourself that daily opportunity to connect with your inner self. If daily is too much to ask, try journaling every other day, or maybe 3 times a week. You don’t want to space it out too far like once a week. You may miss the reaping the benefits. The key is consistency. Give yourself a little push. (The article on ‘Habits’ may be helpful for you.)
Simplify it. Make it easy on you. Don’t complicate journaling with colored pens, fancy paper, and expensive books. All you really need is a pen and paper. For those of you who are more comfortable with digital devices, use your phones or tablets. Find a simple text document that works for you.
Draw or write whatever comes to mind. Don’t expect to turn philosopher overnight and don’t be discouraged if you have nothing much to write about. The whole purpose is to give voice to your thoughts and emotions. It will be easier with practice. If you are more comfortable drawing, by all means, do so. And if you find that you just can’t continue after 3 sentences, then close your journal. Move on to something else. There’s always tomorrow.
Keep your journal somewhere safe. Keep it in a safe place. If it helps, write “Private” on the outside cover. If you have annoying siblings you may want to keep it under lock and key.
Try writing in different places. Most of us would journal at home. But with a bit of planning, you can take it wherever you go. To the park. With you on your travels. Place it on your nightstand. Writing a gratitude entry before bed helps ease you into a comfortable sleep.
What am I thinking?
What am I grateful for?
What am I going through now?
What are my dreams?
Questions I currently have.
Who are important to me and why?
What can i give?
What are my fears?
Think of your latest memory.
Write a prayer.
Write a letter to yourself.
What makes you happy?
An unsent letter to someone in your life.
Best decision you ever made and what can you learn from it.
What is something positive you would say to yourself now?
Before we end, I would like to take a bit of your time to introduce Nature Journaling to you. Nature Journaling, as its name proposes, is journaling about nature. It is a highly therapeutic form of journaling and builds resilience for better mental health.
‘Nature offers us peace, a rich and meaningful place to learn. No computer program can replicate the richness of seeing a flower up close, the intrigue of geeking out with bugs, or the calm of laying on your back and watching clouds. The key to developing a closer connection with nature is deliberately enhancing your powers of observation and wonder’. John Muir Law
As the quote above mentions, you just need to observe and ask questions and you will begin to develop a sense of wonder and connection to nature. It takes you away into another world, the world of nature, just waiting to be discovered at your doorstep.
Here are some benefits of Nature Journaling:
There are tons of resources out there on Nature Journaling. Just scour the internet, YouTube, and Pinterest. I highly recommend https://johnmuirlaws.com/ to get started. You can follow me on my adventure in nature journalling @ https://www.instagram.com/natureandartwithjamie/
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and learned a bit more about journaling. For those of you who have not started, do give it a try. And for those of you who are well on your way, keep up the good work! Let’s journal for better mental health!
If you are looking for a weekend read on Journaling, try this website for suggestions:
This is a guest post by Jamie Solomon, a dear friend for almost a decade and an enthusiast in making her life and the life of others, better every day.
Jamie is wife to an amazing husband and mother to four incredible kids. A stay-at-home mom who occasionally gets paid for her work. In between all these, she thinks and writes. As she tries to figure out life and understand its complexities, she aims to live life to the fullest, with her warts and all.
Making others happy, makes her happy too. She enjoys good company over a cup of coffee. She is a fan of dark chocolate, Greek yogurt, and cashew nuts. She is fond of learning, sharing, and meeting new people. Audible is a game-changer for her. She can ride a motorbike, has bungee jumped. She loves nature journaling and birdwatching.