It’s no secret that expressing your feelings in writing is a great way to relieve stress while still maintaining your privacy. Journals are where you store your memories, secrets and feelings, knowing that you’ll suffer no judgment from the pages.
If you’re considering taking up journaling to help cope with the stress of COVID-19 and self-quarantining, good for you! There are many ways to go about it, and at the end of this you’ll have a record of your time in isolation – or even some inspiration for your next blog post or creative piece!
Don’t put rules on yourself
It’s your journal. This means that you can do whatever you want with it. Write down good memories, record bad events, scribble down some poems, whatever! Journals are private, which means the only person you have to satisfy is you.
And even then, you don’t always need to be happy with the results. If you’re anything like me, you want everything to come out perfect on the first try. This doesn’t need to be the case with journaling! It’s self-expression first and foremost, so getting out feelings and memories is the main priority. You’ll feel more and more satisfied with your entries if you just aim for clearing the clutter in your mind instead of publish-worthy pieces of writing.
Don’t feel pressured to share
I said it once in the previous section and I’ll say it again: it’s YOUR journal. Yours and no one else’s. You don’t need to share with anyone what you’re writing, no matter who asks. A journal is private – it acts as a window to your mind, and whether you choose to let others read it, share it through a blog or keep it locked and hidden under your bed is your choice.
If you especially value your privacy, writing at night is ideal. Everyone will be asleep or busy prepping for bed, and the events of the day will still be fresh in your mind.
Get a journal with pre-written sections
I’ve done this! There are plenty of books out there that ask questions and offer prompts to get the journaling juices flowing. These books typically have you write down the basics (date of birth, family tree, etc.), and then ask more in-depth questions that cover the span of your life (first love, college major, wedding day, birth of grandkids…). These books are meant to be kept for a lifetime, updated frequently and acting as a record for your life when you’re gone.
Even if you start another journal as time goes on, journals with pre-written sections are great for those new to the practice.
Stay safe, and keep writing! And thanks to Bustle for some of the tips!