“When I write I can shake off my cares, my sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived”
We as a nation seem to be slightly lost in the wellbeing cult. By this I mean we are bombarded with happy smiley faces doing 5am yoga classes, keeping gratitude journals and eating avocado on toast in the most Instagram-able way. For most people this is not necessarily representative of their day to day lives, this is merely their live that they present to the world. Looking at my Instagram is not going to tell you what my life is like, it will tell you the nice bits of my life. I worry that this obsession with wellbeing is making a lot of people feel pressurised into being “well”.
I challenge you to walk into any book or stationery shop and count the number of different types of journal, you will likely lose count. There are happiness journals, running journals, five-year journals, gratitude journals, doodle journals, food journals, journals for men, journals for women, wellbeing journals. You do not need one of these, you just need some paper.
I have tried and failed to keep lots of types journals and believe that is because they just don’t fit with an average person’s life. Life gets in the way of these strict writing rules and thus brings about a feeling of failure when you can’t sustain it, nobody needs this feeling in their lives!
Out of this frustration was born Journaling for Wellbeing, there are so many benefits to writing and I feel like people deserve to know that writing doesn’t always fit into a neat, specific journal and you aren’t a failure if you can’t keep up with it. You don’t need a fancy or expensive journal, a 60p refill pad does the same job. Journaling can help you feel a little bit better about things, this might be because you’ve got all of your stresses out of your head onto the paper or because you’ve documented some daily gratitudes, it shouldn’t be a one or the other situation.
With this in mind, here is a whistle-stop tour of my top ten tips for journaling:
- There are no rules – spelling and grammar do not matter.
- Write what you need to write and if that is your worries limit the time spent on the worries.
- Balance is best, if you are going to write about something not so good balance it with a positive thing from the day even if all you managed is to get out of bed!
- When you aren’t sure what to write about lists are a good place to start, try to do a list of 100.
- Set aside some distraction free time for writing, even if that’s only the 10 minutes before you go to sleep.
- Writing prompts are all around you if you have a look for them.
- The paper won’t tell anyone, say what you need to say and shred it if it makes you feel better.
- Writing a letter to yourself can bring perspective and help to make goals to the future, write it and give yourself a reminder to open it when you see fit.
- Try to get into a bit of a rhythm, people tend to find they prefer certain times of the day and certain places.
- ENJOY! Writing is there to be enjoyed!
I will write more in-depth posts about some of the tips, watch this space!