- Journaling as Self-Care -
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Written by Editorial Intern Amanda Schroeder.
Journaling As Self-Care
Sometimes it can feel as though your brain is going everywhere at once and no single thought or idea comes to absolution. Sometimes you’re unsure of how you’re even feeling or what is really bothering you. Maybe you’re lacking inspiration or feeling overwhelmed with anxiety. Journaling can help! Journaling, in its many forms, functions as a tool for dumping out all of the clutter in your head, bringing you greater clarity and emotional security. Below are a few journaling techniques to get you started.
The Morning Pages
In The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron introduces what she refers to as the morning pages. The morning pages are about three pages of stream of conscious writing that you complete first thing in the morning, every morning. The important things are that you approach the page fresh, which means no social media or petty to-dos beforehand, and that you write only for you so that you can express yourself with unhindered honesty. You don’t have to write exactly three pages, and turns out page size varies a lot, but it is important to write a bit more than what you feel inspired or called to. It’s about finding what arises as you stay longer than you normally would.
I know there are quite a few therapist that reccomend this style of journaling. Its a bit more intensive and artistic than the other methods, but if you can set aside the time it can be a great experience. First, you make a collage using absolutely anything you want. The important thing is that you get a little wild with it and don’t try too hard to control the outcome. Then, you sit down and write about the collage you have created. You can write a story that goes with the collage or just write about how it makes you feel. This allows you to access a deeper level of free association that you might otherwise.
Journal prompts are literally everywhere. Sometimes they can feel a bit silly, but you would be surprised what sorts of insights you can gain by rooting yourself in a prompt then seeing where you go from there. Prompts range in content anywhere from lists of your favorite foods to entries concerning the orientation of your soul in the universe. You can find more prompts than you will ever write on online for free or buy a curated list in a book.
Bullet journaling is less about looking inwards and more about executing your ideas and making them happen. I personally prefer to bullet journal over a traditional planner because it allows me the freedom to make all sorts of lists, write down inspiration when it comes to me, and plan my days in the way that works for me on that day. The free-form allows me to establish new goals and set a game-plan in place for implementing them.