One of my daily acts of mindfulness is journaling. I had several diaries when I was little and get lost in words. My journaling routine has become even more regular during the pandemic with “more time” I find it easier to sit and decompress by writing everything that can get stuck in my head.
In fact I find the physical act of writing to be so much more creatively inspiring, over the last few weeks I’ve found myself hitting a brick wall when sitting down to write blog posts and content for social media. So, I’ve been writing, physically writing, out blogs and social media posts and then typing it out on my computer. I recognize that this is technically an unnecessary step but the words come so much easier when I am not looking at a screen.
Here are a few of my must have items when I am sitting down to write, either for journalling or actual creative writing:
- a journal or notebook, I prefer a Moleskine
- your favorite pen, my dad gave me a Sailor Fountain Pen for my birthday and it has become a favorite
- Paperblanks App for prompts
- Comfy place to sit & reflect
Often times, I sit down with something in mind to write out or get out of my head. Other times, I need some help, I use the Paperblanks App on my phone to give me journaling prompts for that. I can either chose a favorite prompt or allow it to select one for me.
Sometimes, after writing out my response to the prompt I find the thing hiding inside my head that needs out. Some days I just do not want to write. I feel like I have nothing to say of value but if I’ve learned anything during this pandemic, historical records need to get this right, and what I write matters. I want to remember all the ups and downs, the good days and the super sucky days. I want to remember the small victories, friends sewing us masks, to sharing toilet paper with neighbors who can not find any at the stores. #theGreatTPshortageof2020
Did you catch the last item on the list? A comfy spot to sit and reflect. I have 2 places at home that I will sit to journal, one is in our living room on the couch, this is where I sit in the mornings. And the other is in the yellow barrel back chair in my office, this is where I sit when I need a quiet spot in the evenings.
When picking a spot to sit and write here are a few things to consider:
- comfy-ness of the seat, you want to be able to sit comfortably for a while as to not add to potential things to distract you.
- light, you want enough light to see clearly and write without straining your eyes while it is also not so bright that you’re blinded
- noise, is this spot quiet? If you can’t find a quiet spot consider getting noise cancelling headphones or play some white noise to empty out other noise.
- temperature, find someplace that is comfortable. Don’t sit next to the window in the summer, add a blanket to your spot in the winter.
Journaling looks different for everyone. For you it could be a daily to do list and reflection. For me it’s an emotional journey of how my day was and my need to get thoughts, images, and ideas out of my head before they drive me insane.
I write to my new niece, even though she is barely a month and a half telling her about the joy she has brought us even though we can’t be there to hold her. I write out my fears and frustrations of failing at something else. I write about the successes of new recipes, my small and not yet fruitful patio garden, taking Asher to the dog park, conversations with my best friend, and what books I am reading. Sometimes journaling involves just one word that describes the day or an event.
I try to write twice a day, my morning thoughts are very separated from reality and dreamy and in the evening it is much more of a recollection of the day. I do not carry my journal with me throught out the day, instead it lives on my sidetable waiting me to sit down and pour into it.
Is journaling part of your mindfulness practice? Why or why not? It is an incredible act of bravery to share your perspective, your thoughts, your day through pen and paper.