By Polly Guetta
So you’ve been reading about how beneficial journaling can be for your wellbeing and emotional health, and you’ve decided that this is something you NEED to make time for in your life. You’ve even got a beautiful new journal with perfect, creamy white pages just waiting to be filled with all your insightful words, thoughtful reflections and imaginative doodlings. You know that you’ve got a lot to say and a lot of things to explore and yet…you just can’t seem to get started.
Starting a journaling practice can be an intimating process but it is important to remember that your journal is a place where you can just be yourself. You can write about your most embarrassing and humiliating moments and nobody’s going to judge you. It is just for you and sharing is completely optional.
Try to let go of product-oriented thinking when it comes to journaling and embrace process – oriented thinking. You aren’t trying to create a work of art for public consumption; you are trying to reveal to yourself how to feel happy and well. So if sometimes, you read back what you have written and it seems clichéd and inauthentic, that’s OK. And if you aren’t able to find the words for what you want to express and you find yourself feeling frustrated, that’s OK too. Don’t give up! if you keep at it, you will be surprised at how often your writing will uplift you and bring you clarity and understanding.
The blankness of the pages can certainly be unnerving- but instead of launching into a writing exercise right away, there are tons of simple ways to start to fill your journal. Think of these ideas as fun warm-ups that will make your journal feel like a familiar, comforting friend that you can always lean on.
Journal Warm-Up Ideas:
- Choose some of your favorite inspirational quotes and put them on random pages throughout the journal.
- Tape or glue some photographs or images that give you a sense of peace and calm.
- Doodle your name on the first page. Decorate with little drawings of things that you like.
- Make a few lists titles and scatter them in the journal- you can fill them in later. Some ideas are: 5 Things I’d like to learn more about/ 5 places I’d like to go/ 5 things that always make me smile
If you really want to start a wellness journal, you can do it! The next time that you find yourself staring at blank pages and procrastinating, all you need to do is get your journal ready by putting your personal stamp on it. Once you’ve broken it in a little and made it your own, you will find that the words will just start to flow.