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In the spirit of doing less to perform self-care. Of doing less to increase productivity and mental health. The simple act of journaling has helped me destress. I’ve been able to gain mental clarity whenever I felt overwhelmed by my to-do list.
Yet, I still struggled to journal every day, or as often as I needed to.
I’ve had days where I felt like I couldn’t think straight, and my emotions were all over the place. Despite wanting to journal, I couldn’t. It felt like a difficult chore.
Many things can make it difficult for you to maintain your habits. You might actually be too busy, or like the idea of journaling more than doing it. You might also be stuck in the cycle of buying, designing, then forgetting about your journal.
Instead of focusing on big changes, you should focus on removing small obstacles.
Keep your journal in an obvious place
You won’t forget about your journal if you see it a lot. If you prefer to journal as soon as you wake up or before bed, keep it on your nightstand or under your pillow.
If you can only journal in-between breaks, keep it at your office desk or in your backpack.
Keep a habit tracker
Using a bullet journal or a wall calendar will help keep you accountable. Every time you go to check off a to-do, you’ll remember to journal. Even if it’s for 5 minutes to complete your to-do list.
Journal on your phone
Journaling on your phone is so much easier than journaling in an actual book. It’s accessible, you can do it anywhere, and uses less willpower since you already use your phone a lot.
I’ve been writing down my thoughts in my notes app since before I decided to focus on journaling. For some reason, I only considered writing in a physical journal journaling. That is not true.
Any outlet you have for writing out your thoughts is journaling.
You could also use journaling apps instead of the plain notes app. I’ve used the My Journey app and it has one of the best range of features I’ve seen. It has an interface that makes journaling so much easier. With daily reminders, journaling prompts, mood trackers, and coaches, journaling is much easier.
Set the mood
My journaling setup (when I have the energy) consists of:
- A clean space to journal
- A comfortable place
- Light up scented candles
- A humidifier with essential oils
- A light or weighted blanket
- Turned off lights and blocked sounds
Have journal prompts in close reach
Journal prompts are sentences that prompt an answer. Deep answers. When you have nothing to journal about, prompts will help you dig deep.
For E.g. how did you treat your body today?
There are journaling prompts for mental health, self-discovery, body goals, etc.
Consider getting a journal with prompt guides and writing fields.
Write about the smallest things
You don’t need to have an interesting life or have trauma to journal. You can write about how you felt waking up, conversations you had with friends or a new thing you’ve learned. You can use it like a diary, or like a scrapbook, if you wish.
Set realistic goals
It’s unrealistic to start and maintain a habit overnight. Set realistic goals, like journaling every other day instead of journaling daily.
Taking care of your needs is what is important, you don’t have to journal daily if you don’t want or need to. And if you do need to, this might be the one thing that will help, be patient with yourself, it’ll take some time.
Get better at addressing your mental health needs, not better at journaling.
To make journaling a habit you have to be aware of it, hence keeping a journal in an obvious place.
It will also help to set reminders or follow journal spread accounts on Instagram. There are so many creative journaling spreads that will inspire you to journal.
These tips on their own or with a little modification will help you journal more. You can’t build a habit overnight. Keep trying till you find a journaling method that works for you and stick to it. It’ll help you get through so many life changes and struggles.