I kept a pretty intense journal while I lived in New York, but unfortunately, I don’t live there anymore. I loved to reflect on everything I had done at the end of the day, even if I hadn’t done that much. Since I’ve been back in The Netherlands I have tried to continue journaling, but it hasn’t been easy. Because my work hours are irregular, I can’t sit down every night at 10 to write. I have been trying different ways to journal and I found these work best for me. Maybe you’ll find them useful too.
Instead of just writing down what I’ve done or how I’m feeling like I did in New York, I fill my thought journal with (you’ve guessed it) thoughts. Right now, I mostly use it to write encouragements to myself when I’m feeling down. Everyone has those days, when you’re not feeling like yourself or when you really need a hug. I always tell myself everything will be alright, because it will! But I find that writing those thoughts down, makes them stronger and I believe in them more. Most of the time I feel better afterwards! I’m trying to document happy moments too, but I still need to work on that. For some reason, it’s easier to hold on to negative feelings than to positive ones.
As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed drawing, sketching, just creating things in general. I kind of lost touch with that side of myself in high school. Recently, I bought a little sketch book and some pens, pencils and markers and I started doodling again. I realized how much I’d missed it. Now, I like to draw or doodle to unwind or when I need to focus on myself for a while. I can spend hours filling a page with lines and dots and other times I’ll draw something I see in my room or that I saw on Instagram. It depends on my mood.
The 52 Lists Project – a year of weekly journaling inspiration by Moorea Seal
The 52 Lists Project is a book I bought in New York. Basically, it helps you journal. For every week of the year you can create a list. For example, in week 8 you list your favorite quotes and in week 13 you list things that always cheer you up. I find it very helpful to focus on just one thing every week. Sometimes my lists are very long and other times I can only come up with a few things. So far, it has helped me to learn more about myself. The biggest thing I have learned is that I already know myself very well. Also, on every page is a tip on how to take action that week, so you can use the list you created in your life.
Keeping a journal is something very personal and it’s not for everybody. If it is something you do or would like to do, you’ll need to figure out your own way to journal. There is no perfect way. In the past, I’ve shared a few diary entries during my time in New York. How I journaled there is very different from how I journal now. The most important thing is to have fun while doing it!