If you’re feeling cooped up in the house right now, journaling to cope with social distancing is a great way reduce stress and anxiety about the pandemic. Journaling is a great way to self reflect about everything that’s going on in the world right now and your response to it all. For one thing, you’re probably home more than you ever were before and have time on your hands. This is a wonderful time to begin a new journaling habit!
Being in isolation or alone for long periods of time can be really tough on your mental health. You might not even realize the toll that it’s taking. Even people who were already home much of the time and are introverts are still struggling with stress because of the disruptions to routine. Journaling will help you to identify panic, anxiety and worry and can really help to boost your mental health during this tough time.
Easy Tips for Starting a New Journal
It’s very easy to get started with journaling. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be. Simply grab a notebook, journal, or a piece of paper and a pen. That’s all you need. It can sometimes be hard to start your first page, so here are a few ways to get started the very first time you write in a journal:
Dear Diary. Pretend you’re a teen again. Write in your journal as if you are writing in a diary. Write about how your day is going, vent or what you did all day.
Use Journaling Prompts. These can help you to jumpstart the creative process. You can easily find journaling prompts on Pinterest, or check out some of my journaling prompts here.
Set a Timer. This is going to require you to do more stream of consciousness journaling, which is when you write about whatever comes to your mind. There are no designated topics – you just write with the flow of your thoughts until the timer goes off.
Other Ideas to Write in Your Journal
Writing in a daily journal may feeling kind of overwhelming. How do you decide what to write about every single day? Some journal writers may enjoy writing whatever comes to mind, but sometimes that leads to writer’s block and wasted hours of thinking about what to write. Here’s some more ideas for what to write in your journal.
Inspirational Quotes and Reflections
Inspirational quotes are great to use for journal prompts and there are hundreds to choose from for free on Google! Find a quote that inspires
you to do something more in your life and put it down along with reflection on how it applies to your life. Any quote can work for this exercise, whether it’s a line from a book or movie or even a funny joke or anecdote.
Answer Your Own Questions
There are a few ways to find questions to answer in your journal. Keep notes of questioning thoughts as they come across your mind, then write them down or type into your notepad. You can also visit sites dedicated to asking questions and find one that appeals to you and write about it in your journal.
Personal Life Goals
If you run out of things to write in your journal, you could also talk about your goals. What do you think life will look like after the pandemic? What goals would you like to set? You don’t have to put all your goals down in one entry, but instead dedicate an entry to one specific goal. Talk about the goal, what you can do to achieve it and how to get there.
Notes on Current Events
Read a new story or two and write down your thoughts about it. Any significant event is worthy of discussion and analysis. You could also pick famous events from past history, like the beginning or ending of a war, or the death of a famous figure. Write about what’s going on in your town. Write about your personal response to it all. T
Journal to Overcome Challenges
Everyone faces a variety of challenges every single day. Any time you encounter a struggle during your day, write about it in your journal. What happened that made it a challenge? How did you feel when you had to face it? Did you overcome the challenge? How did you overcome it? Some challenges can’t be overcome in a day and then you might want to write about possible solutions to the challenge in the days or weeks ahead.
Write Down Your Dreams and Memories
Everyone has dreams and memories that come up during the day. Write about a memory that came to you during the day. Try to recall more of the memory and how it made you feel. If you had an interesting dream the night before, write it down and then look up possible meanings in a dream dictionary. Think about the dream and if it’s relevant to your life.
Write About Food
If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s often very helpful to keep a food journal of what you ate during the day. You’ll be able to identify stress triggers that can lead to an eating binge. And if you’re not trying to lose weight, it can be fun to talk about new recipes you’ve tried and food you ate during the day.