Are you not quite sure how to feel right now? Or finding yourself overwhelmed and trying to keep it together? Maybe you’re not even sure how to spend your time? Or totally lost as you try to manage the kids being at home and maintain your workload.
You could be loving the additional time you have at home, while feeling concerned about family and friends who don’t live near you.
Journaling is a great way to not only express your feelings, but it is also proven to reduce stress and anxiety. It allows us to take a step back and reflect on our lives, or moments in our lives in a safe environment as well and can often provide the catalyst needed to get your creative juices flowing. To help you start ‘At Home Anywhere’ author, Rachael Lynn, shares her tips and advice on starting a journal at home.
I first began my journaling life over a decade ago when I came across Julia Cameron’s book The Artists Way. I’ll admit, I still need to finish the book, because I got so excited about an activity, she coined ‘Morning Pages’, that I’ve been doing them ever since I started reading her book.
On her website, Julia describes Morning Pages as:
Three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages* – they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only.
This allowed me so much freedom and relief and I want to share some tips here with you on how to get started, plus 10 prompts you can use if Morning-Page style isn’t flowing for you:
1) Pen to paper, not digital:
Don’t use your computer or notes on your phone because you will not FEEL the same when you do it. It needs to be of the moment, although you will have intention there should be no pre-meditation about what you are going to write.
From brain + heart to hand, pen and paper offers a release that typing just doesn’t do. You can’t self-edit. Even if you cross it out on paper, you still know it’s there.
If you MUST go digital, I recommend doing a VLOG saved to your phone, where you talk into your video recording, rather than writing on your notes. This means you won’t self-edit and filter your thoughts as much as when you type.
2) Open + close your Journaling time:
As you sit down to write, take three deep breaths or light a candle. This is your opening. When you’re complete (a minimum of 5 minutes) – take three more deep breaths or blow out the candle. When we encapsulate what we’re doing intentionally (otherwise known as setting the container) – it allows us to fully BE there for the activity, and also to leave whatever we wrote down on the page.
3) Do this when you wonder if you’re getting it ‘right’:
Journaling is not a test in your ability to write how you’re feeling properly. It is a practice of allowing yourself to be HONEST with yourself about how you’re feeling. That’s it. It doesn’t matter what you write as long as you’re writing.
4) Feeling emotional? Keep going:
Write and breathe. Feel, and write and breathe. Often times if we write long enough, things we’ve even been afraid of admitting to ourselves will be written on the paper.
This is the most beautiful part of this kind of practice. When we can no longer hide from ourselves, we feel more fully alive…even when we’re spending all day inside.
Not sure how to start? Here are 10 Ideas + Prompts:
- Read a piece of poetry and journal on what it makes you feel, what thoughts or emotions it brings up
- Look at a photo of you, or family and friends. Reflect and journal on that
- Listen to a piece of music and write about how it’s making you feel or what it reminds you of
- Or, complete the following statements to get you started:
- Right now, I really wish that…
- The most beautiful thing about this time has been:
- I miss…
- I’m afraid of ______ because _______. If this happens, then _________
- The most frustrating parts about my life right now are____
- The most beautiful parts of my life right now are:
- Before this time is over, I hope that I:
- 5 Positive aspects about my partner/spouse are:
- I’ve been avoiding talking to ____ about ______:
- The happiest day of my life was:
Above all: Follow the trail of your thoughts on the paper. Even if on the first day you only write one sentence. Try every day. The right words will come, and they probably won’t be what you thought when you sat down. Happy journaling!