If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution that’ll improve your mental health, help you track your goals and take you back to basics, why not consider journaling? The great news is that I’ve got two luxury journal kits to give away to two lucky winners to help you get started, so read on to find out how journaling can help you everyday…
MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Even though you may think you don’t have enough time to write a journal each day, there a plenty of pockets of time during the day when you could be writing instead – just think of all the time you spend scrolling through social media, eh? And it doesn’t have to be a long entry into your journal – just a quick note before bed might be enough to help you remember the good things that happened during the day. And experiencing gratitude for those lovely moments serves to reinforce your happiness.
You only need to do something for 21 days to create a habit so maybe you can start tomorrow by picking up a pen and noting down your new years resolutions in your journal. Rather than looking at a screen first thing in the morning you could go back to basics with pen and paper – doesn’t that sound appealing?? Or ditch those blue-screen devices at night (which will help you sleep more soundly) and write down your thoughts instead. You’ll begin reaping the self-care benefits straight away and the positive effect only improves the more you do it.
LOVE YOUR LIFE
Stationary store Pen Heaven are backing the campaign by donating 10% of all sales of their Green Palmi Grained Leather Journal (£22) to the Mental Health Foundation, whose mission is to help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health through prevention. Pen Heaven have also kindly donated two leather notebook and pen sets that I can give away to two of my lovely readers so that you can begin writing a journal for better peace of mind and a happier, healthier you.
I’ve been following the #LoveYourLife campaign that has been created to demonstrate the benefits of journaling for better mental health. It can be easy to forget that we need to nurture ourselves in order to get the best out of our lives and, when life gets busy at this time of year, we need to take care of ourselves more than ever. The campaign is a reminder of the multitude of health benefits of journaling and helps you make the simple yet effective task of journaling part of your everyday life.
WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR JOURNAL
The great thing about journaling is that your journal is completely personal to you. No-one needs to know what you include in your journal and no-one else is ever going to read it. So you are free to use your journaling time any way that you want and for any reason. A few ideas include:
- Setting out personal goals – great for New Year!
- Recording achievements, both personal and professional
- Noting affirmations and inspirational quotes
- Mind-mapping to reinforce learning
- Decluttering the mind
- Giving thanks for people, things and experiences in your life
- Tracking physical and mental health goals
- Making to-do lists for the day, month and year
- Expressing yourself with sketches, doodles, lyrics or poems
- Writing down the dreams you had the night before
- Working through your thoughts and ideas
- Keeping note of your day-to-day experiences like a traditional diary
- Clearing the mind of worries and doubt by turning the negative into a positive
THE WRITING PROCESS
Writing by hand helps to keeping your mind active and your brain engaged. If you’re experiencing any worries or anxiety, the zen-like ‘flow’ state you can achieve when you completely immerse yourself in writing a journal will distract you from those anxious moments and help you regain control. Of course, to really benefit from this feeling, you first need to take yourself away from other distractions, such as phones and computers – so writing with a pen and notebook is the best way to achieve this.
When you’re overwhelmed, taking the time to sit down, relax and write by hand, gives the chance to organise your thoughts and calm a chaotic mind. You might be storing so many things on your inner to-do list that it feels impossible to actually do any of them. When this happens try journaling to get it all out with an exercise called Creating Mental Whitespace. It’s all about writing everything down in a ‘brain dump’ and then assessing just what is important to you, and what you can let go.
The great news is that you don’t need a diary, dedicated notebook or fancy journal to get started – you just need a pen or pencil and some paper. But, that said, it’s great to record all your thoughts and goals in one place so that you cab easily look back over the pages and find the information you need, a positive affirmation or the exercise that really helped you in the past.
The fantastic news is that I’ve got two gorgeous journal and pen sets to give away to two lucky winners. The kit includes the Amalfi leather journal in pink and an OHTO slim purple pen – and this suede journal is actually the same design as the one I began using myself more than a year ago! Enter via the rafflecopter below to be in with a chance of winning a set for yourself – good luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway
PIN IT FOR LATER
Competition open to UK residents only and runs from 31st December 2019 – 31st January 2020. Two winners will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter. The winners will need to provide a UK delivery address to receive their prize.