A huge focus in many of my clients’ sessions recently has been productivity. Many of us have been working from home for a whole year (can’t quite believe that!) and naturally this means our day-to-day routines have changed. We may not have a commute in the morning/after work, meaning we have extra time in our day. You may well have noticed yourself working during what would have been your commuting time, because of course working at home means that boundary between work life and home life has become slightly blurred at times! So, let’s use this time to reflect on what our daily routines look like and what we might want to do to change them.
One of my personal goals for March was to work on my morning routine. I wanted to start each day with positivity, feeling good and ready to start the day. Alongside exercising, meditating and reading self-development books as part of my morning routine, I’ve also started to journal. Journaling has been something I’ve always done now and then without any real routine to it. Now that I’ve made it part of my morning routine, I am thoroughly enjoying this reflection time and wanted to share the benefits I’ve noticed as a result, in the hope that it may inspire you to make journaling part of your daily routine too!
1. Making sense of your thoughts. First and foremost, journaling has been so beneficial to calming the noise inside my mind, making sense of what’s going on up there and capturing thoughts that I may not have paid attention to otherwise. At first it felt a little odd putting the pen in my hand and giving myself ultimate freedom to start writing! But with practice, I found it rather cathartic to spill out all of my thoughts, feeling, ideas, observations and reflections onto paper. Reading back my scribble on the page hasn’t always made sense! However, it has enabled me to notice interesting ideas and thoughts I’ve had. It’s amazing how you open up your creativity when you put pen to paper!
2. Start with some prompts. The idea of filling pages of a blank notepad to me seemed a little daunting. So at first I thought about questions I could ask myself to help me start getting into the flow of writing about myself. Here are some useful questions/prompts I enjoyed writing about; things you’ve done that you previously thought you could never do, your favourite books/films/songs, the people you most admire. Use these prompts to help you put pen to paper and start discovering more about yourself- that’s what journaling is all about!
3. Make time for it. Fit it into your daily routine, it might be a part of your morning routine such as mine is or perhaps you’d prefer to capture your thoughts at the end of the day. Or if you are one of those people who now has an hour in the morning where they would have been sat on a train, use this time to spare 10-15 minutes for your journal.
4. Keep it natural. Let it happen naturally, forcing yourself to write something when you’re not feeling it is counter productive. There may be days where we feel we can’t get our heads into it and that’s okay, instead choose to do it when you feel it would be beneficial. The more you have those days where it feels natural, it will begin to flow.
5. There are no rules! Journaling is individual to everyone. If you want to dedicate it to reflecting on your thoughts, go for it. If you want to write down all that inspires you so that you create new goals, fabulous! Or if you want to capture the things in life you’re grateful for, that’s wonderful too. Make it YOURS. However you decide to use your journal, the act of sitting and writing means you’re fully present and in the moment, which is such a valuable way to use our time.
I hope you enjoy journaling as much as I have this past month, and I hope you discovery many interesting and insightful things about yourself!