Recently, I started journaling as a stress reliever and as a way to keep note of how I feel throughout the day. So far, it has been extremely helpful. I feel like before I open my journal, I’m carrying a lot of heavy burden and it’s not until I place my pen onto the paper that I begin to feel better. It seriously feels like a release ritual.
My stress and my boggled emotions really took a toll on me last semester. My course load was heavier than usual even though I was taking the standard 15 credits. My platonic and romantic relationships were also causing me a lot of stress and emotional discomfort. Granted, I was able to vent my problems to my best friend, but sometimes, I don’t always find it beneficial to talk out my problems. I feel like I don’t always have the confidence or comfort to say what I really want. From there, I decided to seek counseling, but my schedule was so hectic, I couldn’t even make my scheduled appointment. Luckily, throughout the semester, I was able to rid one of my biggest stressors (work) and I found ways to manage my course load and to work out kinks within my relationships.
It wasn’t until the beginning of this month that I made it a point to buy and use a journal. I never thought I’d be the journaling type because until recently, I perceived keeping a journal as keeping a diary, and diary’s equaled little girls, which I am not (I now know better). Plus, I lack a lot of the things I thought one needed to journal: pretty or at least decent hand-writing, amazing use of word choice, and/or being disciplined enough to pick up a pen and write something everyday. Although you can be that precise in your journaling, it’s not necessary. After watching many YouTube videos describing how to journal (because apparently, I thought there was a specific structure you had to follow) I realized that journaling has no fixed structure. There are multiple types of journals: food journals, drawing journals, agendas and they’re all structured differently for the user.
I prefer to free write. I write exactly how I feel at that moment with no filters. Even going back to previous entry’s from as early as a couple of days and reflecting on my thoughts and feelings is pretty cool: something I wouldn’t be able to do accurately if I were just speaking to a friend.
The journal I purchased was very inexpensive. I paid about $10 for it at Walgreens. And although it hasn’t been a full month, journaling is something I think I’ll continue to practice!