I’m going to let you in, on a little secret, towards the end of December 17 and start of the year, or for most of January, I was going through a tough time both mentally and physically. ME/stress related- but the two combined just made for a real bad time and that isn’t me self-pitying or asking for sympathy it’s just the honest truth and we can’t really beat around the bush any more than that. So, I decided to change tactics. Rather than wallow in self-pity I thought that I’d take inspiration from two women, one fictional and one more real life. Anne Frank, a true female hero presenting strength beyond her years and one of whom, more young people need to become aware of and secondly Bridget Jones; I know a big contrast. But, what do these women have in common? They started writing a diary to document their daily emotions, thoughts and feelings just in an A5 book and pen. Or I assume an A5 book. So, that’s what I did. I used one of the very nice notebooks I have laying around in my room and used one as a diary since traditional diaries cannot be, bigger enough for my thoughts and feelings.
I was really interested with the concept of bullet journaling, it has been around for years now. With, most bloggers from Lilly Pebbles to Anna Newton- all taking up the concept of it. I’m still slightly confused because it is journaling but on a minimalistic approach. It takes out of the wishy washy bits and cuts it down to basics with you only writing brief, short notes a day but using symbols and codes to assist with the journaling. Sounds very appealing if you like your life to be on the basic side and don’t like expressing your inner thoughts. I wanted to try it, but felt that my mentality at this moment in time wouldn’t really benefit from the premises of bullet journaling. So, I took journaling back to basics and so let’s see what I’m learning over the course of journaling and becoming the real life Bridget Jones.
Just before, I read my book which at the moment is Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express, I take my diary, my pen, my headphones and I begin to write about the day and my feelings. I zone out, completely, taking out the negativity and the events of the day because I focus purely on the page in front of me. Usually, I start daydream with the tunes playing through my headphones but, it means, I go to bed having taken the negativity out of the day from my mind, meaning I focus more on me rather than what’s going on around me. I’ve noticed, I sleep so much better when I’ve written down those negative thoughts and feelings before I got to bed. It takes 10-15 minutes of, just writing, often this short amount of time is enough to just calm down.
You Don’t Bore Anyone Else
Now, I love a chuff which if you didn’t know, means I like to really go on about the same topic for a real long time. Beating round the bush, discussing it, until I go blue in the face. I almost apply my analytical brain to every situation. I’ll give you an example; a guy doesn’t call you after the date. You discuss that for weeks on end, discussing every possible reason why and how. I can’t say why but I do it for everything. So, I’ve found writing and keeping a diary has meant that I can write and chuff on about topics that friends/family are probably sick and tired of hearing about. It means, I can really express the true extent of those feelings/anxieties without the fear of annoying the person listening to me. Trust me, you can’t bore yourself.
Stationary is fabulous
Ever since I was little, I’d find great joy within stationary items. Nothing better than raiding Paperchase for a new pencil case and pens to start the new term. So using lovely pens on a lovely notebook is rather pleasing for my little crazy mind and has made me find the joys in the simple things.
Think of the positive
For my birthday I was bought three things all to do with keeping and being positive. I sense that my friends knew how I was feeling and the reasons for my feelings so thought I needed a pick me up. I find, usually that quotes from Pinterest to be rather cringe worthy and make my skin boil, but a book, calendar and quote board with the concept of feeling happy is just the right amount of happiness I can have injected into me at one time. Even, if that diary entry is rather negative, I will always write a quote in my diary to begin/end the entry from my book or calendar and these quotes just remind me that things can and will get better but I will also get stronger and be back nearer to where I used to find myself. Sometimes all it takes, is a gentle reminder to give you a little push.
When I first suffered with anxiety, I was told that what helps most, is not holding it in, but actually talking about it and expressing those worries. It may not be expressing them on social media through an Insta post or even a tweet but writing those worries, those true feelings down is one way you can express your true feelings without the world fearing you’re on the edge of feeling low. It also means that whether you think it or not, you have taken one worry from your plate and put it in a diary.
Write it, rip it out and shred it
This is something I did last night and wish I had done weeks ago or maybe years ago. I decided to do something that I see on TV all the time but thought it was a crock of ****. It’s the idea of writing an imaginary letter to a person whether that person be an ex-lover, friend or even family member. You write the letter, expressing everything you’d want that person to hear and know, once you’ve written it, remove it from the book without taking the rest of the pages out with it. Then, shred and bin it. With this, you hope that it becomes out of your conscious. I felt like that weight had been lifted and taken into a new universe, I just hope my recycling people don’t put shredded paper back together and think it’s a real letter awaiting an address, stamp and envelope. LOL.
End of Year Look back
This is the blogger in me, who says this. But at the end of this year, you will be thinking and reflecting on how 2018 has been for you. Facebook/Instagram is a way of understanding how your year went. It will the ‘Your Year’ or ‘Best of Nine’ which give you an indication of your year. But as I said last year, your social media doesn’t always document the lows; you only ever share the times you look hot to trot. So come the 31st December 2018, if you and I have both kept up with the diary writing, we can use our diaries as a way of reflecting on the year. How we’ve grown from when the diary first started and where we are looking towards for 2019.
Social Media Detox
I bet, that before you go and turn your light off, to go to bed, you’ll be like me. You’ll scroll through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube subscriptions and of course emails and before you know it, you’ve gone 10 weeks deep on a boys profile; learning all about his past, present and potential relationships alongside learning all about his family. You will know where his Aunt Emily went on her family holiday with her three children who all go to private school. If you’ve never done it, you’ll be lying to yourself. When in actual fact, what you needed more than that knowledge, was a social media detox. By writing a diary daily, I go to bed much nicer and don’t go to bed with every possible situation racing through my mind. It also means I’m not assessing what a boys like on a girls picture actually means…
Will you or have you started writing a diary before?