As of late, I have a ton of journals. I know journaling is something that is always strongly encouraged for everyone, but especially it seems like for those who are recovering from mental illness. I thought it would be fun to share all my different journals and how they all serve a different purpose and help me in different ways. Plus it gave me an excuse to take fun photos.
1. Daily Journal
This is the journal I have always kept or at least tried to keep with just my daily thoughts or goings on. I don’t have a specific form or theme of writing, I just write either things that have happened or how I’m feeling. I don’t have anything fancy for this journal because I am very particular, after years and years of keeping a journal, about the style I like. I insist on a spiral bound, which is tough to find, and I also like to have college ruled pages and enough to last a long time. This knocks out almost any cute, pretty or fancy journal out there because they usually don’t meet these criteria. Nicole bought me this journal on Amazon for Christmas and it was one of the best presents I’ve ever gotten. Journal by Plan Ahead, $9.95 on Amazon.
2. Mood Journal
I have tried to keep a mood journal in the past but it never really works out. For a long time I just did a rating number in a small calendar daily, like a 1-10 type thing, but that just doesn’t give me enough information, since my mood can change throughout the day and it also doesn’t let me know what potentially caused the mood. Then I changed to rating a select few common emotions on a scale of 1-5, which was pretty cool and worked well but was exhausting and still didn’t give me any context. In the past few weeks I have decided to start mood journaling again after encouragement from Nicole. This one is a nice size so I can carry it in my purse if I want to keep a close eye on my moods throughout the day. Now instead of any rating system I just put a small blurb of what I am doing and how I’m feeling along with the time. It is blank inside so I have the option of writing as often as I want throughout the day. Journal by Piccadilly, set of 3 for $5.38 at Barnes and Noble.
3. Food Journal
I struggle with food and my eating habits so this is something I’ve also tried to do in the past but it never really pans out. Another journal encouraged by Nicole, I’ve only been doing it for a few weeks so I don’t know how it will pan out, but for now it’s pretty easy to keep. I wanted something that was already pre-made with each day and spots for breakfast lunch and dinner but the only one I could find was a very expensive Moleskine fitness journal and I was not dropping $25 on a journal I may or may not keep up with. I bought this one in a pack along with the mood journal, only $6 for a pack of three, and it’s the same size so also good for taking with me in my purse if I want to write as I eat. I haven’t had trouble so far just writing each morning for the day before. I pre-wrote in the dates through my first month and I create spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner so writing in it is pretty stress free and it looks nice and clean in advance. Journal by Piccadilly, set of 3 for $5.38 at Barnes and Noble.
4. Daily Lists Journal
This is my go-to carry-in-my-purse keep-me-from-sitting-on-the-couch journal. It doesn’t always keep me from sitting on the couch though, I must say. But it does give me a place that isn’t my daily journal where I can keep track of just day to day things I need to do. Each day gets its own fresh new page. I started doing this when I got out of the hospital in April. I put stuff on it that seems small and minute, just to have stuff to check off, but it keeps me on task and it makes me realize at the end of the day what I did get accomplished. Right now it always automatically includes my four daily October goals of showering, doing housework, taking photos and taking my medicine. When I don’t have a list, a lot of time I will default to being confused about what I’m supposed to be doing and why I have nothing to do, although there is always something to be done. With this one also, since I just use a small notebook, I get to have a fresh new one every month or two, which is nice because I get bogged down once I’m in the latter half of a notebook. Weird, I know. Journal from $1 bin at Michaels. I think it may have been a summer thing, I got it in May.
5. My Favorite Things
This was an impulse buy at Barnes and Noble when I was getting my mood and food journals. It’s super fun though. I like making lists and this just gives you prompts for listing things you like. I think I like it so much because it makes me remember there are things that make me happy, and definitely things that have made me happy in the past that I have since forgotten. I’m trying to write in it once a day and I’m letting myself skip prompts that maybe don’t pertain to me as much or ones I just find to be boring. Journal by Piccadilly, $6.28 at Barnes and Noble.
So does anyone else have such an obsession with journaling? I would love to hear about your journaling habits and whether you find it helpful to your daily routing or if it’s just another thing you feel like you have to do. Sometimes I feel that way. Mostly though, I do enjoy it and it helps me.
Don’t forget to be awesome,