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Write your worries away.

One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2021 is to start journaling every day. In our teenage brains, we have so many thoughts jumbled up inside. Like most of you, I had a small diary when I was younger that I hid underneath my pillow. I wrote down all my thoughts and everything that happened that day. But as I grew older, it was looked upon as childish to have this diary of thoughts. Now, a couple years later, I am right back to where I was as a child, writing my thoughts and feelings down. Journaling is simply writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them clearly and reflect. It is proven to help many especially those struggling with mental illness. Many also say it is one of the most effective and most accessible self care tools. So you may be wondering, how do I start? Grab a notebook, a pen, and yourself. That is all you need. It is all included in the beauty of Journaling. It is so easy and this simple act can improve your mental health by so much. Sit down in a quiet place and just start writing. Anything that you have in your mind is exactly what you want to have down on your paper. What are your thoughts? How do you feel? What events happened today and how did they make you feel? These are some great questions to think about when you are writing.

Another amazing part about journaling is that there is no wrong way to do it. All it is, is simply writing down what you feel. Personally, I use a journal called The Five Minute Journal. Just like it’s title, it only takes 5 minutes a day to write in. Since I am a beginner, I feel like it is so helpful to get me started. In the morning, I fill out the day time section. It asks me what I am grateful for, things that would make today a great day, and positive affirmations. Ever since I have started using it, I feel like it has helped me so much. Another small goal of mine was to focus more on the small things in life to make me happy and also not let small negative things take control of my day. Journaling in general has definitely helped me with that because now I am giving my attention and recognition to the good things in my day that may have been small, but have impacted me greatly. I tried my best to think about what I am grateful for here and there but not everyday. Therefore, by writing 3 things I am grateful for everyday, I have learnt to focus on the small things in life that sadly I sometimes take for granted. In the night time, I do journaling a little differently. First off, I always do the night section of the Five Minute Journal which asks me good things in my day and how I could have made it better. This also does have such a good impact on me as well. It is just like the quote, “ It may have been a bad day, but there is always good on a bad day.” Writing down what went well in the day helps again with understanding the impact of small occurrences that are often overlooked.

In addition, at night, I also freely record entries and occurrences. I grab a small notebook and write the date at the top. Then I just write whatever comes to mind. I write about things that happened that day and how it made me feel. I write about whatever is in my head and all the thoughts jumbled up. To me, it’s a form of expression and it feels great to get it out of your head and onto a piece of paper. I also write using journal prompts after I do my mini daily brain dump. Many people have their own opinions on journal prompts, but I love them. I believe it helps with self-discovery and overall improvement of myself. It helps me learn more about who I am and it helps by focusing on my positives and also how I can improve. Overall, in the short time that I have been journaling, I feel like it has helped my well-being and my mental health a lot. I would recommend it to anyone out there as a form of expression and relaxation at the end of a long day. So whenever you need it, go ahead and write your worries away.

- Ektha Bhardwaj

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