How I usually Journal – 9 Quick Journaling Tips if you're a beginner
I’ve received so many messages from people regarding the Journaling Challenge. I didn’t imagine the response to be so heartfelt and warm. Each response has been emotional and positive. Messages have been pouring in about how liberating, light, happy, emotional, inspiring this challenge is making them feel.
So much appreciation to each one!
While the response has been so so amazing, there’ve been quite a lot of queries as well about journaling. There were a lot of beginners looking for clarity, so I understand the need for queries and questions.
In this article, I’m going to tell you how I usually Journal. But please note you could either follow the way I journal or add your own style to it.
Let’s get started.
1. Actual pen and actual journal/notebook – I write on an actual paper and with an actual pen. I don’t like the digital way of journaling. I’ve collected a few journals overtime and each time I read what ive written, what ive actually written in my handwriting it makes me feel so alive. I realized how far ive come, how ive changed. Even when people buy my e-workbook I tell them to write it in a notebook.
If you’re a beginner – I would highly recommend that you don’t compromise with this one and use an actual pen and paper.
2. Five minutes each day – There are times when my schedule is really too heavy and I can’t spend an enormous time on Journaling. But I do give it atleast 5 Minutes. Where I write about how I feel that day, that minute, any goal I have that I’m working toward, expressing gratitude, almost anything at all. Sometimes just a good thought dump too. I give it 5 minutes Each day.
If you’re a beginner – Start with 5 minutes each day. It’s a good way to maintain consistency and not get carried away by your thoughts.
3. Morning Routine – I’m a night person. It was quite a struggle to wake up early only to find myself doing absolutely nothing and scrolling Instagram mindlessly or letting thoughts take over which used to put me in a really sullen mood. My mornings have become a bit interesting and calm since I’ve started journaling as a morning routine. Usually I grab my journal after I’ve brushed my teeth and made my coffee. So it’s within the first 90 minutes of my day.
If you’re a beginner – It doesn’t matter whether you wake up super early or even mid-morning. The first 90 minutes of the day belong to you. Start by replacing one morning activity with journaling (instead of replying to messages, try journaling). You’ll have a mindful day for sure!
4. Music and coffee – I swear I’m a classic cliché when it comes to journaling. I usually have some gentle instrumental guitar/piano music playing while I’m journaling. Since I journal right after I make my coffee, I usually have coffee along. It’s seriously such a magical experience. It’s like meditation to me. I use a playlist on spotify, its pretty easy to find with various options.
If you’re a beginner – You could go with listening to music or omit it. It’s totally upto you. I’d suggest you listen to some light instrumental music as it also helps you focus and emotionally has a good influence on you. Also, you could go with tea/juice or water, whatever it is that you prefer to drink in the morning.
5. Candles and incense – I did tell you I’m a cliché right? Well, I tend to go all in. I usually light a candle (read : diya) and light a good fragrance. I usually use incense sticks and cones. The combination of these with journaling creates such a warm, soothing and comforting ambiance that you feel spiritual and don’t want to stop.
If you’re a beginner – If diya or candle doesn’t work for you, try to sit at your balcony or near your window. You could also sit by the plants, the effect it just as spiritual. If you don’t like incense sticks you could use a diffuser or omit it.
6. Evening Wind-down – I tend to also journal in the evening or before going to bed where I usually write about things that I’m grateful for. It’s a reminder that its time to relax and end the day.
If you’re a beginner – You could do the same or skip it. Sometimes as a beginner the morning can become too hectic and you can replace that during the evening so you don’t lose consistency.
7. Using free or guided journaling – I enjoy writing about my thoughts and experiences more than events in my journal. I also love guided journaling which also gave birth to my e-workbook. Sometimes I like to write without pausing for 5 minutes straight. When I do this, I don’t mind making mistakes.
If you’re a beginner – As a beginner I’d recommend you go for guided journaling prompts. It’ll motivate you to journal more often and also help you reconnect with your emotion and thoughts easily. Even swearing is okay!
8. Creative or minimal – My journal is always very minimal. I don’t get creative with it. I prefer it that way but you can go ahead and get creative with it. Using tapes and stickers and coloured pens. You could also sketch, write poetries if you’d like, instead of just words. Use cut out magazine pictures if you want. You can get extremely creative with your journal.
If you’re a beginner – Don’t worry about getting it right. There’s no such thing in journaling. Go ahead and try. Trial and error is a good method. If you’d like to keep it minimal and simple you could just stick to writing. It’s all good!
9. Enjoy the process – I’ve always loved journaling and wanted to sell amazing diaries and journals growing up. I managed to create an amazing e-workbook though. I love the effect journaling and writing has on me. It’s something I always recommend to anyone who’s going through an emotional period and doesn’t want to talk about it. I’m usually quiet and therefore and don’t express in front of everyone, so journaling helps me express my emotions easily and without hesitation.
If you’re a beginner – You may or may not like to journal every day. You may be a seasoned journaler and that’s alright. Give yourself 30 days to figure it out. Don’t include it as a chore but as a tool for growth.
This is how I journal but you can get creative and add in or take away, whatever works for you. I’ve been following this practice for years now and I do tend to change things every once in a while, so don’t feel obligated to follow this as a norm.
I understand that writing isn’t for everyone but I’d suggest that you try an get as expressive as you can instead of writing one-liners. I hope you get started with your journaling journey.
If you have any questions on journaling or if you’d like more articles on journaling do let me know.
Tag me on Instagram or share you experience with me via DM. I’d love to know how journaling helps you in your day-to-day life.