I used to keep a diary when I was younger, but it was mostly just writing about what had happened in the day rather than anything in great detail. I don’t like writing down my feelings, the closest I’d get to it would be writing an instrumental piece of music.
I was given this for my birthday:
It’s from a company called ‘Knock Knock’ and has a bit at the front telling you how to make the most out of your journaling. It says to try and make it positive and that you don’t have to become a master at journaling overnight – you can just write about the positive phrases on every other page instead if you can’t think of anything. I liked it because it’s kind of making fun of itself and being sarcastic- it’s not to be taken too seriously but still serves a purpose.
What’s the difference between blogging and journaling? I guess when I blog I censor myself to an extent. I edit, I think about if I’m happy for the world to know something and then edit some more. Journaling isn’t going on the internet and it can be more personal, if I want it to be.
It’s a pretty small book, which I took to mean I didn’t have to write a lot, which is good because my handwriting is terrible. When I was younger, I used to write 10 positive things that had happened in the day. I decided to do something similar and do what I’d enjoyed, achieved and overcome.
I’ve not been doing it very long, but what I realised is that I don’t ‘enjoy’ very much. I could think of 3 things that I’d achieved and overcome during the day relatively easily, but things I enjoyed I’d get a bit stuck. I must be too goal orientated or feel the need to do things because I ‘should’ do them because there’s a level of challenge involved. But that doesn’t mean I enjoy something while I’m doing it.
So I started thinking during the day about what I’d like to do and what would I look forward to doing, and made some changes. I think the problem with being off work sick is that you get into a habit of running a commentary in your head- ‘my doctor would approve if I did X’, ‘if I do this now, then I’ll have made progress because I couldn’t do it yesterday’, ‘I should do this when X happens instead of Y so that I don’t end up feeling worse’… It becomes too much about achieving things and overcoming difficult things. Which is important for self esteem and confidence, because it gives you a sense of accomplishment where other people would feel the same by having a good day at work or meeting a big deadline. But that’s not the same as enjoying something. It’s also easy to fall into the habit of saving energy for things which need to be done, whereas what I should be doing is making sure I have energy to do the things I enjoy doing.
Sometimes what I achieve and what I enjoy are the same. But not always. I don’t always manage to write 3 things I enjoy every day, but I’ve made a start and I’ve already noticed a bit of difference in my mood. I enjoy reading the quotes every day too, this one made me laugh:
Banner Photo: taken by my husband