Journaling: The Mental Health MVP During the Pandemic

Written by: MARYSE S. MARIUS
Quotations from: JoClub Members 💕

“I was struggling a lot with anxiety during the pandemic and journaling helped with keeping this under control.”

Life is overwhelming, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing less than a lot. Whether you turn on your TV, switch on the radio, tap your phone or pick up the newspaper, it’s there. COVID-19 stories are constantly surrounding us, whether we like it or not.
Learning to manage stress and cope with anxiety will make you more resilient. Journaling can help. Dr. Tiffany N. Brown, clinical psychologist, explains that “journaling helps you gain a better understanding and improve regulation of your emotions.”

“I just want to write down my experiences and see how I handled myself during the pandemic. Then one day I want to read it 10 or 20 years from now.”

Journaling during this pandemic is recording history through your own lens and being able to save and share your experiences and stories. When we revisit old entries, we enter an emotional journey. We don’t know what exactly to expect, but we can anticipate an engrossing, intriguing, amusing and entertaining journey. Our words on these pages give us the opportunity to relive and reflect on past events.

We often wish that we’d written more.

This experience could be like visiting an old friend. We have memories of who we were at the time.

Remember: Our previous journals are not a reflection of our present selves.

“The thing with the pandemic is that I have had the time to reflect more and consider where I am and where I’m going. It’s definitely impacted the way I journal: what I write about and how I write about it.”

We’re able to find meaning in things that have been or become unclear when we journal. We see new perspectives. Defining our experiences and situations in pen allows us to enter into a reflective state, and get clarity.

Free therapy. Grab it.

“The feeling of uncertainty was everywhere and I felt like journaling was something I could control at this time. I was able to commit to something that I knew would stay with me forever.”

Journaling doesn’t need a special, write-only-this structure. You’re able to create your own safe space to express your feelings. There’s no need to worry about making errors or making it pretty.

Journals keep the order when the world is in disarray.

“When COVID hit, I resorted to the one thing that’s always brought me peace and sanity: journaling.”

Writing in a journal creates a safe place for us to open up with ourselves. It can be difficult or uncomfortable at first to lay it all out there in ink. However, writing down our concerns helps us process them and deal with them.

It’s self-care.

Journaling is enjoyable and simple to start (little preparation) with loads of benefits. Since you’re reading this, you’ve already taken a step further to journaling.

If you haven’t as yet, start today:
(Tips from Jo Franco)

1. Buy yourself a journal that’s going to inspire you to write.
2. Maybe even get yourself a fancy new pen.
3. Always put the date on the page.
4. Write down where you are.
5. Start writing about your present moment.
6. Get out in public (if you can) and journal.
7. Number your pages.
8. Create your writing ritual.
9. Write titles to your pages to keep track of what you’re writing about.
10. If you don’t know what to write about, ask yourself: How are you?
11. BONUS:  Join JoClub. 😉

Maryse S. Marius is a creative non-fiction writer documenting her life experiences in words. She was born and raised in Saint Lucia 🇱🇨 🏝, and loves learning languages.
Connect with her on Instagram: @MaryseSMarius

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