Categories
Food for Thought

Here’s Why You Should Keep A Journal

WRITTEN BY: MARYSE S. MARIUS


Writing in a journal can lead to a plethora of benefits. In essence, journaling helps with clarity and organization.

People start journaling for different reasons. These reasons can be personal, professional, or a mix of the two.

To list some, journaling can help you:

  • Take care of your mental health
  • Track your personal development
  • Alleviate stress
  • Manage anxiety
  • Cope with depression
  • Improve your writing skills
  • Build and track personal habits and achieve your goals

And more.


If you don’t journal, here are 3 of the BEST things about journaling:
(which will hopefully inspire you to start today!)

1. You can start RIGHT NOW.

You don’t need anything fancy to start.

If you want to keep an analog journal, all you need is an empty book (notebook, journal, scrapbook) and your writing tool of choice! (a pen, pencil, fountain pen- if you’re a bit fancier).

If you want to keep a digital journal, open up your writing tool of choice! (Apple’s Notes/Pages app, Microsoft Word, Google Document, Scrivener, Ulysses … you choose!)

2. There are NO RULES.

Journal as you see fit. Your journal is yours and you’re in charge.

Did you miss a day? No worries!
Writing daily is too overwhelming? Try weekly!
Tired of lined pages? Experiment with dots, grids, or blank sheets!

Remember, there is no right or wrong approach to journaling.

3. The results can be instant.

E.g. If you decide to journal for mental clarity:

When you do a brain dump and take everything that’s occupying space in your brain and put it on paper, you’re going to feel less overwhelmed.

E.g. If you decide to journal to cope with depression:

When we write and then re-read your entry, you have the opportunity to take a step back and process the information either through a different lens or from a completely different perspective.

This can help you be more aware: it can allow you to identify triggers, patterns, and even solutions.


How some JoClub members use their journals:


“I use writing as an outlet for emotions, thoughts, and memories. Because otherwise, I’m usually a very highly stressed person, running from one place to another, to another, and not really reflecting upon things. I would often journal in moments of crisis when it all became too much.”


“I started journaling during the pandemic. I needed an outlet for all of my thoughts and feelings as writing them down always helped. It was so important for me to write down my feelings and thoughts, otherwise, I don’t think I could’ve coped with a lot of things.”


“As someone who has a difficult time remembering a lot of my life, I thought it’d be good to document everything I was feeling whilst I and most of the world was going through one of the toughest times we’ve ever experienced in our lifetimes. Committing to 5-10 minutes a day to journal during one of the toughest times in my life enabled me to process everything I was feeling. So many of my highlights from the last year have come about because of journaling and I’m so grateful.”


Tip: Find a journaling buddy and start together!
We don’t have to do things alone.


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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Categories
Journal

How Journaling In A Foreign Language Can Help

Learning a foreign language can be overwhelming. At school, we are taught in a very traditional way- using grammar books and vocabulary lists. Many people often give up before finding a method that works for them. For some, it may be using apps, for others, it could be falling in love. For the journaling enthusiast, it could actually be journaling.

When we journal in a foreign language, it’s like taking a magical path to achieve your goals- whatever they may be. You can get better in the language that you’re learning and you can even use journaling as a tool to start working on and/or prioritize your mental health.


Here are the experiences of two JoClub members.
They both speak 4 languages each.


MARYSE

A big part of my everyday life, at the moment, is languages. I’m in love with their power.

I’m a native English speaker and teacher.

I speak French at an advanced level, Italian at an intermediate level (still learning, of course!), and I’m currently a beginner in Portuguese (Brazilian, yes).

When I was studying for my DELF B2 exam a couple of years ago, I needed a way to practice writing. It wasn’t about getting the spellings correct, or asking and answering simple questions, such as those via text. It was about sounding complete, elegant and comme une française. So I started looking for ways to do this.

Light bulb moment. 💡
Yes, journaling.

I began writing everything in French. I journaled about my days, particularly those which were more dynamic, as I would need to learn new words and expressions to speak about these new, exciting things.

Journaling in a foreign language helped me realize that I could also write many other things in this language- grocery lists, to-do lists and weekly goals, for example.

Whenever a student wants to improve their writing skills, I advise them to write a daily detailed to-do list. The tasks are usually everyday, common things.

When I say this, I’m not referring to writing “clean the house”. I advise them to write like this: 

“I’m going to clean the house today. I will start with the kitchen, then I will clean the living room. After that, I will eat. When I’m done with my lunch, I will resume my cleaning by cleaning all the windows.”

You catch my drift.

This is simple, and allows you to routinely study the same vocabulary (while improving) and learn how to speak well about your life.

As I journaled, my French writing was significantly improved and refined with each entry.

Whenever I decided to journal in English, it felt too normal, nondescript and uninteresting.


BRENDA

For some years now, writing has become a door to know me: to express what my voice often does not dare to say out loud and to understand what I feel and what I am.

It’s the key to be open with myself.

Page after page, I began to feel deeply comfortable using the magical, expressive, full and usually “noisy” words in Spanish, my mother tongue. They help me fill the spaces that life may have.

But one day, I discovered journaling in English, and I realized that unlike when I learned to speak as a baby, this time I had more power. It was possible to choose how I would tell my own story.

A language that is not yet very connected to your soul and your mind allows you to choose the adjectives you use to describe your life and yourself more carefully.

I feel like the verbs let me act with more freedom, while gestures and expressions allow me to see that there are different ways to be me, to be myself.

I’m still working on the “English version” of myself. I love knowing that I can learn and choose how to tell my story because that adds magic and emotion to what I already am and know. 

It reminds me that, here and now, I can be connected with me, with versions of me I don’t know yet, and in the end, reminds me that I’m connecting with the whole of humanity… the humanity that I am part of.


Don’t let foreign languages scare you away. With journaling, we can offset the pressure of grammar rules and structures and be reminded that the main objective of language learning is to express yourself and be part of a community.

Be free with the use of words and enjoy the process.


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

Brenda is a medical writer and language learning enthusiast. She is madly in love with journaling, and she works on achieving her dream of becoming a polyglot content creator.

Connect with her on Instagram and find her blog here.


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Send us an email with subject – JoClub guest post! Join JoClub, our international group of journalers brave enough to share their innermost thoughts with the world.

Categories
Food for Thought

Journaling Has Called You. Heed The Call!

WRITTEN BY: BRENDA SANDOVAL


“I’m not pretentious. I write for myself, to sometimes feel my soul speaking, singing, and sometimes crying.”
Clarice Lispector, Brasilian writer


Writing is one of the abilities that differentiate humankind from animals, and we should be proud of how much this capacity has evolved since the first cuneiform script system until today. 

However, despite the fact that all humans started learning this skill at a very young age, merely as an academic requirement, there are some people who are lucky enough to connect with writing on a deeper level and have the chance to discover that it’s actually a living and powerful force.

I’m pretty sure that you, the journaler, are one of them. So, this is a brief message for you.


Did we choose it, or were we chosen?

We may never know.

While some writers and journalers started out on an instinct, others have had to look for years to finally discover that this was how their souls express themselves.

Despite your situation, it is fundamental that you identify what your “why” is:

Are you writing to bring your new projects to life?
To express your inner thoughts?
To help yourself evolve through new perspectives?
Or, perhaps, to practice a new language?   


Take a page from the brilliant journalers’ minds.

After having identified your “why”, it’s time to see it through.

You need to start to be consistent until you finally reach your maximum potential.

Many brilliant historical minds have already done it, for example: Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein started using their journals to record all their new ideas and they ended up changing the world. Frida Khalo, painter, and Clarice Lispector, writer, preferred to use them to explore and understand themselves, and they created incredible art.

Follow the brilliant historical minds who journaled.

You and your writing can bring a great contribution to the world! 


Honour your gift by sharing it.

If you feel this connection with writing, then keep doing it and little by little, you will discover all the wonders that this gift can give to you.

Take care of it as it takes care of you.

That is the best way to honour it.


Brenda is a medical writer and language learning enthusiast. She is madly in love with journaling, and she works on achieving her dream of becoming a polyglot content creator.

Connect with her on Instagram and find her blog here.


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Send us an email with subject – JoClub guest post! Join JoClub, our international group of journalers brave enough to share their innermost thoughts with the world.

Categories
Food for Thought

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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Send us an email with subject – JoClub guest post! Join JoClub, our international group of journalers brave enough to share their innermost thoughts with the world.