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  • Writer's pictureHelen Colebrook

Journaling in Difficult Times


Journaling in Difficult Times
Daily Journal

I really hope this blog post finds you well. It's such a strange and difficult time isn't it. I've never been more thankful for my journals, to help me process my thoughts and make some notes about what's been happening each day. In this blog post, I'm going to share with you the journal pages that I've found most beneficial, in the hope that they may be of help to you too.


Daily Journal


Daily Journal
Document and Reflect

My daily journal has stayed a consistent part of my evening routine. I take five minutes to jot down a few lines about what has happened during the day. At the weekend, I usually decorate the right-hand page and spend a little time getting creative.


I find it really helps to get the thoughts and concerns out of my head. Reading back through my journal entries a few weeks or months later also allows me to remember how far we've come and to have hope for the future.


Creative Journal
Creative Journal

I also use my journal to write positive messages to myself and play with watercolour paint, stickers and washi tape. Even looking back through these journal entries now, I am surprised at how quickly I have forgotten things. I mean, how could I already have forgotten about watching Tiger King? Maybe I was trying to block it from my mind!


Free-flow Journal


Free Flow Journal
Free-flow Journal

If you are looking for more space to write about your feelings, then you might find that a free-flow journal works really well for you. I started off by adding a little decoration to my pages, though this is a completely optional step. I then just write every thought that pops into my head. You can write as many lines as you like and even carry on for pages if this helps to make you feel a little lighter.


I feel instantly better once I've unclogged my mind. Whenever I feel that my thoughts are stuck in an uphelpful loop, or I feel blocked in some way, I start writing. It seems to bring me a sense of perspective that wasn't there before.


"Journaling is like whispering to one's self and listening at the same time." Mina Murray.

Gratitude Journal


Gratitude Journal
Gratitude Journal

I've kept a gratitude journal for a long time, but it feels even more valuable now than before. I'm really taking time to focus on and document the good things. I've found that now lots of things have been temporarily removed from our lives, the little things mean even more. I really enjoy watering the plants, feeling the sunshine on my skin, hearing the birds sing and finding plenty of food at our local supermarket.


Writing in my gratitude journal helps to centre me and move my focus onto the good things, rather than all the troubling events being reported on the news and social media. I make sure that I write at least one line in here every evening.


Recognising your own Achievements


Achievements Journal
Achievements Journal

In a similar way to my Gratitude Journal, I write a line in my Reasons to be Proud page too. At the moment, even the smallest tasks can feel like walking through treacle at times. On some days, I find that I struggle to focus properly, which is particuarly difficult when my workload is so high. I think it's really important to recognise your own achievements, no matter how small. One of my entries simply reads "Surviving the day and finding a way to laugh". On that particular day, it was a huge accomplisment.


Giving myself some praise, rather than being self-critical, is much more likely to spur me on to do even better the next day. Sometimes, just recognising that I need to take some time to relax is more than enough. Each day and set of emotions can be very unpredictable, so I try not to set unrealistic expectations for myself.


Life Review


Personal Development Journal
Life Review

During this period of huge change, I have spent a lot of time thinking and reflecting on what life will be like when things start to settle down. Whilst some of it will be outside of our conrol, I also think it's the perfect time to think about what we want to change. Life has a funny habit of sweeping us along, but maybe we don't want to take all of our past behaviours, habits, tasks and relationships into the future? It's been on my mind a lot.


This "Life Review page" was my attempt to bring a little structure to my thoughts and start planning the changes that I want to bring about. I will no doubt come back to these pages in a few weeks' time, but it's been a really helpful starting point for now.


Sketch Journal


Sketchbook Journal
Sketchbook Journal

If you're struggling to process your thoughts and words are escaping you, perhaps a sketchbook journal could help? One evening, I was finding it hard to articulate my thoughts and I had an urge to paint. This abstract page expressed my emotions perfectly and enabled me to empty my mind in a completely different way.


It doesn't have to make sense to anyone else. If playing with watercolour, spreading paint on a page with your fingers, or creating a collage feels right, then just go with it. Getting creative can be such a big release.


I really hope this blog post has given you some ideas to help with your journaling through these difficult times. I think it's important to express your thoughts, in whatever way makes the best sense to you.


 

For information on the journals I use, you can find all of the details here.

If you are interested in taking my online journaling workshops, the details are available here.

My journaling book is available here.

My journaling product range is available here.


Some of these links contain affiliate links, meaning that I earn a small commission if you choose to make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

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6 Kommentare


Gast
28. Aug. 2022

I absolutely love your journals! My 7 children are all grown up now. I have 12 grandchildren and three great grandchildren. I went to university and graduated in 2018 when I was 70. Unfortunately, I became unwell and am unable to go out. I am soon to start journalling and have been following your pages and gathering up supplies for when the long nights draw in as that is my worst time of year.x

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pamela.makin
28. Mai 2020

Just found your blog from another bloggers shoutout! Out of 15 other bloggers your description intrigued me the most. :) Absolutely love your art and beautiful website. I'm so happy to found a new favorite blog and great inspiration for my own journal. XO

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Helen Colebrook
Helen Colebrook
26. Mai 2020

Thank you so much Cyndi. It's definitely a rollercoast at the moment isn't it. I think it's more important than ever, to resist the temptation of comparing ourselves to each other as we all deal with things in such different ways, especially at the moment. I'm so pleased to hear that you have been getting some help and are ready to start journaling again. It's been such a useful outlet for me. The journal I use at the top of this blog post can be found here: https://www.startbaynotebooks.co.uk/collections/notebooks/tn-planner

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Cyndi
24. Mai 2020

Yes, thank you Helen for sharing. Agree, with Pam, sometimes I go full steam ahead, and then a couple of days later I just can't be bothered doing anything at all. I've been unable to journal over the last few months because of severe anxiety and could not even write about the current situation going on, let alone even mention the word 'virus'. But after seeing a brilliant psychologist, all is now under control and I feel ready to journal again - but in a whole new notebook. Just one question if I may, could you please tell me what size is that notebook of yours for daily journalling at the top of this post? I really like that size,…

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Gina Richardson
22. Mai 2020

Really beautiful and inspiring pages, Helen, so thank you for sharing your personal journey. Journalling is something I have done for a long time but only in terms of 'writing things down'. I do find it helpful in terms of unclogging my mind so I try & journal usually morning and evening - but new routines always impact! I love the journals you use - thank you for the info share on those too as I was going to ask lots about them. I have started being more creative in my daily reading journal as I have recently changed my pattern there - and I may not do much during the week, but take time on a Sunday to go…

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