Using your Journal to Reflect
If your mind feels in a complete whirlwind and your emotions changeable from one minute to the next, then it's really worth considering some reflective journaling. It can help you to get things out of your system, calm your mind and really understand the triggers that are making you feel a certain way.
In this first journal page, I wanted to think about how I could really live in the moment. I wanted to stop my mind racing forwards, worrying about the news or trying to predict the outcome of any number of things. I decided to focus on what I could do more and less of, to help me just enjoy living in the moment. These were my thoughts:
- deep breathing and stretching
- listening to music
- having early nights
- creative fun and exploration
- focusing on one thing at a time
- lazy lunches
- checking my phone in the evening
- rushing from one task to the next
- saying "yes" when I want to say "no"
- worrying about the outcome
- consuming of news
- helping others before I first help myself
- rushed meals
I find it really helpful having these reminders in my journal. Next time I'm feeling a little frantic or out of control, I can look back through these to see what lessons I can learn.
I wrote these journal pages after a few really frustrating days, where it definitely felt like one step forwards, immediately followed by two backwards. I have typed up my journal entry below in the hope that it might spark something within you.
"Sometimes it feels really difficult to keep moving in the right direction, with so many other things which seem determined to try and pull me backwards. It can feel like I'm not getting anywhere for days at a time. However, when I look back through my journals from over the last few years, actually my life is unrecognisable, in a good way thankfully. It shows me how important it is to focus on the big picture, not the day to day frustrations. I've been able to achieve so much, but somehow that easily gets lost if I spend too long thinking about the things that I haven't been able to achieve yet.
This year has been full of lots of really challenging times, which have taken their toll on my health and energy levels. My plans have been hugely distracted by a big increase in my HR work, due to all of the business closures. All of the uncertainty has also been a very emotional experience. But even with all of that going on, I've still been able to get some really big projects finished, worked with some great brands and put lots of really exciting plans in place for the rest of this year and into 2021.
I feel more determined than ever to keep myself on track, love life and make the most of every opportunity that comes my way. It would be easy to give up and just blame it on everything that has happened this year, but that would be such a shame. Uncertainty can bring so many new ways to "shine", get creative and come out stronger than ever. I don't want to use excuses, I want to lead the way and inspire others to follow their own path too. I'm not sure there could be anything more rewarding than that. If I can finish off this year even stronger than I started, then I will have to consider that a pretty good achievement. I'm not ready to give up on myself or my dreams, not by a very long way. It's time to stay focused, inspired and motivated to do my best work yet. This means that I need to take good care of myself in every way possible. There are three months of the year left and I plan on seeing it out in style. I will not give up on myself ever."
When I sat down to start writing this journal entry, I wasn't quite sure what would come out as I was feeling pretty frustrated. However, by the end, I had taken some time to reflect on things properly and felt completely inspired to keep going. I find it amazing how many thoughts can come out and be resolved, just by spending some time writing and reflecting, away from all of the day's normal distractions.
These journal pages are a continuation of my thoughts around saying "yes" when I want to say "no". I've had to remind myself that every time I take on something for another person, I am very likely having to delay something that is important to me. That doesn't mean I don't want to help others, just that I need to make sure my own wishes and dreams can be a priority in my life. When I'm working on things that are important to me, I feel alive, energised and in a much better place to help others.
I really hope you've enjoyed this blog post and it gives you some ideas for reflecting in your own journals. I honestly think it can be life-changing and you never know quite what's going to land on your pages.
Until next time, happy journaling. Helen x
Journal cover from Start Bay Notebooks. Use code JWP10 for a 10% discount on covers.
Notebook from London Gifties. Use code HELEN for a free roll of washi tape.