If you've ever thought about writing in a diary or journal, Counsellor Sarah Barr has a guide to inspire you to get started.

A journal can be a great outlet for stress, negative feelings and worry. It helps to create new positive thinking habits, grows self-awareness, gives you more focus and it can lift your mood.

Here are some tips to help get you started –

Step 1: Pick your journal

Your journal can be your laptop, phone, a notebook, a blank book or a diary.

Step 2: Design your journal

If you would like your journal to be more structured, a bullet styled journal may suit you.

Every page in a bullet journal will have a topic.
Psychologically speaking bullet journaling is more powerful than other paper planning method because it’s also a life record. It’s a place where you can reflect on your accomplishments and happy moments.
Or you can opt for a more relaxed style, one in which you write about the experiences, thoughts and feelings you had during the day. This may lead to other thoughts, solutions and ideas as you are writing freely.
Or you can use both styles, it is your journal.

Step 3: Pick a time and place


Do you want to bring your journal with you everywhere? Or do you prefer a particular time for writing, like in the evening?

The environment plays a very important role too. Choose a place you feel most relaxed.

Step 4: Writing in your journal

Try writing about your day, the things you’ve done and your feelings.

Here are a few heading suggestions you can write in your journal:

▪︎ How are you feeling?
▪︎ If you are feeling anxious, angry or down. Ask yourself what have you seen/heard/read/done today that may have triggered a negative feeling/reaction. By creating a daily check-in you are increasing your self-awareness.
▪︎ Write down one positive thing you have accomplished today.
▪︎ If you have a negative thought playing on repeat in your mind. Try writing the thought out and asking yourself what evidence have you got to say this thought is real and rational.
▪︎ Write a goal for tomorrow.
▪︎ Write 3 things you are grateful for.

Step 5: Be Creative

Make your journal your own. Use your colours, add lists, photos and your favourite quotes.

Look online for more inspiration about creating your own journal/bullet journal.

Happy journaling,

Take Care ~ Sarah.