Person looking down and reading a small journal in their hand

5 Tips To Jump-Start Your Journaling Practice

Mandy Carr Oct 06, 2022

These are challenging times right now, and if your mental health has taken a hit, you’re not alone, seven out of 10 young people say mental health issues are weighing them down.

A great way to process some of your thoughts and feelings, is to journal. Less about writing your life story, and more about giving time to your self-care, journaling can be super helpful to work through any unresolved experiences and emotions, and help cultivate a refreshed perspective. It can be hard to know how to start journaling, so here are five ideas to get you going.  


What Are You Grateful For? 

Sometimes the easiest way to flip the switch on how you’re feeling is to take stock of what you have. Your journal can be a great way to do that. Every day write three things that you’re grateful for. Don’t overthink it, these can be your parents, good health, a favorite TV show, a book. Maybe it’s because you live by a park or the beach. Whatever it is, write the first three things that come to mind. You may be going through a lot, but refocusing on abundance rather than lack can go a long way in helping you feel more uplifted.


Create Writing Prompts 

Writing what you’re grateful for is an excellent first prompt, but you can create others to help you work through what you’re going through, or what you want to improve on. For example, you could have a prompt that checks in on your mood. It can be a great way to track your feelings. You can figure out what your triggers are to help you better cope in the future. You can also track what makes you happy. If you’re procrastinating in school, you could log what’s distracting you from work, so you can be more mindful and reframe your focus. These prompts are designed to help you learn more about yourself, support with evolving behavior, and generally set you on a happier, more fulfilled path.


Make Your Journal a Safe Place

Think of your journal as a love letter to yourself. Your notebook or digital document is a judgment-free zone. You’re feeling what you are feeling at that moment, and that’s okay. There are no filters allowed when you are writing to yourself. If you let yourself open up, you can get the most out of your journaling practice and let go of anything you don’t need to be carrying around anymore. 


Make it a Habit 

It doesn’t matter if you want to write daily or weekly. Just make it consistent. Choose a time when you won’t be disturbed. Consider this quality “you time.” If you keep doing it, you’ll reap the rewards. And, this Half Pint Mini is perfect for carrying your notebook so you can journal from anywhere, so you’ll never miss an entry. 


Don’t Just Use it in Times of Need

Making journaling a habit also means you won’t just turn to it when you’re feeling down or stressed. You want to write about your good days just as much as your bad ones. Journaling about when you’re happy will also help you find a way back to that place when you’re feeling down. You’ll know what you were doing and what inspired such joy. You also want to hold on and remember those good times, so you know when things are bad, they won’t always be that way. 


JanSport is on a mental wellness mission. Check out #Lightentheload to find resources that can help you. 

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