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Finding solace through journaling

Rachel Levy, Staff Reporter

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5:30 AM Every morning, I wake up, grab my circle glasses, sit down at my dark wooden desk, and turn on my lamp that beams a glare of light down onto my work. As I grab my mug full of hot green tea with lemon, I begin to reflect on my ambitions in my life, whether they are for today, tomorrow, a week, a month, a year, or even a lifetime worth. I always start my day off with a small reflection on me, myself, and I. I find it to be very comforting that I ask myself how I am doing, not just as a student, a part-time worker, a nanny, an athlete, but as a true, independent individual. As I take a small sip of my tea and grab a jet black ink point pen, I begin to open my first journal of the morning…and here’s why.

Many people ask me, what’s the purpose of journaling and why do I do it in the first place? Well to start off, there are many purposes that go into the whole concept of journaling. And I am not talking about a diary, but a way to get organized, feel at peace with yourself, and feel stable in your life. It’s almost a way to check in with yourself and make sure that you’re doing what you want to achieve by placing your well being on a path of success for your life. I have always been an enthusiastic, passionate, and dedicated writer. So for me, this whole journaling idea came very simplistic to me. Due to the matter that I cherished the world of literature and what it had to offer me. As time started ticking and life started moving forward, I began to realize why journaling was so crucial and relevant for my life and for others. Growing up as a kid and even into my teenage years, I have always needed to write everything down and makes lists in order to complete tasks. I’ve always been like that, a visual learner. I needed to see the specific targets that I want to grasp for the day, the week, or the month. So naturally over time, I started to acquire these necessities in my life in order to stay organized and function properly; especially when time management is my best friend when my schedule is very swamped with commitments. I have brought to you a series of items that I would recommend to incorporate into your lifestyle at some point, because for me, I have only seen success from these tips and tricks that I am about to bring you.  

The first one consists of a calendar, which I find to be very important since you want to remember upcoming events such as practices, appointments, games, school, etc. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is look at my calendar for a specific day and see what objectives I have and that I need to attend and/or complete. It can be recognized as a reassuring factor to the human mind, which makes the objectives less prone to be forgotten since you’re continually reminding yourself of what needs to be concluded by a certain point. I know for some people it can be difficult to keep up with the calendar, but when you do, it will almost become second nature. And by doing this, I have seen a lot of success and memorization improvement and an overall cumulative decompression in my stress levels, Which as a teenager, I find to be almost necessary for prosperity as a student, an athlete, or just as an individual.

Another journal that ties into the calendar aspect is a journal full of “to-do lists”. or most people, when we have the objectives written down that we have to complete by the end of the day or whatever time frame you place on it, we are more prone to complete those tasks since we are constantly reminding our mind of what needs to be done. When you go  down the list you made and start checking off some of the to-do’s, it’s an amazing feeling to have. It’s almost recognized as a token for achieving something that you wanted to achieve for the day. For me, personally, if I have a list and I make it right in the morning, my day is more likely to be productive. So if you’re a student athlete like myself who also works and wants to make time for friends, to-do lists will be your best friend. Especially when you’re always swamped with things to complete.

The next journal that I absolutely cannot live without is perceived as a “life update” journal, or just a journal to keep you on track with your mental health and or wellbeing as it makes you ask yourself how you’re doing and what you’re feeling at the moment. It’s a good thing to make sure that you’re middling and gratified in your essence ecause happiness and feeling proud in yourself is the greatest gift in life, and we all want to cherish that feeling forever. In my personal “life update” journal, I have a question a day for every day of the month for 12 months, but each month’s worth of questions is different. These questions can consist of “What are you grateful for today?”, “Who made an impact on you this week?” or “Write your best advice for your teenage self.” These are all prompts that get you thinking within and self reflect on what is going on in your life today.

I have another “life update” journal that consists of random bullet points. These bullet points consist of the things I have accomplished over the past couple weeks, how I am feeling within and outwards, how are my academic achievements looking, am I staying true to my fitness/health goals, or have I completed some things on my bucket lists? This journal is basically just reflecting on you as a person and seeing where you are in your life as of your goals and strides that you’re stretching to scope. And I do this because later down the road when you see how far you’ve come or you see where you want to improve, it’s a reassuring factor of where you want to be and that sets you up for success and dedication.

Do you remember a time when you had an amazing idea and forgot what it was a couple days down the road? Well this is why a creative journal might be something to keep in your bag for on the go. I remember always having these astonishing ideas and forgetting them. But lately, I have been bringing my creative journal with me everywhere and writing down the ideas that I came up with on the spot. You can have a journal for basically anything that you desire. My ideas usually consist of a calendar, to-do lists, spiritual journal, creative ideas, life update, and a random journal for miscellaneous thoughts. To me, a journal is more than just writing ideas down; it is more of a lifestyle that I’ve attained over time. It keeps me organized and on track. And writing, in my opinion, is very relaxing and brings me to a peaceful state of mind. This process can be recognized as meditation to some folks. or me, when I sit down,grab that black ink pen, and open my yellow pages, I begin to zone out on everything around me and become spotlighted downwards on the paper and the writing itself.

I finally look up from my paper, and it’s 6:30 AM, which means it is time for me to get ready for school. I put my pen back into its jar, place my journal into its white wooden bin, and turn my lamp off that beamed light down onto my paper. I take off my glasses and place them into their safety drawer, and it all comes to an end. Everyday is a new chapter, and everyday has a new beginning. For me, life is a story, and everyday is a new chapter in this crazy thing called life. So I think it is time for you to document your story and see where it brings you in life and remember no one can tell your story, so tell it yourself and write it yourself.

 

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Finding solace through journaling