You’ve probably heard the term “journaling” a lot, especially in recent years. Mainly it means writing in a journal or diary, but I look at it in a wider sense, calling all activities connected with journals and notebooks journaling. This hobby is usually included in all the psychological posts, life-hacks and advice on living a healthy life, being peaceful and relaxed, having self-care procedures. And I can totally see why it’s always in these lists, because it truly is calming and even healing. Whenever I don’t feel good, whether physically or psychologically, journaling is one of the things that really helps me. Also it gives space for being creative, putting all your artistic potential in it. It’s the place where you can be as organized or chaotic as you want, because there are literally no rules. So if you’re interested in this creative hobby, here are all the “journaling activities” that I enjoy doing.
1. Diary. Not necessarily a daily one, but I do love writing things that happen to me, or the thoughts and feelings that I have. I also add different papers, like greeting cards, tickets, photos, etc. It helps especially well, when you have some haunting thoughts on your mind, or just can’t get over a situation, so writing it down helps to let go of them. And when years pass, it’s always pleasant to read these moments back, because even if you have a super memory, some recollections still fade away. I’m not gonna add my writings in my diary, for obvious reasons, but here are some clippings that I add from my travelings or other events.
2. Bullet journal. I do monthly spreads, but lots of people do weekly ones. It’s the perfect thing to be both organized and creative at the same time. I always come up with different themes for each month. I usually write down things that I have to do in that months, note birthdays and holidays, write to-buy lists or blog post ideas. And it really helps you be motivated and get your stuff done.
3. Scrapbooking. Usually people do scrapbooks of their memories, using photos, tickets, and other things, but I decided to make a scrapbook of all the things that I like, movies/actors/singers, seasonal or just aesthetically pleasing pages. I collect different clippings and cuttings from magazines, books, wrapping paper, photos, stickers, and add them along with my drawings and writings.
4. Albums. I have two, one for drawings, and one for plain doodling. And I can guarantee you, that drawing/painting helps you relax and just feel good. It also eases headaches,releases your tension, especially when you draw/paint nature, using lots of green color. By the way each color has its meaning and is good for something specific, that’s why psychology uses color therapy. I really love my art, not because it’s professionally well drawn, just because it kind of warm and represents what I love the most, and what inspires me. Remember, there’s no good and bad in art, that’s all your vision of how you see and perceive things, so don’t stop drawing just because it’s “bad or not professional” or someone else does it better. p.s. as you can see I have lots of HP in my albums.
5. Notebook of happy memories. I borrowed this idea years and years ago from a magazine. The idea is to write all the positive and happy things that happen to you with the date. For example- you went to a movie, traveled somewhere, had a walk in a park, got a job, watched a movie with pizza, had a cozy night… It shouldn’t be too big and important, write the days when you just feel happy. And whenever you feel bad, reread those dates and you’ll instantly feel much better. Also it makes you realize that there are so many good things happening to us, but sometimes we don’t see and appreciate them.
6. Gratitude notebook. I used to have one, now I just do the same in my mind. Here you write what you’re thankful for on that day. It’s a great way to end up your day in a positive way and also attract positivity by appreciating and being thankful for everything that happens. These things can be repetitive, and again it doesn’t have to be big, just small but essential things like waking up to a new day, having a good meal, seeing your friends/family, good weather, good mood, a compliment by someone etc. Try to write at least 10 things daily. It might be hard at first, but you’ll notice how 10 becomes 15-20-25… And not because something better is happening, just because your mind will now be focused more on noticing the good things.
7. Herbarium. I already have a separate post about it, so I won’t write it too much here. If you’re a flower-nature lover, it’s a great hobby, to collect the flowers, learn their names and characteristics and keep them in a notebook.
8. Lists and ideas. I have a special notebook where I write down all my creative ideas concerning blog posts, photography, videography, stories, or sometimes even present ideas, decoration ideas etc. You can merge this one with the bullet journal, I just like keeping it separately. Also look how “mature” and “adult” my notebook is. I bought it when I was 10, and after using it for different purposes, it eventually turned into the list notebook.
I can also add a few special notebooks, that you can buy and enjoy as well. Those are: Wreck this journal, Tagebuch für gute and schlechte Tage (Diary for good and bad days), How to be explorer of the world, Q&A a day... This is one of the simplest and low-maintaining hobbies, that doesn’t require too much time, skills or special equipment. Choose whatever you like the best, and go for it. Instead of wasting hours in social media, you can spend some quality time being creative. You’ll see how enjoyable and relaxing that is.