Looking Back

As we approach summer 2022, it’s starting to feel like we’ve reached the “new normal”. It also feels like everyone is busy again and we’re all performing a frantic juggling act.

For me working full time, keeping up with friends, checking in with family, walking the dog, remembering everyone’s birthday, deciding what to make for tea (again), fitting in a workout (sometimes), and drinking those 8 cups of water a day (ok, that one’s a lie) feels like enough without having to write it all down at the end of the day. 

Squeezing in that ten minutes to write a daily journal entry can be tough. Especially when that ten minutes could have been spent scrolling through reels of silly dogs or doing Wordle on the sofa. Which begs the question, what am I making a daily journal for? 

The Remember-all

Well, first off, a log of your day can be useful if you tend to forget things, which I do. Being able to flick to the name of a place you visited can be very handy. Even if just to shake the frustration of not being able to remember! But there are some therapeutic benefits to reflecting on your day too.

The Paper Therapist

Writing down how you feel about your daily experiences can be a useful tool in processing emotion. This could be in relation to events in your own life or larger world occurrences, both of which can have a big impact on your mental health. Give yourself a little time each day to reflect on them, it may help to stop worries getting on top of you.

The Time Machine

There is however a third reason I love keeping a daily journal. It’s also the reason I keep all of my old ones in the bookcase. I love to look back. Not for all the snippets of information I’ve forgotten, but to hear the voice of the person I was when I wrote that entry – weeks, months or years ago. I can laugh with her, cringe at her bad decisions, empathise with her fears. I remember how it felt to be her and it feels good to see how much I’ve changed, and also good to see all the ways I’m still the same. All through the little time capsule of a notebook.

Ink drawing of a young woman sitting on a wooden chair surrounded by plants. She’s looking back through an old journal.

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