When was the last time you wrote in a diary? If the answer is “when I was a teenager”, it’s time for you to revisit this age-old practice. Far from being reserved for doodling the name of your highschool crush, a diary can be a great tool for improving your well-being and clearing your mind. Taking a few minutes to jot down your day-to-day thoughts can reduce stress, improve your mood, and in general, help you get to know yourself better. Did you know that Frida Kahlo, Nelson Mandela and Marie Curie were all enthusiastic diarists? And if it worked for them...
The gratitude journal
If you’re new to the art of keeping a diary, this practice is one of the easiest to start, and one of the most beneficial. Once or twice a week, make a note of three things that you’re thankful for or that made you smile in a gratitude journal. It could be as simple as a colleague's reassuring smile during a stressful meeting, or getting your hands on the last hot croissant at the bakery. Practiced regularly, this exercise will allow you to focus on and appreciate life’s little pleasures, and to adopt an all-round positive attitude. Our daily reflection journals are the perfect companions on the path to a happier and more relaxed you.
One sentence per day
Never enough hours in the day? For those of you who want to savour the moment but always find yourself in a rush, aiming for one sentence per day is the best approach. By keeping it short and sweet, you remove the pressure that inevitably comes when staring at a blank page. This will allow you to maintain the habit of keeping a diary, and easily work it into your daily routine. Soon enough, your diary will be full and you’ll be able to reflect on a full year’s worth of musings. You’ll have the pleasure of browsing through a summary of some of your best moments, and might even realise you’ve achieved more than you ever imagined possible.
The art journal
Do you feel anxious about writing on a daily basis? Having trouble finding the words? Then keep an illustrated diary instead. If you’re more of a visual person, quick sketches are an ideal method for capturing the key moments of your week. Don't forget to choose a title for each sketch to remember the context in which your drawing is set, and soon enough you’ll be able to observe your life in images. Pencils, markers, watercolours--don’t hesitate to experiment with different media in order to find the medium that best suits you.
The dream journal
If you often wake up with the feeling that you don't understand the meaning of your dreams, then it's high time you started writing them down every morning. Delving into your dreams can help you to understand how you’re feeling, what’s worrying you, and what you truly want. Before drifting off to sleep, make a conscious effort to remember your dreams. Make a note of what you recall first thing in a dream journal, before the memory slips away into the chaos of another busy morning. To fully embrace the dream-theme, why not go for the "We Chose This Road My Dear" or the "Weltall" designs? After a few weeks, you will begin to notice the repetition of certain themes, details or symbols that will allow you to dig into your subconscious.
The travel diary
Take advantage of your next holiday to start a travel diary. You can use it as a roadmap, noting your itinerary before your departure, your reservations, and all the things you absolutely don't want to miss during your trip. Once you arrive, take the opportunity to fill up your diary by writing a few paragraphs about each day, taking the time to observe your feelings and keep the memories fresh. You can use your travel diary for collecting mementos, such as train tickets, entrance tickets to parks and museums you visited, and the business cards of the restaurants you’d recommend to friends. If you’re travelling in a group, why not ask your fellow travellers to report on their best moments too? This will give you the chance to enjoy several perspectives on the trip and bond with your travel buddies. It’s also likely you will have forgotten some of the details that your friends have kept in mind.
The secret diary
When we say secret diary, we’re not talking about a Mean Girls-esque ‘Burn Book’--we’re talking about a positive outlet for all those things weighing heavy on your shoulders. If you sometimes get overwhelmed by your negative emotions and share too much in the heat of the moment--and, let’s face it, who doesn’t?--then a secret diary is a worthwhile investment. This practice, inspired by Abraham Lincoln's never-sent letters, has the advantage of freeing you from your emotions before they take over. Next time you’re feeling stressed, take a moment to write down your frustrations and fears so that you can then look at them with fresh eyes. When you read over what you’ve written in your journal, imagine that they are not your worries, but those of a person you love. You will gain a more objective perspective of your situation, and can seek a logical solution to your problem. You’ll gradually notice that your negative feelings are dissipating and giving way to much more constructive thoughts.
The bullet journal
A classic amongst diaries, the BuJo or bullet journal is a must for staying organised. The bullet journal’s blank pages allow you to structure your entries according to your needs. Daily or weekly overviews of appointments, to-do lists, a page to keep an eye on your objectives, another for your finances--how you use the BuJo is up to you. Does it sound a bit hectic? Don’t be put off: if you formulate a structure at the beginning using tables, key points or icons, organising your life admin will be a breeze. Go for a ruled or dotted notebook for that little bit of extra structure.
Inspired? Get writing! Choose the diary that speaks to you and share how you’re using yours on @juniqeartshop.
Text: Caroline Lacaille
Translation: Caitlin Hughes