Are you keeping a journal or diary during the coronavirus pandemic?

You may be sharing your thoughts on social media, texting with friends, or talking out your feelings in online groups, but if you’re not keeping a structured journal, consider starting one.

Here are 10 reasons to journal during the coronavirus pandemic (or any time):

  1. Create a greater awareness of actions and behaviors. If you’re writing down what’s happening, you’ll be more aware of what you’re doing in response. Use journaling as a tool to reinforce your good habits and avoid slipping into negative patterns.
  2. Keep your thoughts organized. Especially in a time when our lives have been totally disrupted, the exercise of writing down our thoughts and feelings forces us to present them in a reasonably organized manner.
  3. Set and track goals. A journal is a great place to record your goals and track your plan to achieve them. It’s also a place to make adjustments to your plans.
  4. Manage stress. Writing about your anxieties, frustrations and fears can be a release that frees you from constant worry.
  5. Create the foundation for a book. You may be able to use information from your journal to write a book.
  6. Solve problems and resolve conflicts. Writing about a problem and possible solutions can help you reach a resolution.
  7. Boost your creativity. Writing helps you process ideas and communicate them more effectively. The more you write, the more creative you’re likely to become.
  8. Build your self-esteem. Use a journal to give your ego a lift by recording your achievements and the positive input you’ve received from others.
  9. Get to know yourself better. Keeping a record of your feelings will increase your self-understanding. You’ll also learn what makes you feel good and what situations and people you should avoid.
  10. Capture your perspective for posterity. A record of how your life has changed and how you coped during this pandemic may not make a bestselling book, but it will be fascinating reading for your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Journaling tips:

  • Journal every day. Make writing in your journal a priority. Schedule time on your calendar and give it the same importance you would a meeting with a key client.
  • Make it private. Do whatever you need to do to keep your journal private. If you’re using a computer, password protect your journal files. If you’re using a paper diary, store it in a locked place. Even though you may eventually share parts of your journal, it needs to be private while you’re writing in it.
  • Tell your story, don’t just express emotions. Write down what happened along with how you felt about it.
  • Don’t censor or edit as you go. Just write. Don’t worry about what someone else might think about what you’re writing. Don’t worry about grammar and punctuation—you can always fix that later if you decide to publish any parts of your journal.
  • Read old journal entries. Your journal is your history. Periodically look back to review your personal and professional growth.
Jacquelyn Lynn
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