If you’ve skimmed through our blog before, you will have noticed that we’re pretty enthusiastic about all things related to journals. But it’s not just the craft of journaling that we love, it’s the impact of maintaining a reservoir of our plans, thoughts and ideas that matters most.
In this blog post, we discuss some of the benefits of maintaining a journal -- academic, professional, and personal -- with input from creators who have used journals in their varied backgrounds and applied them to meet demanding circumstances of different fields.
Managing work stress in a demanding professional career
“Before I started bullet journaling, I often felt anxious or overwhelmed with what I had to do for my projects,” Alysia, an archtectural designer, tells The Washi Tape Shop. “I had started journaling as a way to manage my tasks and write down all my thoughts to clear my head. It became more a creative outlet as I found joy in drawing again.
Now that I’m working, taking the time everyday to just turn off my mind and focus on journaling really just helps me to refresh myself and fight the feelings of burnout after long working hours.”
For Alysia, the benefit of journaling is that it serves a dual purpose, as both an artistic creation and a planning tool: “Its just time for myself where I only have to think about creating something that works for me and brings me happiness.
The best part is after creating the journal spreads I get to use it to help me organize myself and feel a little less anxious in stressful situations. The doodles especially help and bring me much joy using my journal!”
Navigating an academic journey
Estella is a creator who specialises in study content on both Instagram and YouTube. As a content creator with a large audience (of over 1.6 million subscribers on YouTube alone), Estella has to manage both her personal studies and the work of producing and sharing content. To help ease this sometimes challenging workload, Estella keeps a journal.
“Every time I sit down to write in my journal, I get two things out of my session: a sense relaxation and a reflection of where I’m currently at mentally / in my life,” Estella tells The Washi Tape Shop, noting that the sense of reflection she attains from her journal makes it much like a “Magic Mirror”. (“I guess that makes me the Evil Queen, but considering Cruella’s name is Estella, that’s not really surprising,” she adds jokingly.)
Not only does journaling help to reflect on one’s thoughts and feelings, but Estella has particularly benefited from using a journal to identify exactly how she feels: “So, when I’m feeling a bit distracted / stressed out, my spreads are largely scrapbooking -inspired and of the more crafty variety, because doodling, cutting stuff up, pasting stickers, etc really relaxes me and helps me zone out from the never ending monologue that is my brain.
And when I’m feeling very confused about what I want to do with my life or who I am or basically just having a mini existential crisis, I do a sort of “stream of consciousness” or “word vomiting” exercise where I write everything I’m feeling and thinking, and upon rereading, I then suddenly get a real sense of clarity and understanding of what all these thoughts and emotions actually mean and more or less where they’re coming from.”
Being able to identify difficult moments and emotions, and learn from them, Estella has applied these lessons to benefit her academically: “And for me, the two biggest obstacles in my academic journey have always been self-doubting and worrying / distracting thoughts, so having a “magic mirror” that helps me sort through them + understand myself + what’s working or not working is crucial for me to stay focused or feel like I have my feet on the ground and know what I’m doing.
So if you ever feel like I’ve just described, I highly recommend having a journal as your companion / evil minion throughout the school year (or just life in general, that’s cool too).”
Finally, equally important element of daily life that can be often overlooked is our relationship with our own thoughts and feelings. Journaling is also useful for improving on our mindfulness and working on personal growth.
Riya, a yoga educator, agrees: "In anyone’s spiritual journey, the most important conversation they need to be having is with themselves. We’re usually so caught up with communicating to everyone else -- Instagram, texts, emails, calls -- that we forget to pause and check in how we’re doing. For me journalling has just been that grounding reminder to talk to myself & organise the thoughts that run astray."
These are just some of the factors creators cite among their many reasons for journaling. If you're a student, a professional, or someone looking to further your understanding of your inner-most thoughts and feelings, then a journal might be the ideal tool to start using.
Thank you to Alysia, Estella, and Riya for their input. Images courtesy of Alysia. Be sure to check out their social pages for more.
Very helpful information