With a global pandemic forcing people to adjust to a new normal, some might be getting overwhelmed by thoughts and feelings that may be hard to process.
To help cope with the immensity of stress and anxiety, the Learning Resource Center (LRC’s)’s latest session of the “Unplugged” webinar series invited the UPLB community to learn about starting a personal journal.
Ida Torres, a digital marketing specialist at OMF Literature and a journal writer herself, led the webinar entitled, “The art of journaling: learn how to start journaling to regain focus and motivation” on Oct. 21 that was livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube.
Torres said that before starting a journal, one must remember that it is first and foremost created for oneself and not for the public. She said this is important since people might be pressured to create their journal in a certain way due to how online influencers keep their journals.
While some people do eventually publish their journal as a book or make it a part of their job, she said that journal writing primarily allows people to record their experiences and reflections, celebrate moments, and express their feelings and thoughts without fear of judgement.
It can also be a great way to track personal progress and let out one’s creativity, she added.
Torres discussed other advantages of keeping a journal such as making one set goals by breaking them down into specific steps, understanding emotions, and developing communication skills.
She said that putting thoughts down on paper can also help people be more mindful of their actions and become more aware of the positive or negative things that are happening to them, allowing them to appreciate life more or address habits or situations that need improvement.
When keeping a journal, she reminded that there is no limit to its form or content.
Torres said that people who like to express themselves through media can fill their journal with sketches, paintings, or photos. Those who find it hard to write may also write in list form, where entries can be of any personal interest such as places they would like to travel to, or things that they are grateful for.
With every creative freedom, she said that journal topics and content can vary widely, from pop culture reviews, to illustrations and descriptions of dreams, to prayers and reflections, or a record of schedules and to-do lists. For those who find it tedious to keep a physical journal, she suggested using mobile and social media applications to create a visual or digital journal.
For those who struggle to find the time to write, she suggested trying a five-minute journal where journal entries are filled in a prepared format, or just by writing one line per day. She also recommended setting a schedule to make writing more regular.
To start this new habit, Torres said that it is important to just begin writing. Sharing a quote from one of her mentors, she told the participants, “Done is better than perfect. You don’t need to have the perfect notebook or journaling system. You just have to do it.” (Jessa Jael S. Arana)
(This was originally posted on the UP Los Baños website on October 26, 2020)