During this stressful time, a great habit to begin is journaling – it can either set the tone for your day ahead or settle a restless mind at night.  Caring for our mental health is as important as our physical health, during this time when we need to self-isolate, and limit our contact with others. Setting a future goal, stating your feelings or simply reflecting on your day, will give you a sense of accomplishment and help you identify stressors.

The nicest part is being able to write down all my thoughts and feeling; otherwise, I might suffocate. - Anne Frank

Sometimes the hardest part of journaling is just getting started, so we have several types of guides to help you start:

  • Goal-Setting Journal by Irene Neeposh – “Life is what you make of it. In order to make it what you want it to be, you must set goals and work to accomplish them. Journaling allows you to plan how you want your life to unfold. Writing your goals down is important. Once you do that, you’re ready to get to work and make them happen. Find a greater passion for life and take your destiny off autopilot with this easy-to-read guidebook and journal. It can help you set small, measurable goals that lead to greater accomplishments; decide what you really want out of life; remove distractions that slow you down; communicate your goals to family, friends and colleagues.”
  • Transformational Journal by Carolyn Slaugher – “Everyone is looking for a spiritual discipline that is both relevant to daily life and easy to stick with. Transformation Journal meets this need and more, offering users daily Bible studies and insightful questions that invite reflection and response. Each week highlights a different biblical topic, using brief introductions and a variety of scriptures to give the user a glimpse into what the Bible has to say on each theme. Guiding questions to help users reflect on the experiences and observations of biblical figures and apply the scriptures to their own lives.”
  • Let it Out by Katie Dalebout – “Maybe your career isn't what you thought it would be . . . or your relationships aren't what you had hoped. Perhaps you have a grand vision for your life but not the smallest clue on how to get there. Wherever you feel stuck or confused, you wish you had someone to hold your hand and guide you. You do. And it's only a blank page away. In Let It Out, millennial blogger and podcast host Katie Dalebout shares the transformative practice that will rocket your life to the next level—journaling. Discovering in her darkest hours that a journal is the greatest tool in finding your purpose, healing yourself, and creating the life you desire, Katie has assembled the practices and insights that will get you "unstuck" for good. And don't worry—you don't need to be a writer! Journaling is simply a method of coaching yourself through your "stuff" and letting it out on the page, unclogging your mind from years of destructive thoughts. In doing so, you step into a position of unsurpassed clarity. Packed with journaling exercises, prompts, and techniques that can be done anywhere and in any order, this guidebook offers you a new way to navigate your daily life, cope with stress, and create exciting, permanent change. Covering everything from clearing clutter to cultivating abundance to moving beyond fear, it will be your new best friend and coach anytime you seek clarity or crave solace. Simply grab a pen, open your journal, and prepare to let it out.”
  • Journal with Ease! by Franciene Marie Zimmer - Journaling is a simple process that only takes a few minutes a day. Think of your journal as your friend. This journal is non-judgmental and has your best interest at heart. It is designed for the experienced as well as the novice. All you need is a pen and some quiet time for reflection. This journal is timeless, so you may begin when you are ready and refer to it for guidance as you travel on your journey in life. Have at hand, a spiral notebook, blank paper, or a blank journal of your choice, and take the first step. Read the Self-Reflection statements to inspire thoughts, feelings and ideas. Then consider the personal Tip to remember. Read the Self-Talk statement out-loud and feel the meaning of the message as you manifest your destiny. Write in your journal, daily, using the formats as outlined in Part I and Part II. These offer many ideas to consider when managing weight, as well as encouragement to write your own personal thoughts and discoveries along the way. Journal with ease! “
  • The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll – “The Bullet Journal Method is about much more than organizing your notes and to-do lists. It's about what Carroll calls "intentional living": weeding out distractions and focusing your time and energy in pursuit of what's truly meaningful, in both your work and your personal life. It's about spending more time with what you care about, by working on fewer things:  Track the past: Using nothing more than a pen and paper, create a clear and comprehensive record of your thoughts.  - Order the present: Find daily calm by tackling your to-do list in a more mindful, systematic, and productive way.  - Design the future: Transform your vague curiosities into meaningful goals, and then break those goals into manageable action steps that lead to big change. Carroll wrote this book for frustrated list-makers, overwhelmed multitaskers, and creatives who need some structure.”

Help your children focus and practice cursive writing with:

  • Writing a Journal by Cecilia Minden – “Writing is an important skill that kids use almost every day. The goal of the Write it Right series is to make kids writing experts. Writing a Journal is full of tips and tricks to help kids create a thoughtful journal entry, from sorting through your feelings to visualizing your dreams. This book includes a table of contents, glossary, index, author biography, activities, and instructions.”

Read before you start to write for ideas and concepts:

  • Winter Journal by Paul Auster –“Facing his sixty-forth winter, internationally acclaimed novelist Paul Auster decides to write a journal as he sees himself aging in ways he never imagined. Compellingly written, and with dreamlike logic and urgency, the autobiographical fragments and meditations produce an extraordinary mosaic of a life. Weaving together vividly detailed stories, Auster illuminates how each small incident comes to signify a whole. Also, there are two recurring moments: one of bodily terror -- his panic attack following his mother's death in 2002; the other of joy -- his experience watching a dance piece in 1978 which releases him from writer's block just prior to his father's death. It was his father's death that began his first equally unconvential and internationally celebrated memoir, The Invention of Solitude, published thirty years ago. Now, Auster has included an unforgettable portrait of his mother. Winter Journal is a surprising and moving meditation on time, the body, the weight of memory, a long and fulfilling marriage (with author Siri Hustvedt), and language itself by one of the most interesting and elegant writers writing today, and one with a devoted following.”
  • Beatrix Potter’s Journal by Beatrix Potter and Leslie Linder – “Between the ages of 15 and 30 Beatrix Potter kept a secret diary written in code. When the code was cracked by Leslie Linder more than 20 years after her death, the diary revealed a remarkable picture of upper middle-class life in late Victorian Britain. The original diaries run to over 200,000 words so for this edition Glen Cavaliero has made a careful selection of complete entries and excerpts which provide an illuminating insight into the personality and inspiration of one of the world's best loved children's authors.”
  • Invasion Journal by Richard L. Tobin – “Invasion Journal,” first published in 1944, is veteran war correspondent Richard Tobin's account of his time in England, aboard several Royal Navy fighting ships, and in France with American G.I.s shortly after the D-Day invasion. Offering interesting insights into English life – the food, morale of the civilians, V-1 bombings – as well as a look at Allied soldiers from its leaders to its soldiers and sailors, Invasion Journal portrays war-time life as it was for millions of people during the heady year of 1944.”

Or some fictional journals for fun:

  • Ganny’s Journal by Ganny and BetteJeanne Hammond – “Experience along with Doeska, Eugie, Ganny, Gally, Kringle and Lullies as these five canine pack buddies strive to thrive despite the stresses of living in a human world. Ganny, now a Pack Elder, recounts their adventures in his Journal along with the help of his human scribe "BJ." Those adventures are alternately humorous and poignant, offering a compelling experience of the richly textured lives of dogs.”
  • The Journal by Linda L. Jewell – “Jake Willminton, fourteen, inherits the journal and eight ledgers that magically run his new business, Willminton Inc., which he's also inherited from his grandfather at his passing. The journal is special in the sense that when you write in it, what you write comes true. Jake figures out how to use the journal using examples from both his great-grandfather and grandfather. Using the Journal and the ledgers, Jake is presented with adventure after adventure, leading him all the way to the top office in the land.”
  • The Journal by Grace Richardson – “Caroline Porter was a beautiful young woman who lived in an average town during the early 1880s. Her life, on the other hand, was anything but ordinary. Over one hundred years later, Kathleen Robertson is a successful bank executive whose life gets turned upside down when a handsome stranger gives her Caroline's antique journal to read. From the first page, the journal comes alive as Kathleen finds herself enraptured with the details of Caroline Porter's life. She reads about Caroline's courtship with a cold-hearted man; the strong, undeniable pull she feels toward his younger brother; and her unintentional involvement in a murder mystery.”

Take a moment, just for yourself and journal.

“We have the power of the pen to write the next chapter, and the privilege to author the page in whatever fashion we choose. Yet, seldom do we understand the power of the pen and the privilege of the page.” ― Craig D. Lounsbrough