Welcome to the eleventh week of our 'Summer of Self-Love' project
Each week throughout the summer, I'll be giving you one suggestion of something to do to enrich either your mind, body or soul.
I'm sharing a weekly video on our Facebook page each Monday, with that week's idea.
However, I don't like watching videos, so in case anyone else feels the same way (which is basically 'Why can't I just read it?'), each Wednesday, I'll be doing a blog post like this, one, where you can either read what to do, or watch the video (just scroll down).
If you're joining us through the whole summer, you'll know that each week we're nourishing either our mind, body or soul – this week we're talking about our minds.
Mental health is as important as it is neglected, so we're trying to address that, in a variety of small ways. One big problem many of us have is getting stuck in our own heads, with whatever's on our mind taking up all of our head space, and it just becomes impossible to switch off. The worst time for this can be late at night, in bed, when you want to sleep but problems or things you're anxious about suddenly seem insanely insurmountable, and things get a bit panicky.
If you struggle to switch off, or even struggle with time management, because there are never enough hours in the day, or you just can't let go of certain things, then this week is designed to help with that, because this week is about journaling. Journaling does sound a bit formal though, so let's call it writing things down.
If you happen to be a stationery obsessive, you now have free reign to find yourself a really nice notebook and pen – don't obsess over finding the 'right one', that's just the stationery mad way of putting something off.
There is no right or wrong way to journal. If you've never done anything like it before, then sit down, preferably at the start or the end of the day, and write down whatever the things are that are filling your head and crowding your brain.
These can be worries, things you're feeling grateful for, something that's happened in your day, good or bad, that's on your mind. Just a stream of consciousness to get what's in your head onto a piece of paper. Do physically write things down, because the mental processes involved in writing are very different to those involved in typing so, if possible, this is a pen and paper job.
If you want to introduce a bit of structure, there are lots of tips on journaling around. I would say find the time of day that suits you best – it's often recommended to journal in the morning, because you can write down dreams you've had. But mornings can also be crazy busy and personally, I hate mornings and am in a really bad mood every single morning, so I would prefer to journal of an evening!
Pick your time of day, and then write down good things that have happened that day, bad things that have happened, how you're feeling, what's on your mind, and get it all out, down on paper.
You can work towards using journaling to prioritise, if you're just trying to fit too much in, or just keep it as a brain dump. There's a lot of great advice around on this, all we're doing this week is giving it a go and getting started with trying to establish the habit of actually doing it.
Don't underestimate the power of writing things down, this is excellent for your mental health. Let me know how you get on, show me your gorgeous stationery and I'll see you next week.