{shortcode-ed04ecac5ec25297c2b2ccb4b883f4682f2373c3}Ahh, journals. The perfect place for pre-teen nostalgia of middle school crushes, high school teenage angst of hating everyone, college rants, vents, and emotional breakdowns. Be it a bullet, digital, or normal journal, journals are always there for you. Journaling die-hards (journal-hards??) promise it improves mental health and emotional stability, so I decided to try journaling for a week to see how it impacts my ~mental health~.

Pre-Journal Thoughts

I journal at irregular intervals, as a way to brain dump all the things racing through my mind, especially when I’m overwhelmed. With finals looming and the end of semester rush, my Gcal looks like a rainbow vomited all over it. In true overachiever fashion, I added another thing to my to-do list. However, my mental health is important so I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone — journal and write a Flyby piece about it. Because of course, nothing is real unless it goes on the internet.

Monday:

After I snatched this idea off Flyby’s Monday slot, I knew I had to start right away. I have a basic black notebook I use to write to-do lists in, which I figured would do. It took me way longer than I’m willing to admit to find a pen that actually works. After I hunted down a pen, I sat down at 2:30 a.m. (so technically Tuesday, but whatever) to journal. Monday was a very long day for me, with last-minute cramming for my math midterm on Tuesday, writing Harvard Today, collecting data for my Psychology class project due on Saturday, a group meeting, and other stuff. So I quickly scribbled down some thoughts, rolled over, and promptly fell asleep.

Tuesday and Wednesday:

On Tuesday, I journaled immediately after my math midterm hoping that releasing all my stress on paper would help, and maybe I would discover why the exam made it seem like I’ve never attended a math class. I did feel much better afterward, but the fat four hour nap I took after probably helped.

Wednesday’s journalling sesh was filled with ~main character energy~. A bright sunny day, I dragged myself outside, made a little fruit salad and smoothie, and wrote away with my cat sleeping on the picnic blanket beside me. It was very quarantine picnic girl vibes and you know I had to take a picture for the gram to prove it.

Thursday and Friday

Thursday was a jam-packed day. With two classes, two sections, and one meeting, I was looking at a six hour Zoom day. In between my Gen Ed class and section, I journaled outside under the starry night sky. This may sound very sappy, but trust me!! Go out and stargaze tonight — you’ll feel all your anxieties floating away into space as you realize how insignificant we are in this vast universe. I felt so much lighter after journalling. I was energized and rejuvenated, and somehow I didn’t need six coffees to stay awake that day.

Saturday and Sunday

I stayed up all night on Saturday working on my Psychology paper, so by the time 6:59 a.m. East African Time (ie 11:59 EDT) rolled around, I simply could not look at any more words and I didn’t journal. After sleeping for 10 hours straight on Sunday, I treated myself to a vanilla iced latte (sigh, another coffee) at a cute little cafe, put on my favorite jazz lofi playlist and journaled for over an hour. This was truly the highlight of my week and I may have stayed there three more hours to watch the beautiful sunset go down.

After much reflection on my week, I can attest that journaling is amazing. I always thought I needed an aesthetic journal with AmandaRachLee vibes, but my little ole’ black notebook did pretty well. The catharsis that is word vomiting into a journal is unparalleled. Getting all the words, thoughts, and emotions off your chest actually feels like a burden being lifted. I definitely will continue to journal, not every day but as much as possible. Journaling gets a Flyby golden star of approval and we hope you try it out! All the best, and may your thoughts be filled with sunshine and puppies. Signing off, XOXO flyby girl ;)