Writing our way through 2021

I hope you have a new diary ready for 2021. I have three. I chose one, and two are gifts. 2021 is shaping up to be my most prolific diary-writing year yet!

I look forward to becoming acquainted with these diaries. I know they will each develop into a loyal, inspirational, ever-present confidante and friend as the year unfolds. Besides documenting daily activities, each diary will be a practice ground for developing, exploring and strengthening new and healthy thoughts. More than this, each will be a life-coach, helping me to be the best version of me that I can possibly be.

This week I will tell you about the first of my new diaries. They are all a little different.

First is a gift from Sarah, my partner on The Diary Healer. Called a “Wellness Journal” this is quite the most beautiful diary I have had since starting my first diary in 1963.

The frontispiece offers this welcoming message:

When we think about practising mindfulness, wellness, whatever it may be… it’s exactly that – practice.

This book isn’t about perfection. It’s about starting each day with a fresh mind (and a fresh page). A simple way to set intentions and take note of the things that make us feel good.

I am glad this diary acknowledges that “perfection” is not expected, because I am not perfect, and have no desire to try to be perfect. I am happy being less than perfect. Anyone who has experienced an eating disorder knows that “perfection” is impossible to attain and striving for it is a sure way to be unhappy, and unwell. Accepting we are not perfect provides immediate relief from undue expectations.

The Wellness Journal is not dated, so I can write in it as often or as little as I like. The journal opens with a blank page with a small circle in the middle. Inside the circle are the words “My Wellness Map”. The instruction for this page is “to get started, scribble down all your thoughts and hopes here…” On the next page, my intentions from the wellness map need to be placed in four boxes: Nutrition, Activity, Mind, and Self-care.

The next page is devoted to Feel-good goals. I’m asked to pick three intentions to focus on, set a measurable goal and break it down into small steps to help me get there. Mmm, this will require some careful thought on January 1, 2021! Being my own life-coach requires commitment!

Thereafter, in the Wellness Journal, two pages are devoted to each day, with space to insert details of:

  • Intention for the day
  • Sleep
  • Meals
  • Water
  • Activities
  • Self-care
  • What went well today?
  • Thoughts and feels?
  • Today I am thankful for

Sounds very thorough, right? This is what a good diary does – it helps us to take care of ourselves, and to be the best version of self that we want to be.

Diary-writing and journaling require self-discipline, to be sure. It involves setting aside time each day, to connect with our self, through writing. I assure you that this is a very wise investment of your time. The benefits are many.

If you don’t have a structured diary like the Wellness Journal, you can create your own with a plain notebook. All you need to create a diary is a pen and piece of paper. As soon as you write the date, you are starting to generate an entry that can be kept as a document that preserves your experience of a moment in time.

One of the many benefits of diary-writing is that at any time, but especially at the end of the year, and in years to come, you can sit down and read your entries, and reflect on them. Such a process can be very healing, and helpful in understanding who you are, and in working out what you want to do, and where you want to go next in your life.

The Wellness Journal wisely concludes with the headings:

  • I’m proud that
  • Changes I’ve experienced
  • Things I’ve learnt recently
  • Words to remember

And there are plenty of blank pages to fill as I wish.

I can hardly wait to get started in the new year with my new diary, how about you?!

 

 

 

 

 

About June Alexander

As founder of The Diary Healer my prime motivation is to connect with people who have experienced an eating disorder, trauma or other mental health challenge, and provide inspiration through the narrative, to live a full and meaningful life. My nine books about eating disorders focus on learning through story-sharing. Prior to writing books, which include my memoir, I had a long career in print journalism. In 2017, I graduated as a Doctor of Philosophy (Creative Writing), researching the usefulness of journaling and writing when recovering from an eating disorder or other traumatic experience.
Today I combine my writing expertise with life experience to help others self-heal. Clients receive mentoring in narrative techniques and guidance in memoir-writing. I also share my editing expertise with people who are writing their story and wish to prepare it to publication standard. I encourage everyone to write their story. Your story counts!
Contact me: Email june@junealexander.com and on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

All articles by June Alexander

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