Why You Should Keep A Journal
by McKenna Yates ('21): Staff Writer
When you hear people suggest that you should journal every day, is your first thought “Oh that’s too much work,” or, “I could never keep up with that”? Although those are valid concerns, I believe that everyone can journal, even if it looks different than what you imagined. Journaling can take whatever form you need it to, as long as it is beneficial to your body and mind.
As a kid I used to journal off and on, but it was never consistent. In fact, I usually journaled whenever I was given a new notebook and I felt motivated to. In my junior year of high school, I started keeping track of how much I was sleeping to notice patterns with my running. I eventually started tracking how much water I drank and what kinds of food I ate as well. These things helped keep me accountable for my running, and if I had a bad race, I could look back at my journal and see where a problem would have stemmed from in relation to my nourishment. Once I saw this was working well, I added onto each journal entry with a few thoughts or events from my day. I kept them very brief, as I was simply jotting these things down before I went to bed. As time passed, I started to write more and more about my days. I began to notice patterns in my thoughts as the ebb and flow of my year continued. By November 2019, I was writing a full page in my journal each night. I would describe what took place each day, thoughts that crossed my mind, and memorable moments. I have been journaling almost every night since then!
Occasionally I will reach a slump in my journaling, where I miss a night. Or two. Or five. Or thirty. Yes, this happens! Whenever I skip one night, I have to remind myself that it’s okay to not be perfect with this practice. Instead of going back to fill out the missing days, I am now just honest with myself and will write that I missed a few entries and that it’s okay. Journaling is meant to be an exercise that clears your mind and helps you recenter yourself. I will always recommend journaling to people because of the overwhelming amount of positive benefits I have received from it.