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How journaling helps me manage my mental health

BY Sasha Glasgow
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Find out how writer and journaler Sasha Glasgow, of Frank+Feel, came to writing and how journaling helps her manage her mental health.

 

Sasha of Frank+Feel is a seasoned writer and journaler. She joined Ali over on our Positive Planner Instagram to talk about how everyday journaling forms an essential part of her self-care plan, helping her keep her mental wellbeing on track. You can watch the chat they had here if you missed it. We asked her to tell us a little bit more about her journaling journey and how journaling helps her manage her mental health here on our guest blog. Enjoy!

 

 

I have always loved writing. I wrote short stories as a kid, songs for GCSE Music and always kept a diary of some form throughout my teens and at university. While I still write diary-style as part of my journaling practice, as an adult I enjoy the additional aspect that journaling invites, in connecting with more of the whats, whys and hows that come out of certain experiences, rather than just writing about the experience itself.

 

Journaling is a place to be honest with myself

My journal is the place that I can be the most honest with myself. I feel like we edit ourselves so much in our lives that it is entirely freeing to have a place that I can show up and simply tell it how it is. I face the feelings that I’ve typically found the hardest to express, or have been made to feel like I can’t. A lot of the time, that’s anger and fear for me. My journal is a place that I can be safe feeling certain emotions, even if only expressed to myself. And it’s me acknowledging and owning my feelings, that’s often the most important part. 

I let those emotions be seen, felt and heard, instead of hiding them for so long that I have what appears to be an unexpected outburst, but is actually layer upon layer of things held in. I’m one of those people who always replays conversations after they’ve happened, to think of all of the things that I could, and maybe should, have said. Journaling helps me to flesh out some of those thoughts before I have certain conversations. I feel better prepared to have them. That’s one of the best things about journaling for me. It’s not just about what I write within those pages, but actually, what it inspires me to take from them and implement in my everyday life. 

 

 

Journaling is a place free of expectations

My journal is a place where I have no expectations. It is not a space for rules. Again, I like to treat my journal as the place where I retreat from every expectation that the world seems to have. I don’t allow myself to feel guilt around it. It’s my sacred space and I know that it’s always there. Though I have a solid journaling habit, I know that life happens in seasons. So I have no requirement about frequency, how long I write for, or what it looks like.

Take for instance, that some mornings my journaling practice only involves three bullet points: sleep; body; mind/mood. I call these my journaling pillars. People will often say that they don’t know what to write, but I know that if nothing else, I can come back to these pillars and check in with myself, as they have the biggest influence on how I carry myself through my day. They’ll help guide what I do, what spaces I navigate, what stays on my to-do list, and what comes off of it. 

I also love lists and I make them routinely, as they’re like a journalling quick hit. You just write what you feel, raw and as you feel it; without considering the filters that our words and feelings might usually go through before coming out, or to the surface. 

 

Don't forget to journal for joy!

One other way that I use my journal to manage my mental health is by regularly reminding myself to journal for joy. I am not a problem to be fixed. I never want to make my journal feel like it’s only a place for drama, trauma and unhappiness. There is a lot, maybe even more to be learnt from the light and joy in our lives. 

 

If all this has made you want to pick up pen and paper, then why not head over to our Positive Planner Instagram - Sasha has put together a wonderful Sunday Soul Session on journaling for us. You can watch it here

 

 

Sasha classes herself as a writer, doubter and doer. Even though she's been writing in some form from the age of eight, she only started calling herself a writer last year - a rebellious act against her self-doubting nature. She's an avid journaler and lover of words, who wants to use them to challenge the negative narratives that women can have about themselves. She does this through what she calls #RemindHers. Little notes of thought dotted around the Internet to remind women of what has always been there - our internal North Star - its light somewhat shrouded by responsibility, shoulds, engrained narratives and self-doubt. 

Sasha writes about her own journey as it unfolds unlearning self-doubt and tuning back into self-trust, in the hope that her doing so through her creative outlet, prove as small, powerful #RemindHers to those that come across her words.

 

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