Tips & tricks
As many of us are entering our umpteenth week of quarantine, we wanted to share with you some simple ideas on how to reduce emotional stress and anxiety. Here’s five fun and unexpected ways to keep a record of our strange existence in these weird times.

Journaling for Times like These - 5 Fun Ways!

As many of us are entering our umpteenth week of quarantine, we wanted to share with you some simple ideas on how to reduce emotional stress and anxiety. Here’s five fun and unexpected ways to keep a record of our strange existence in these weird times.

#Bullet Journaling #Inspiration

It’s a mantra we keep hearing from everyone: These are unprecedented times, unchartered waters, times our grandkids will be reading about in the history books, and so on and on...

But right now, cooped up in our homes, we’re not thinking about grandkids and history books. We’re probably just trying to find a way to navigate this weird, new normal.

There are so many ways and tricks we can use to get on top of our frazzled emotions in a situation we can’t control, and there’s lots of really helpful resources out there.

One very simple and very effective strategy is journaling. And while writing long diary entries might not be everyone’s cup of tea, we’ll show you other fun and simple ways of documenting your existence during these, ahem, most unprecedented times. Because, dear friend, we daresay that one day you’ll really want to remember what these strange times were like - for you, and for your friends and family.

1. Draw, Doodle and Snap!
Journaling really doesn’t have to be all words. It could just as well be a quick little sketch of something that happened that day, or a particular item that was special or meaningful to you that day. Find that special something, so that when you look back at it you’ll recall memories of that particular day or event you documented through your little doodle.

Another way of doing this would be snapping one picture a day. You could either keep these pics completely digital, date-stamping them and maybe adding one or two words via an app. But you could also go all-out analog, by printing out your photos and pasting them in your very own COVID-19 Quarantine Book. Perhaps this is just the perfect excuse to finally get that lovely Polaroid camera you’ve been looking at? :)

Create a customised doodle book here.

2. Write Long!
Are you journaler of the conventional kind? Then you’re probably already well off on your journey of recording everything you’re doing and feeling during these strange times. But if you still haven’t started and do enjoy setting pen on paper, start today! It’s not too late! Hopefully the pandemic won’t last forever, but start writing today and you’ll be happy you did.

Does it still feel overwhelming? Try limiting your writing time to 15 minutes only. Or five - whatever works for you right now!

Create a customised notebook for journaling here.

3. Write Short!
Like so many of us right now, you may be trying to find your groove in this new way of doing life, trying to fit your work hours, fitness routine, plus all the housework - all in one day and all inside the four walls of your home. Some of you may even have kids and homeschooling on top of that too. Eeek! So how on earth is a girl going to find five minutes for herself to write a journal?!

We feel you.

But you know, journaling doesn’t have to be writing an entire diary entry, every day. It can be something as simple as writing only one sentence a day. Journaling light, if you will. And the perfect place to do this is obviously your Personal Planner™. Save a couple of lines in each of the day boxes so that, at the end of the day, you can write a short something about that day. It doesn’t have to sound nice or clever - it’s not meant to be poetry - just write honestly.

Create a customised Personal Planner™ here.

4. Gratitude Log
As hard as life is in this moment, it may be the exact right place to start a gratitude log. This is such a wonderful tool to help shift our focus when we’re feeling down, anxious and stressed. Finding one thing that you’ve enjoyed during the day, someone you’re grateful for, or something that made your heart happy, will remind you that even in the darkest of times there’s always a glimmer of light - if you look for it. So write about feeling the warmth of the spring sun on your face, hearing the soft voice of your nan on the phone, or how you managed to be kind to your kids the entire day. Big or small - write it all.

Some people use the month overview in their Personal Planner™ for this, but you could also download our Gratitude Log below. Feel free to print one for every month if you need!

Download our free Gratitude Log here.

5. “When All This Is Over...”
Although this isn’t technically journaling, we’re including this lovely idea in our list anyway - continue reading to see why!

With all these new restrictions limiting the way we lead our lives, many of us are longing for “normal” things again. A coffee with your bestie, a walk in the woods to admire the spring blossoms, a good rummage through the discount section of your favourite clothing store. But we also find ourselves dreaming of things that now seem utterly unattainable, like that backpacking trip around Australia, or an exotic beach holiday in the summer, or perhaps just attending a friend’s wedding.

Our Julia misses traveling very much, so she’s using her travel pages at the back of her Personal Planner™ to keep her travel dreams alive. Isn’t that just the best idea?

How will you keep your dreams alive in the days and weeks ahead? Make sure to write down your hopes and dreams and longings, so that when all this is over you’ll know exactly what to do. And imagine if, when all this is over, we discover we’ve become gentler, more compassionate human beings - because we know what it is to have so very many sweet details of life stripped away from us.

We hope you’re holding up ok. Don’t forget to connect with our wider community of PP pals to share ideas on all things planning and organisation on all our socials, under hashtag #itsprettypersonal.

Much love from the Personal Planner™ team

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