I haven’t been writing much. I write every day, sure, typing away at my laptop with tweets, required articles for work, Instagram story captions, to-do lists, messages to my food delivery rider, but actually putting pen to paper? Not so much.
That is, until I repurposed my empty 2020 planner and started documenting my thoughts after a long day of working from home. This is undoubtedly an unprecedented and important part of history and us nostalgic and memory-loving humans need to catalog this moment in time. The concept of keeping a diary during historic moments is not new. Hello, “Diary of Anne Frank.” Historians have a record of what life was like during the 1918 influenza pandemic because of diaries that chronicled the lives of people of that period.
Aside from a snapshot of this period, keeping a journal or a diary can become a much-needed debriefing session after a really arduous day. Journaling has been heralded as peak self-care, but more than giving you a boost in memory and mindfulness, writing down your thoughts and musings can help unwind your brain and process the day’s events.
Keeping a diary can be an outlet for intense emotions and creative frustrations. Your diary can be personalized and designed specifically to meet your needs. Bullet journals often include habit and mood trackers and if you want to apply your own organizational method to your diary, you can, too. I prefer just writing things down, as I have no eye for design, but I do use different pen colors to make it fun.
Diaries don’t always have to be text on paper, there are a lot of other ways to chronicle your life and your wandering thoughts. Personal video diaries record events as they happen and if you’re not a talker you can always be behind the camera, shooting as the day unfolds. If you’re not up for writing or recording, a finsta, a portmanteau of fake and Instagram, can bear witness to your daily thoughts accompanied by a slideshow of pictures.
If done the way you like, maintaining a diary or a journal can become a solace from a tumultuous life. If nothing else, it can be a way for you to sit yourself down and just let go, you know you want to.