Journaling in time of coronavirus

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My last journal – My current journal (pretty apt for the times we live in)

How are you all doing? I hope you and your loved ones are well during this strange time that we are living in. Who would have thought, a mere six months ago, that entire world would be experiencing the same crisis. But here we are.

I’ve been in the lockdown for over 4 months now. Things are starting to open in the UK, but I am still cautious about where I go. Things are most definitely not back to normal and I don’t think they will be for a while.

If there was ever a time to journal, this has been it. We’ve all been home, close to our notebooks and pens, with more emotional chaos and uncertainties. I’ve continued to journal as normal. What might surprise you is that my journals include very little information about coronavirus or what’s happening in the world. So from a historical perspective, my journal would be pretty useless. I don’t care, as I am not writing for posterity here.

So why is that? Why not write about what is possibly going to be one of the most significant periods in my life time?

Because I didn’t want to dwell on it. It’s that simple. My day job is all about coronavirus and I focus on it every single day. It takes a lot of energy to do that. And overall, what is happening is quite depressing. News, in general is just a downer. If I were to record all that in my journal, that would be even more time I am spending, dwelling on it. No, thanks.

So instead, I journal about whatever is going on in my head, or things I want to focus on. Sometimes, it is about coronavirus and the state of the world, but more often than not, it’s about personal endeavours, my personal struggles and my personal ambitions.

I also tend to keep my journal a place for positivity. So while I do have rants, and sometimes even have a go at myself for not doing what I set out to do or for not being as good as I set out to be, overall I focus on things I want to do and the person I want to become. This changes of course. It changes depending on mood, but also where I am in life. Indirectly, despite life still being busy on a day-to-day level, coronavirus has given most of us a break (not necessarily a welcome break for all) from our usual routine. It has disrupted the routine of our lives, and forced us into trying something else. It’s not been easy for a lot of people. I’m in more fortunate position than many for just being employed, and having a safe place to stay. I hope you are too. But even then, we all have our individual struggles, and this forced disruption has perhaps also resulted in some forced reflection for some of us. My journals include that as well.

It’s not necessarily changed my life or given me an incentive to do something drastic. But it has forced me to reflect on whether or not I am going in the right direction, whether my current actions are aligned with my long-term goals, and it has allowed me to discover a brand new hobby in cooking, and the joy of that process. All these things make into my journal, and it becomes a mix of both reflection and discovery. So it doesn’t matter if my journals are not going to be historically important, they are helping me in the here and the now. And I think that’s a great way to use your journal.

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY:

Journal about your here and now. Where are you in your life? Is that where you want to be? Are you enjoying the process and the journey of where you are? If not – how can you pivot?