The subject of the benefits of journaling has been thoroughly covered in many places. Living at a time of a global pandemic is a great time to start or maintain a journaling practice. And your journal can act as a primary source for future generations interested in historical events. When they read your journal entries, what will they learn?
In this first part of a 2-part post, we are going to focus on documenting what is happening to you individually and also in the community and around the world.
In a future second part, the focus will be on internal-reflections, which will take the experience to a new level.
Journaling implies a repeated process, not a one-time exercise. Some entries will be short, and others will be lengthy. The ideas presented here are just thought starters, and you can pick what you want to write about each time.
Put facts on paper
Something as minor as the date will be very important, as every nation is going through a different phase of the pandemic. If it’s not your regular habit, be sure to include the month, day and year of your entry.
Other facts you can consider including are
- the local and global stats, such as the number of cases and deaths in your country and globally
- whether a state of emergency has been declared or a lockdown ordered for your area
- whether you or personal contacts have contracted the virus and how
- who’s in government and what their response is
What you did to prepare for the anticipated state of emergency
Did you go shopping to stock up on essential items? How often do you go? What’s the experience and your observations now versus last week?
How has your employment and income been affected? If you have children, how has home-life changed? What sacrifices have you had to make? Any birthday or other event plans altered?
Emotional and mental effect
On a deeper level, what emotional, mental and even spiritual effects are you going through? At first, the rapid spread of the disease and sudden change in daily life can be overwhelming. While some people may need just a short time to adjust to the changes, others may need longer. And while some people are able to manage it all with a positive attitude, for others, it’s a struggle. This is a very personal exercise and you should allow yourself to open up and be vulnerable to get the most out of it, and to get the most down on paper.
What are you doing with extra time at home?
Are you cooking a lot more? What new TV shows are you watching? Which board games have become a family favourite? Is your home spotless now or has it become increasingly cluttered due to the extra time spent and persons present at home?
Do you now have more time for self-care? Perhaps life was too busy before Coronavirus to make time for pilates or meditation, but you now have time to do those things, take baths, learn a new language or enhance a certain artistic skill.
Practicing physical social distancing has encouraged many of us to connect with our families and friends virtually. Are you doing that? And if so, which platforms do you use? Have you found the conversations to be more meaningful? Has it forced you to become more comfortable with technology?
What has been helpful?
No doubt this pandemic has caused us to face numerous challenges. What kinds of things have helped you get through each day and week? Perhaps they are activities, such as journaling or joining free yoga classes offered by so many wonderful studios, or maybe they are educational resources that you have found to help with home-schooling the kids. By thinking about some of things that have made life easier and writing them down, you can help yourself and help others by sharing them.
In this modern age, most of us are more efficient writing digitally. But writing on paper has the potential to tell more about the moment. For example, people in the future might be able to see that cursive writing is not used anymore during our digital era, or if we do use cursive, then it’s an indication of the writer’s age. Maybe emotional pieces have tear drops dried up on the page. One could also argue that a physical journal has a longer life than a digital file.
Journaling about some or all of the above can be a grounding, eye-opening and educational experience for yourself, your descendants and future historians. Prepare a cup of hot beverage, get settled in your comfy chair and put your pen to paper. We hope you’re all doing well during this unprecedented time. To support you, Do Good Paper Co. would like to offer 20% off any notebook, journal and diary product. Use promo code HEALTHY20, which is valid until June 30, 2020.