At the beginning of the year, I was more than ready to take on 2020. I felt inspired, motivated, and excited to start achieving goals I had set for myself prior to January 1. However, as the date approached for the start of the second semester of classes, these giddy feelings began to fade. The start of a new semester meant an entirely new wave of anxiety headed my way.
Getting nervous before the start of the semester was not a foreign concept.
I had experienced this feeling before, exactly one year ago as a freshman. College was still an adjustment that I was slowly getting used to, and the mere thought of having to start over with more classes and assignments completely overwhelmed me. A year ago, I let these anxious thoughts consume me. But this year, I knew I wanted something to change.
Self-care practices have transformed into an enormous trend this year and I am here for it. Meditation, yoga, glowing face masks, and self-improvement books cover my Instagram feed. It is incredible to see how the focus has shifted to focus on the self rather than a focus on the opinions of others. I have gladly taken part in these self-care practices, but one practice, in particular, has outrageously affected my life.
I started journaling.
I had always been drawn to journaling. When I was young, I absolutely loved writing fictional stories. I would stay up late typing away on my old computer, filling page after page with imaginative plots concerning distressed princesses and magical forests. Sometimes I really miss this creative energy, but the passion for writing has not stopped.
In high school, I used writing as my creative outlet, but much more professionally. I took a media class for two years that combined broadcasting and news writing into one, and I loved every second of it. Once I graduated and went on to college, I knew I wanted to find something else. That's when I found out about the Odyssey.
Writing for the Odyssey has been an unforgettable experience. This platform has allowed me to expand the topics I write about and has even inspired some change within myself. However, there are some things that I feel pulled to write about but don't want to publish. That is exactly where journaling came in.
I never knew how badly I needed it until I started.
This might seem like a minor addition, but this practice has worked wonders on my mind. Journaling is entirely self-expressive; it's just me, my pen, and a few pieces of looseleaf paper. But within those lines are my thoughts on life, my current situations, my long term and short term goals. I write down affirmations to improve my own confidence, and I also list who and what I am grateful for each day. This habit has become a routine of mine and I genuinely look forward to it.
I highly suggest trying out journaling if you haven't already. It's not only a way to be creative, but it allows you to look inside yourself and discover what you truly value in life. You feel a great sense of validation when you put your own words on paper.