We all kept diaries as kids, so why does the thought of writing “dear diary” now make us cringe? Even if you’ve stopped journaling as an adult, the benefits of writing down your inner thoughts, feelings, and goals to better understand them still apply. 

At the end of a chaotic day or week, journaling helps you recenter, refresh, and reflect by providing a set opportunity for introspection. When there are endless to-dos cycling through your mind, journaling forces you to focus on the present moment. It’s also proven to improve immune function, boost mood, and keep your memory sharp.

Need a way to get reacquainted? Junk journaling may be the perfect addition to your self-care routine. 

What is a junk journal?

Think of it as a hybrid between traditional journaling, collaging, and scrapbooking with complete creative freedom and absolutely no rules. A typical junk journal is a book holding a collection of scraps, photos, and other recycled materials used as a way to record thoughts, ideas, inspiration, and memories. Inspired by the “junk of life,” these journals are a little bit of everything and completely unique to you. 

Oftentimes, the exterior of the book is handmade, created from vintage fabric or book covers. But, you can also use a standard notebook you have laying around. Remember: there are no rules! 

In the book, glue in vintage book pages, a handwritten note from a friend, or photos from a trip (you have a lot more materials available at your fingertips than you think). Write down your favorite quotes, draw some doodles, and leave whatever’s on your mind right on the page. Incorporate tangible materials that embody who you are and how you feel.

Junk journals can also be used as planners, scrapbooks, and art journals — or a combination of all three. Just like self-care, everyone’s junk journal is going to look and feel different. Whatever you do, make it all yours. 

Source: Journal With Purpose

A new way to practice self-care 

For many, junk journaling serves as a cathartic way to release daily or weekly stress by acting as an outlet. Like working out, journaling can help with managing anxiety and coping with depression.

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Start with 5-10 minutes of junk journaling in the morning or evening to focus on mindfulness and begin to implement it into your daily self-care practice. You can also do it between meetings or any moment in the day where you need to hit the reset button and focus on you. Establishing a mindfulness routine to look forward to will ensure that your wellbeing — mind, body, and mood — is being placed at the forefront of each day.

The hardest part? Getting started. Once you’ve completed your first junk journal spread, you’ll see why so many have fallen in love with this craft. 

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