The summer of 2016 was by far the best + worst few months of my life.
At the end of July, I was in the midst of a break up that completely broke me (not matter how hard I tried to convince everyone around me that it didn’t).
I woke up painfully early everyday, practically in tears, to go to a job I hated.
For months, I faced crazy health issues that made me sick every single day.
I was lonely, tired, and emotionally eff-ing screwed. Most of my time was spent listening to sad, sappy country music, or staring at my cieling, or hating having to haul my booty out of bed on any given day. I put too much effort into social media, let days pass me by, missed the beauty of sunrises and sunsets and birds chirping and the ocean breeze.
I was in a hole. And it took a hell of a lot of willpower, self-love, and positive reinforcement to dig me out.
On July 26, 2016, I forked over $20 that would ultimately change my self-image, strengthen my self-worth, and set the fire under my ass that I sure as hell needed.
Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.
They say that “By writing routinely you will get to know what makes you feel happy and confident. You will also become clear about situations and people who are toxic for you — important information for your emotional well-being” (via psychjournal).
I regathered all those jumbled, sad, heavy feelings up + dumped them into pages upon pages of notebooks, Q&A books, even coloring pages. What seemed like such a simple act has quickly become a habit that starts all of my days on the right foot.
We all struggle. With deaths, debt, clutter, health, heartbreak, heartache, stress, insomnia, you name it.
I’ve always been vocal, without being to specific, about my struggles, whether here on this blog or on my YouTube channel. We are ALL human and I think that sometimes, we forget that feelings are valid, that it is OKAY to cry and scream and stress and hit rock bottom.
But rock bottom is just a pass-through, not a final destination. You can visit. But you don’t live there.
Here are the 5 journals I use daily that have set my goals + mind back on track:
Instant Happy Journal.
This is the first journal I ever bought + it’s by far the simplest, but so necessary. Each page contains a little prompt + room to write and some pages have a word-of-the-day or an exersize to get you in the right headspace. I like starting my day with this one, pre-coffee, because it’s so simple, yet effective.
Find Your Happy.
Post-coffee. For sure. This book has 365 days of mantra’s, AKA, words to live by. I started posting these on my Snapchat story (@misscarolynxo!) and everyone + their mother was asking me which book it was. DING DING DING! I go through and highlight my favorite parts of each page, write reactions to what I read, and then answer the journal question at the end. 5 minutes and done. No “I don’t have time” excuses!
Q&A a Day: 5 Year Journal.
This book has a question for everyday of the year that you fill in for five years. FIVE YEARS. Bless me, if I can keep track of this little thing that long. I bought this book after lusting for months and months, and I love it! It will be interesting to see how each Christmas my answers change, or the difference between birthdays. I’ll finish this one when I’m 24… so basically ancient. #millennialprobs.
I Can’t Sleep.
CALLING ALL INSOMNIACS. Or crazy diner waitresses who work until 3 AM + have an insanely awkward sleep schedule. Just me? Well, I picked this beauty up from Target and it’s awesome. For me, not being able to fall asleep at night is one of the most frustrating things, which just makes it even harder to sleep. Sometimes, writing all those thoughts that are making my brain spin at 100 mph is just enough to tire me out. You don’t even need this specific journal, just try writing before bed in a blank notebook!
A blank notebook.
Woah, de ja vu, bro. I have a journal that gets all my brain dumps. Yeah, those nights I feel all jittery and the need to go to Target and buy a whole new bed set, or sit in the candlelight and write an entire book, or eat a million sweets… I channel all of that energy into pretty lil’ journal entries. Scripty fonts, color-coordinated passages, the whole 9. This is where most of my creativity and random thoughts or quotes I like go.