In moments of great duress in sections of the world or around the world on a whole, journaling is a stress reliever for some people. These journals become incredibly important, serving as a window into the chaos.
Let's learn more about why this is a great time to start journaling and how to get started.
Journaling at a Time of Crisis
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn turned his nightmare in Stalin’s Gulag into the single most important diary in history. The Gulag Archipelago was essentially a journal that turned communism on its head and exposed its failings to the world.
Most of us are looking for something to do with all this time so it only makes sense to start writing down our thoughts and ideas at the time.
The most important thing about journaling is conveying the timeless message, but you can also learn a lot about yourself in the process.
AAR: Journaling About Your Preps
Journaling about your preps and your experiences can also be looked at as an after-action report. This can give you some serious incite on what you need to improve on and what is working well.
Journaling can also allow you to keep tabs on the other people in your home. Who is coping with isolation and the pandemic better than others? These are important things to keep tabs on because isolation is undoubtedly a path towards depression, and you need to take that seriously.
You might have plenty of toilet paper, soap, masks, food, and ammo but your human resources also need to be taken care of. These are not only the most important part of your life, but they are also subject to radical change over time.
A can of tuna is a can of tuna. Not a lot to manage. However, humans are subject to all kinds of changes. Use your journal as a way to monitor yourself and your loved ones.
There is a strange pneumonia in China that seems to be spreading rapidly. Some are even saying it could be the beginning of a global pandemic, but how many times have we heard that?
Do you have a journal entry that looks something like that? It's one of the most common journaling layouts, and it's a good start.
If you are predisposed to journaling, writing, or the creative process, then opening a book and just freestyling will come out naturally. Eventually, you'll find yourself writing and expressing yourself more.
Take a look at these examples:
17th September 1940
Heavy bombing in this area last night till about 11 p.m……. I was talking in the hallway of this house to two young men and a girl who was with them. Psychological attitude of all 3 was interesting. They were quite openly and unashamedly frightened, talking about how their knees were knocking together, etc., and yet at the same time excited and interested, dodging out of doors between bombs to see what was happening and pick up shrapnel splinters.
There are a whole bunch of people out there that journaling does not come naturally. What can really help is a quick layout that will help you write something that captures the moment and important events and something you can refer to in the future by yourself, family, or even a broader audience.
Journaling Layout How-To
Do you remember the first time you read The Diary of Anne Frank and all that you learned?
So, let’s look at a simple journal entry and how you can be effective in this situation both for yourself and for others.
- DATE: Even if you aren’t aware of it the date can hold tremendous weight in the future. Things could happen on the other side of the world on that date. Imagine if you were writing a journal in America on August 9th, 1945. That entry might be you wishing your husband or friend would come home from the war. Yet, it would coincide with America dropping the second atomic bomb on Japan.
- INTRO: Reserve the first few lines for a kind of SITREP or setting of scenes. What is going on in the world around you?
- BODY: Now you can start the therapeutic act of journaling. Here you can spill the deep feelings that you are dealing with and the struggles you are facing. This is the bread and butter of journaling. Write as much or as little as you like here. There are no guidelines, which is why writers and people who enjoy writing love the act of journaling.
- IMPORTANT PREPS: In these history-making days, it is important that you mention what preps you relied on that day and what has kept you safe, full, happy, and healthy.
- NEEDS or WANTS: How about a section that focuses on the things you miss, need, or want but do not have. These are for more whimsical things like sea salt dark chocolate or something to that effect.
- IMPROVEMENTS: This section should be about hard data on prepping improvements that you need to make to be more prepared for a situation like this.
Let Your Words Inspire You
Journaling is all about self-expression. You don’t have to take any of my advice about how to format a journal entry. It is completely up to you. However, don’t discount the powerful effects of journaling and how it can truly help you cope with a disaster of the likes no one has ever seen.
Not everyone is built for dealing with situations like this and journaling might be just the thing you need to deliver you from serious depression as the world comes falling around you.
BONUS WRITING PROMPT: For your first writing prompt, explain how will your life change after the pandemic.
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