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April 09, 2020 2 min read

If you've ever toyed with the idea of keeping a diary, there's no better time to start this wonderful habit than now. Being in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic has given some people extra free time, but it's also brought a lot of uncertainty and anxiety with it.

Diaries can help capture everyday moments and experiences and act as a tool for reflection.

If you haven't written a diary in many years, or have never kept one at all, here are six easy and meaningful things you can capture in your diary:

  1. Gratitude List: Write 1 - 10 things you're grateful for that day to keep your outlook positive
  2. Dream Diary: A lot of people are having vivid dreams- are you one of them? Write your dreams down and keep an eye out for recurring images or themes.
  3. Daily Chronicle: Write about what you did through the course of your day. If you're in quarantine with family members, you can make a note about something they each did too. 
  4. Quotes: Did someone say something really sweet on a Zoom call? Or did someone say something that made you smile? Make a note of it and you'll smile when you look back on it later.
  5. Mood tracker: Complete the sentence, "Today, I'm feeling...". A lot of people are experiencing a wide range of emotions during this time and they're all valid. 
  6. Interesting/Fun Facts & News: There are lots of odd little facts and news stories coming out every day relating to COVID-19. I like to focus on the positive ones like a celebrity who paid for all the groceries in Atlanta Kroger stores during Seniors Shopping Hours the other day. 

If you're not sure what kind of journal you'd like to use for your diary, there are two popular formats- lined and dot grid. Lined journals are your typical notebook-style and are great for people looking to write a traditional diary with no frills.

If you're looking to start a diary and use it as a creative outlet, a dot grid journal (often called "bullet journals") is my suggestion for you. The little dots are subtle ways to help you create straight lines and boxes so you can create a Daily Page with different sections (Gratitude List, Quote, "Today, I'm feeling...", Daily Chronicle, etc.). Some people jazz these up with colored pens, photos, doodles, stickers, magazine clippings, and/or decorative tapes (aka "washi" tapes). 

Now, if you happen to be an artist, I suggest designating a sketchbook as a visual diary. You can sketch, write, and collage your day. This way, you keep practicing and honing your artistic skills while capturing your everyday moments, experiences, and emotions.

No matter what, there's no right or wrong way to keep a diary. Sometimes, you'll have lots to say and others, you'll only be able to manage a sentence. It's all good and when you look back on your entries, you'll appreciate you took the time to give yourself this gift. 

Do you have some tips for starting a diary? I'd love to hear them!

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