Just Ask Y: Dear Diary, I’m glad you’re still making friends.
A recent study states that 83% of girls between the ages of 16-19, keep a personal pen and paper diary compared to only 69% in the 1990’s. This rise of diary writers shocks me, but excites me. Journaling is one of the best forms of self-discovery.
The current societal pressure to socially share had me assuming that twitter replaced journaling. But maybe that is the exact reason why a book of blank pages, that promises to keep your secrets safe, is so appealing to young women.
Gen Y can sometimes get a bad rap from (over) sharing—constant status updates, checking in at the deli on Foursquare, retweeting a celebrity and Instagramming every meal. It’s okay, we’re all guilty of it. We’ve been trained that this is how our generation interacts and learns from each other.
It’s important to remember that social media paints a picture of the life we want others to think we are living. So how about those moments in life that aren’t social media worthy? Most people wouldn’t dare to share their embarrassing moments and self-sabotaging thoughts with anyone, choosing instead to keep them bottled up. We become ticking time bombs waiting to explode.
Tick, tick, tick, tick. Hold on, wait a minute…
A person’s failures are their opportunities for change. Refusing to accept our own mistakes robs us from the opportunity to grow from it.
After making it through middle school, I let my friendship with Dear Diary die. However, the past year I’ve been rebuilding it, and I am happy to report we are totally besties again. Like this morning when I grabbed my pal for a serious chat because I was feeling out of sorts. I let her know that my bank account was stressing me out— this holiday resulted in the longest financial hangover of my life. After writing my fears down, I was able to reassess the situation. I decided that this month I am going to get creative in the way I can save more money. Instantly my mood shifted from fear, and I was able to move on with my day.
There is no right or wrong way to journal. This is your friendship to build, as much as you put into it you will get out of it. But, here are some tips if you need some help getting started.
- Find your dead time.
- Where is there time in your day when you aren’t doing something productive—commuting, TV time before bed, Facebook stalking during your lunch hour? Realize this is time you could utilize to feel better.
- 5 minute reflection.
- Take only 5 minutes from your dead time and use it to reflect on ONE pit from your day. Who was involved? Could it have been avoided? How is it affecting you right now?
- Take it to the pages.
- Take out your journal and your glitter gel pens (hey, what was once cool always comes back again). Don’t think too much about it, no one is going to read this. Let your stream of consciousness take over and write just a sentence or paragraph. The more you practice this, the easier it is to write more.
Diary writing is a self-growth tool, not to mention it has been proven to reduce stress. Do yourself a favor and make room for one more friendship in your life, one that requires little attention but gives you so much back in return.
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