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When life is moving so fast around you, it is the most rewarding feeling to wind down and reflect. Journaling is one of the best activities for relaxing and allowing yourself to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

Journaling has been linked to boosting mental health, improving memory retention and even helping manage anxiety. As someone who has problems with stress and overthinking, I wanted to give journaling a try!

There are many different forms of journaling, but as a busy person, I decided to do a scrapbook of sorts.

My idea was to create a monthly journal divided into four sections: a track list, current book, highlights and my current obsessions! For the entire month of February, I decided to jot down the events that stood out to me. This way I was truly able to appreciate the small things and look back at all the amazing moments that I would usually, accidentally, forget about.

Truthfully, I am a forgetful person at heart. It is a trait about me that I find quite annoying, but I have finally found something to help. For example, in my journal, I’ve included a small list of the music I have had on rotation for the last month. I cycle through new music so quickly and I find it very nostalgic to go back and listen to my old favorite songs.

February is the month full of love and I think my journal entries about music reflect that. To show you what I mean, some songs I included are “Weak for Your Love” by Thee Sacred Souls, “I Like The Way You Love Me” by Lil Rob and “Valentine” by Laufey.

Additionally, I thought it would be cute to add a section to commemorate the highlights of the months. As I’ve said before, looking back at music will make me feel sentimental and I think that same rhetoric applies to small moments that make me happy. I kept it relatively straightforward by writing a short list of bullet points.

Though some of the events are bigger than others, I think they are just as meaningful as the next. For instance, I included my attendance at the Olivia Rodrigo concert, which was huge and so much fun. I also incorporated the time I fed a squirrel on campus! Though the concert was technically a bigger occasion, I think both memories are just as rewarding to me.

Along with music and highlights, I also chose to include my current read. One of my resolutions of the year was to make more time for leisure reading and I think keeping a simple reading log will encourage me to stick to it! Currently, I am reading “Normal People” by Sally Rooney. It was gifted and recommended to me around this time last year and I think I am ready to dive in.

The final section I included in my journal was a small space of doodles that represent things in my everyday life I want to appreciate more! I am not an artist by any means, but I have always loved drawing simple doodles, and this was my homage to that.

This part was meant to represent my current obsessions and I think recognizing the hobbies or activities that make life more delightful is essential. I chose to include stuff like writing letters, film photography and tending to my plants (aka my children) as some simple activities that make me inconceivably happy. Although, one of the more random and fun ones is my inclusion of the Spider-Man doodle! Overall, this section was probably the most amusing part of the entire journal to do. I think doodling is such an innocent and silly form of art, so allowing myself to express that in this was so liberating. 

Overall, journaling was such a fun and calming hobby to try out. It was such a relaxing practice that made me appreciate things in life that brought me joy. I am so excited to look back at my journal at the end of the year and remember all the small songs and moments that made me happy!

Journaling was truly a breath of fresh air. If you are a forgetful, but sentimental person like me, I would really recommend trying it out for yourself.

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