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Why You Should Be Journaling on Your Lunch Break (and Why Bullet Journals Are the Way to Go)

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Spending just 15-20 minutes each day writing down your thoughts in a journal can dramatically improve your mental and physical health. Coincidentally, this is a chunk of time that can easily be slotted into your lunch break at work or school.

There are many benefits to keeping a journal. Sometimes, though, it can seem daunting to look at a blank page and decide to fill it with intimate life details. Plus, the idea of starting a new habit when your life is already packed full can be stressful itself.

But not to fear: Starting a journal doesn’t have to be difficult if you use the bullet journal method!

According to its creator, Ryder Carroll, a bullet journal is an analog system meant “to help you track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.” The bullet journal can be your personal task manager, sketchbook, journal, idea catcher, and more.

The system is based on 4 key concepts:

  • Index – numbered pages to organize your entries
  • Collections – topics for the pages in your journal, such as monthly and daily logs, lists, sketches, doodles, brilliant ideas, your favorite movies, or whatever else you want to include
  • Rapid-logging – using bullet points and personal signifiers (e.g., an exclamation point for urgent or light bulb for brilliant idea) to record information quickly and with ease
  • Migration – active reviewing of your journal, crossing off accomplished tasks, and moving items from one collection to another

Here are a few good reasons why you should commit to keeping a journal and why it should be a bullet journal.

Give Yourself a Mental Detox

Work and stress go hand in hand. It doesn’t matter if you’re working a retail job to pay the bills or if you’re doing what you love for a living. Stress is inevitable. By the time your work or school day is halfway over, your brain’s already started to feel like mush!

Taking a few minutes during your lunch break is a great way to jot down some of what’s been gnawing at you all day. Studies have shown that journaling is therapeutic and can help de-clutter your thoughts when dealing with unpleasant events.

It doesn’t matter what that event is. Writing it down gets it out of your head and into a format that allows you to come back and reflect on it later. A bullet journal is great for this. The bullet point system encourages taking shorter notes, which lets you approach it with a more casual mindset.

That isn’t to say you shouldn’t do the kind of expressive writing used in conventional journals, either! Your lunch break notes are there to provide release from the day’s stressors and to refresh your mind. Once you start the habit, the rest will come more easily.

Set Mental Health Goals

Goal setting is important. It gives you a vision of a specific future that you want for yourself and keeps you on track to realize it. Whether you want to eat healthier, save up for a trip, or make a career change, goal setting is the difference between success and failure.

Setting an “end destination” is a powerful motivator. When it comes to mental health, sometimes motivation is hard to summon. That’s why writing things down is so critical: Having the option to step back a bit can give much-needed perspective.

All you need is a page listing your goals and some blank sheets where you can reflect and comment on your progress. Taking a few minutes during your lunch break gives you an extra opportunity to note key thoughts you might otherwise have forgotten.

Plus, reminding yourself of your goals partway through the day can help boost your motivation! Observing what you’ve achieved can lift your spirits on a bad day or offer a feel-good boost when things are going well.

Remember What’s Important

You’ve probably heard that hand-writing notes increases retention, usually concerning students in the classroom. There are plenty of studies that back up this claim, and students aren’t the only ones who benefit.

Writing things down by hand encourages you to spend more time with what you’re processing. Those who do this instead of typing notes on a keyboard tend to remember more key points rather than a smattering of random information.

Since we spend about one-third of our lives at work, that’s a lot of thoughts running through our brains! Spending a little time over your lunch break scribbling down short snippets from the day will ensure you remember more of the details later when you have time to process them.

With a bullet journal, you get the benefits of hand-writing notes without the commitment it takes to pour your heart out into a traditional diary entry. Lunch breaks speed by more quickly than any of us would like. There just isn’t enough time to start diving into an important topic that we want to explore.

Taking some quick, short notes in a bullet journal leaves the right amount of information to tease thoughts out of your brain later on when you’ve taken care of the day’s obligations and can spend some time truly reflecting. Hand-writing them also ensures that you’ve retained much of what you felt when you took those notes, too!



About the Author: Alex L. Hodes is a freelance writer specializing in mental health in the workplace. You can find her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or her website at alexlhodes.com.

The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios only.

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