How to use writing and journalling to change your life after lockdown

I am sure, like me, many of you started with great intentions of doing all sorts of things during lockdown.

Perhaps you planned to read more, take up drawing or painting, cooking or do more exercise? Maybe you planned to tackle all those little jobs that have been on your to-do list for a very long time? 

And maybe you did tidy up the messy drawer in the kitchen and throw away all the stuff you no longer need. Perhaps you have got fitter and healthier, started writing that book and have become a nicer, kinder person.

All of these things are part of what I call a Life Edit, and you may have found that without realising it or making any kind of intentions you have actually started your own Life Edit.

But it doesn’t matter what you have or haven’t managed to achieve because as we now start to ease out of lockdown, we have time to start making changes. This is a great time for making changes. We are halfway through 2020 and let’s be honest the first six months haven’t exactly been brilliant have they!

I have continued working through the crisis because I work from home anyway, but I have written, gardened, danced and baked my way through the last 12 weeks. I have not, however, cleared out the loft, painted the walls or done a really deep clean. And I am fine with that. But I have made big, bold decisions about what I would like life to be like in the future and how I can make it happen. I have held my nerve and stayed focused and writing has helped me do that. That’s what a Life Edit is all about – using writing or journaling to help make changes in our lives.

I have used writing and daily journalling to help me navigate through life for the last 20 years. I have taught this method in communities, universities, and to coaching clients and it is clear that a simple ten minute writing session every day can really help you to clear the clutter, get back on track and make plans for a positive future.

This is a good time to take stock of where we are right now, what we have achieved, and how we really feel about what we are going to do next. Because we are heading for a new normal and we really need to make some plans. A daily writing or journalling routine can really help with this.

I have no doubt that there are many people desperate to get back to daily shopping, coffee shops, pubs, restaurants and so on. 

But I urge you before the madness begins again to really, truly stop and take a pause. This has all happened for a reason. I feel that this is the world telling us all to just stop, calm down and be mindful of what is going on. 

If you hated parts of your life before lockdown then why waste any more time or life doing something that makes you unhappy? I know it is not as easy as just making changes, these things do take time and lots of effort, but we all have a chance now to kind of start again with new ideas, new priorities and fresh objectives and aims. 

Try writing for ten minutes a day to get some clarity as we leave lockdown. Start with how you are really feeling and then think about and write down what changes you would like to make and what kind of help you might need in order to get there. Make lists, doodle, scribble, create a mind map. It doesn’t matter how you write, your spelling doesn’t need to be perfect, your handwriting does not need to be neat!  Just make a start and see how much better you feel.

Sarah Adams is a journalist, author and the creator of The Life Edit. She teaches journaling to community groups and one to one clients and offers online coaching sessions.

Go to www.sarahadams.me.uk for tips and advice about using journaling to edit your life

Her book The Life Edit (Rethink Press) is available to order through her website or on Amazon.

WIN ! FIVE COPIES OF THE LIFE EDIT ARE UP FOR GRABS!

If lockdown has thrown up all sorts of thoughts, worries, concerns and ideas and you feel that a regular writing or journaling routine will help you make some changes that will give you a fulfilled and enriched life, then enter our competition to win one of five copies of The Life Edit by Sarah Adams and a journal to kick start your journalling habit! To enter simply email your name, address and contact number to hello@sarahadams.me.uk

The winners will be picked at random on July 31. Usual terms and conditions apply.