Updated: Oct 22, 2021
Soon after my husband was hospitalized with COVID, I quickly realized I needed a way to gather my thoughts for the day, and "word vomit". I felt anxiety having to deal with my pregnancy, my husband intubated in the ICU, my three-year-old daughter, and my full-time job.
I was gifted a cute baby pink journal and pretty pastel markers for my birthday, and it clicked... journaling! Every day, I would write the events of the day, any new news having to do with my husband's condition in the hospital. It was so therapeutic for me, because I could get my thoughts out without the opinions of others. Sometimes, you just need to get things off your chest. You don't need advice, you don't need an opinion, you just need to vent! Also, I started seeing trends with what was my main source of stress or anxiety. This helped me recognize it in the future and better deal with it. I kept journaling through my husband's hospitalization, through his passing and beyond. As time went on, I felt my anxiety lessening, and I felt equipped to face any challenge head on. What seemed like a huge mountain to climb was now like little hills every day. Journaling also allowed me to create small daily to do lists, that way I felt accomplished. Don't get me wrong, journaling did't make my situation any easier, but it helped me cope. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, "keeping a journal can be a great idea. It can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health." They have a great article on journaling and it's benefits here: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentID=4552&ContentTypeID=1
I've also realized that journaling is my creative "me" time. Sometimes my daughter joins me, and we share that special time together. She has her own notebook and she doodles with her crayons or markers. I make doodles of plants, banners, headings, and just make things pretty because it makes me smile. Those little things that brought a smile to my face also helped through all the stress I was feeling. Over time, the art in my journal became more elaborate. My marker collection grew, I started using washi tape, and I discovered the online journaling community and that's where I discovered stickers! That's what inspired this passion project! I'm designing stickers for people who may be grieving the loss of a loved one to help put a smile on their face, and encourage them. It also serves as a reminder that they are not alone!
If you are struggling with anxiety, depression or stress, try out journaling!! It doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to be YOU.