I wish I could say I started the day right, every single day. It would be like saying “I’m a morning superhero” and sadly, there just are no morning superheroes. We all have bad days, and often it’s hard to pinpoint why. Perhaps it was that weird dream you had just before your alarm went off. Or maybe, like me, it’s that frustrating thing where you wake up always one minute before your alarm is due to go off. There must be a German word out there to describe the phenomena?!
Lately I’ve found that while I might not wake up on the right side of the bed, I can shake it off by writing. It might seem counterintuitive, considering I write for a living, but there’s a reason why I love it so much. It makes me calm, I focus on what’s going on in my mind, and I can find clarity.
What is a focus journal?
A focus journal is a new form of bullet journal, centred around releasing mental tension. At least, that’s what it feels like to me. It’s a structured guide that will help you to practice focussing on your inner peace every morning, for only a short period of time.
Just five minutes
I’ve always found writing soothing, so I jumped at the chance of trying a focus journal. My aptly named Five Minutes in the Morning: A Focus Journal* has a range of short activities to complete, which I’ve been doing once a day. So far, I’ve written personal stories, brain dumped everything that’s been going on in my mind in a big messy paragraph, written an alphabetical list of cities around the world, and I’ve even just sat quietly for five minutes listening to the morning go by.
Meditation on paper
I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that a cup of tea is the British equivalent of meditation, and this is almost an extension of that. When my alarm goes off in the morning (or when I wake up one minute before), I tend to now sit up in bed, pull open the blind, and reach for my journal. It doesn’t matter if I feel groggy, grouchy, whatever – I have a routine, and I know it makes me feel better than hitting the snooze button. On weekdays, I’ll time myself for five minutes and take on the task of the day, but on weekends I like to spend a little more time thinking after I’m done, and even over a cup of tea too.