J for Jot it Down
Not all of us are writers. Not all of us like to dwell on events, emotions, objects.
However, all of us need to exhale every once and a while. Sometimes the thoughts in our head will neither slow down nor escape until they have released themselves from our brain onto paper. Whether that paper is the back of your grocery receipt, the coffee shop napkin in the console of your sedan, or your husband’s forearm, your thoughts need a home. Our head cannot eternally house our thoughts – that is when anxiety sets in. That is when panic rears its ugly head. That is when the slightest thing (such as the simple chore to back up your mother’s iPhone every time there is a new update) dramatically overwhelms us.
Throughout my life, I have had different seasons of writing. Some seasons consisted of pitiful poetry hidden away, short stories that had a middle but neither beginning nor ending, and journal entries for breakups and brain dump. As of late, before I lay myself to sleep, I write down three short thoughts I had about my day. These brief bullet points consist of moments such as “our house now has tile!” to “I pinched Daniel’s butt 4 times today.” Whatever is floating around in that noggin of yours, I encourage you to put it to rest on a piece of paper.
These could be reminders:
- Your spouse’s eye doctor appointment next week
- An email you need to send to your apartment manager
- The list of items to gather for your camping trip this weekend
Write down the emotions you are having about a certain situation:
- So happy grandma was released from the hospital
- Upset at the total amount the car repairs cost us
- Anxious about the office’s project I’m assigned on next week
It could even be the top 3 things you want to try in the near future:
- DIY garbage disposal tablets
- Start researching the best bicycle to purchase
- The new Italian restaurant down the street
As you can see, all of these little things can add up – even if some do not matter much – they take up space in your mind. So grab a sticky note and remind yourself to drop the book off at the library before the overdue fees set in. Put a reminder on your phone (and set up the alert system!) for you to get off the couch and do some sit-ups.
One more thing to remind yourself? You are doing the best you can. Keep rooting for you. I am rooting for you.