1. Make a collage or doodle

If it’s been a long time since you’ve had your latest arts & crafts class, this is your moment: take out some magazines, colorful covers of notebooks you’ve finished, maybe some leftover wrapping paper – anything pretty. Get your scissors and cut out the most eye-pleasing and inspiring shapes and arrange them on a piece of paper to produce your own unique creation. If this feels like too much of a hassle, then doodling could also be a great creative relief – it doesn’t matter whether you use a black pen or a more festive-colored one. One other idea is to find a problem you’d like to solve or a statement to express and try to manifest that visually. Sometimes, it’s easier to say what you want to say without any words.

  1. Morning pages

This one’s a popular approach for writers that could also serve as a great way to unload your mind of any worries, and it’s very simple: all you have to do is fill three pages of your journal with anything, no prerequisites or standards. Ideally, you should do it every morning, for as long as you can maintain the habit. Sit down and let go of anything that comes to your mind – maybe there is something bugging you or, conversely, something pleasant has just happened and you want to savour it a little more. Enjoy a pleasant sense of lightness produced along the way. 

Credit: Emma Dau (@daugirl) on Unsplash

Credit: Emma Dau (@daugirl) on Unsplash

  1. Gratitude journal

This one’s a wonderful tool for particularly worrying times when we tend to focus on everything bad and problematic. The rules are very simple: write down the things that you are grateful for, any things. Sometimes those can be hard to identify or acknowledge, so keep in mind that they don’t have to be grand: wearing your favorite pair of socks, drinking tea from your beloved mug, talking to your friend, etc. Any small thing that makes you smile can make it into the journal. The more you practice it, the easier you notice them – and it’s always a pleasure to look back on days of gratitude and glimpses of happiness that are akin to rays of sunshine scattered throughout your life. 

  1. Write a letter

Let’s get Victorian and dreamy just for a short while and write a letter, however long, to anyone: maybe, it’s your past self that you’d like to support in turbulent times; maybe it’s a long-distance friend, whom you could actually send the letter to; maybe it’s your future self; maybe it’s your favourite character… Sometimes it can be fun or therapeutic to imagine what we would say to a stranger if we were to describe ourselves and our daily routines. Otherwise, a letter could be a great way to let go of a grudge that you’ve been holding on to or of any other emotions that you know are bottled up inside you. This is your safe space to analyze them and set them free. 

Credit: Cathryn Lavery (@cathrynlavery) on Unsplash

Credit: Cathryn Lavery (@cathrynlavery) on Unsplash

  1. Listing it all

This method, perhaps, doesn’t need much of an explanation: you just make lists, but the trick is to list something fun. What about remembering all the latest purchases (from groceries to clothes) that made you happy? Making a repository of your top recipes? Best coffee places in the city? Most beloved books? What were the latest things you did out of habit and not because you like them? Also, what about a wish list? You can find even more ideas for lists here. It might seem a strange way to journal, but it’s truly one of the easiest ways to get to know yourself better. 

  1. Preserve a memory 

Is there a childhood memory particularly dear to your heart? Or maybe something special from your first (or any other!) day at uni? The day you met your best friend? Or a conversation that changed your life? It can be a good idea to put it down into writing so that you can always look back on it in all its glory. Relive your best moments and capture what happened and how it made you feel to boost your spirits and start your own little pensieve with memories that are pure gold. 

And if you’re looking for more things to try this weekend, check out our series of experiments for ideas!