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How to Start Journaling: Maximize your Coffee Break

If you've been around the blog a bit, you might have noticed I talk a lot about maximizing your coffee break. This week begins a regular series where I'll be discussing ways to maximize your coffee break to focus on more mindful living. Why do I think that's important? Because I have two strong beliefs related to my coffee break:

  • That first smell of coffee brewing is one of the best parts of the day and brings an immediate calming breath to me. Then it would fade and the stress of the day would kick right in. 

  • When someone talks about "self-care", I used to swear I "don't have time for that" and laugh it off. But at the same time, I was stressed and complaining all I did was take care of others all. the. time. 

So, if those two things feel a little close to home, I hope this post helps you discover a new self-care routine that will add to your life and not feel like another chore! First up on the agenda: journaling. Yep, we are going full junior high mentality over here and getting a journal again. 

First, you are probably wondering why I believe journaling can be so impactful. One of the highest indicators of stress is living in your head. If you struggle to get out of your head, feeling centered and calm and living in the moment, journaling can help with releasing some of that tension that is sitting in your mind.You can unleash some of the thoughts, or even just doodle while you try to release some of your worries for a few minutes. 

Today I want to explore four quick tips for starting to journaling during your coffee break every day that won't make you feel like you're just adding to your to-do list.

1. Your journal is not your planner. If you're like me and have a planner attached to your hip at all times, this is going to be an entirely different notebook. I highly suggest you find something that you love. For me, that usually means I want it pretty. Something about pretty office supplies brings me so much joy, please tell me I'm not alone! I suggest checking out Target, a local hobby/craft store or even a search online to find something you like. Currently, I am using this Erin Condren lined pages notebook. You can go with lined pages, blank pages or even guided journals from bookstores. Take it another step and find writing utensils you love. Is there anything better than writing with your favorite pen?

2. Pick a similar time of day to sit down with your journal every single day. I highly suggest utilizing your coffee break. At different parts of the last year, I have done some journaling first thing in the morning with coffee before I check email or during an afternoon break when I am trying to decompress and energize. I suggest figuring out when you most feel like you need to unload a bit and get more centered. Do you wake up tense knowing what you need to get done that day or do you feel that afternoon crash and lose motivation? You might also need to download your day before bed so you can sleep clearer. Being consistent with your time will help you settle into your journaling mindset faster because it'll feel like a routine and you can establish that "this is the time when I journal" so it doesn't get left behind. 

3. Prepare yourself before you sit down to write. I highly recommend trying the mindful routine that Dianna, owner of Crooks and Coffee, talked about in her Meet the Maker segment here. Find your breath as you brew your coffee, then once it's done, you can sit down and start to journal. 

4. Don't overthink it. Some days I journal about gratitude, sometimes I jot down everything I'm feeling stressed out about and occasionally I will work from a prompt. A few times, I have used the affirmations on the back of the Crooks and Coffee bags to prompt that day's journaling. Nothing has to make sense to anyone except you. If you need to doodle, do it. Just don't stress about it. The whole goal is to use this time to find your center, unleash some of what's weighing on you at that moment and just let it out. 

I hope that your mind is reeling a bit in ways you can utilize journaling for your coffee breaks and self-care routine, but be sure to head over to the Facebook page to see what else Dianna talked about this week regarding mindfulness and how important it is to her. It was a really great conversation and there's even a giveaway in video #2! 

Meet the Maker/Behind the Brand with Dianna Chandler
Part 1
Part 2

Until next week, have a coffee on me!
Veronica

P.S. Did you know you can save with a special blog reader code on the site? Use code COFFEEBLOG now to save at checkout!

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Veronica is the blog manager for Crooks + Coffee, as well as the blogger and creator of Caffeinate then Create. She lives in Iowa with her husband, Randy, and their 5 yr old self-proclaimed pirate princess, Gabby.  She loves to write, play board games and has a deep seeded love of Star Wars and coffee.


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