How to journal

Finding peace through artistic journaling


Journaling can be a successful self-care method, especially during times of crisis. Kathie MacDuff, an art instructor at Wellspring Calgary and the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, is an expert in journaling techniques and believes that it can help patients find peace: “I remind people that it’s the process. They’re being honest and open and vulnerable and that’s what makes the difference,” she says. Try some of MacDuff’s tips to get your journal started:

Mix mediums: No need to keep your paintbrushes separate from your pens. Go ahead and draw, write and paste pictures in your journal.

Find a friend: Consider reading a segment of your journal to a friend, and have them read from their journal to you.

Pick a generic topic: Lost for words? Pick a topic like nature and you may be surprised where the idea leads you.

Write down everything: Don’t be afraid to write down your grocery lists, budgets and reminders. Your journal should be a one-stop-shop for everything in your life.

Look online: With the explosion of online DIY projects, there’s no shortage of inspiring examples to be found.

Schedule a time: Make a date with yourself to ensure that you actually get to your journal each day.

Buy an inexpensive journal: An expensive journal will just increase your fear of messing up.

Just do it: MacDuff’s most important tip of all? “The important thing is just to do it.”

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