Journaling is not a new concept but the beautifully published version by Vex King and Kaushal is novel. Smartly titled The Greatest Self-Help Book is the one written by you, it’s a tour guide for your personal self-exploration journey.
I love the idea behind this title. As much as self-help books have their place and can be powerful, they don’t always work. You can read and be told what to do and why you should do it over and over, but until you find the motivation and willpower within yourself and have your aha moment, it’s difficult to affect real change. How do you get to that aha moment without being honest with yourself?
Journaling can help. Writing down your thoughts and feelings helps you see them clearly allowing you to face them.
Inspired by this book and the idea that journaling is a powerful, meditative, and mindful practice that helps guide you towards a healthier relationship with yourself and others, I’ve put together a shopping guide with the journaling essentials to inspire you to start.
Journaling has a host of benefits that includes increasing your gratitude, tracking personal growth, reducing anxiety, shifting negative mindsets, providing you a safe space to release your emotions and thoughts and more. Despite all this, it isn’t an intuitive exercise for everyone and it’s hard to know where to start.
I’d recommend this book come journal to anyone beginning a journaling journey as it removes the what-and-how. Divided into sections, it starts with journaling 101 explaining the why, when, where and who it is for (spoiler alert, it’s for everyone!). It then explains how you use the journal before the beautifully laid out fill in pages begin. There are also fun exercises in between the standard daily pages like a would you rather questionnaire, a feel-good folder, a 60-minute self-care challenge, coloring in sections and lots more!
I think the best thing about it is that when you’ve finished using it after 180 days (if I counted the daily pages correctly) you’ll have a pretty good idea of what journaling practices work for you.
If you want to give journaling a shot without being told what prompts to go through, buy yourself a notebook. You can get a basic one for under R30 from your local grocery/stationary store but sometimes you need a little something extra to motivate you to start. If you buy something beautiful not only will you be more encouraged to pick it up every day, but the commitment to not wasting the money you spent is added fuel to get you started. You can even go customized with these notebooks with matching pens from Happy look. They have leather and regular.
If you want to be real bougee, have a big budget and are environmentally conscious, this Wren design notebook organiser from Faithful to nature is made with recycled paper, has a brushed cotton lining and looks very fancy.
Probably one of the most underrated stationary items, the type of pen you have really affects how enjoyable physical writing can be. I recommend going to a stationary store and testing out pens to see what feel you like the most.
I really love the Schneider pen brand – all the pens I’ve tried from them effortlessly glide onto a page. They’re not the cheapest but they aren’t pretentious or exorbitant. They also come in so many different ink and color options, making it virtually impossible for you not to find your fit.
I’m currently loving their Slider Rave for a “basic” black. It’s a roller Ballpoint pen with Viscoglide® technology for extraordinarily smooth, gliding writing. It also doesn’t leak through to the next page which is ideal for journaling.
Coloring-in is an activity that is incredibly therapeutic to many. If you’re buying the Greatest self-help book, there are some coloring in pages so you will need options. I love the stabilo pastel pens called the pen 68 with a fibre tip. They also come in different size packs and colorways. Get the Stabilo 12 set here, R199
If the coloring-in idea appeals to you, we shared a beautiful adult colouring in Book in 2021. You can probably buy one at any stationary store, but the Mindful Moments colouring book by Emma Farrarons is a great place to start. Emma is an illustrator and graphic designer, so the pages are filled with stunning illustrations, elegant patterns, and tranquil scenes. Also included are little prompts and exercises making it a different type of journaling experience.