Dealing with overwhelm

You want to have a journal but don’t know where to start. You want it to look pretty but you think, you cannot draw or paint or write nicely. You feel anxious because the supplies are expensive and people are using so many things at the same time, that you could not possibly choose where to start or that it’s going to cost you a lot of money you don’t have to spare… It can get rather overwhelming sometimes and we are here today to calm things down a little.

The point of journaling and planning is to:

  • Make your life easier
  • Achieve your goals
  • Improve yourself – self-development
  • Organise things better
  • Gain perspective
  • Clarify priorities


There are so many beautiful journals out there and for someone who’s only starting their own journaling journey, it can even become a very stressful experience. So, let me stop you right here – those pretty planners haven’t been created in one day. It takes time, effort, and a lot of practise before it looks like that. In order to have a journal that looks like whatever your heart desires, you need to start first.

It’s ok to make it your own! It must work for you afterall. It can be as simple or as decorated as you want it to be like. Remember, there is no right and wrong way! It’s your life and your journal.

What do you need to start? A notebook and a pen. That’s it. Keeping it simple is the best way to avoid overwhelm. You can always add things later. For now, just grab a pen and write in your notebook.

You want to enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it, change it. Try different layouts or spreads if you like and see what works best for you. You can mix things up! You can write and doodle along the way with no layouts at all. It’s up to you.

Take your time! Any changes and habits you are trying to implement in your life, take time to get used to. You might not even see the point at keeping a journal right now but you will eventually and as you look back at the pages in time, you’ll see the progress you’ve made up till now. Is that rewarding? I think so!


  • Calm down and think – what you need your planner for? What does it need to do for you? Is it a planner, a journal, or a combination of both? Is it to help you with your weightloss, pregnancy, self-development, career, time management…?
  • Trust yourself – only you know what you really need!
  • Start with what you feel like is necessary to include (this is from the top of your head) – a yearly calendar, birthday list or simply start journaling from the first page and maybe add some things to it as you go. Creating an index is helpful and it’ll enable you to find anything you’re looking for in your book.
  • Don’t buy it all – you like washi tapes, pens, sticky notes etc.? Great! Just try to add supplies to your collection gradually, one at a time, to have time to enjoy each of them long enough before you move onto the next thing.
  • Focus on what nourishes you, not depletes you – if simple things make you happy, embrace them! On the other hand, if you like complicated things, go with it! Go with your feelings and what your gut is telling you that is right for you to do.
  • Establish a journaling routine – morning or evening, it does not matter so long as you make time for it every day – but again, it is OK to take time off! There is no point of pushing yourself, we all need to switch off from our daily routines time to time. Keep your routine relaxed and focused, make time to ensure you truly get to enjoy your planning, writing, drawing, or whatever brings you the most pleasure and results.
  • Nothing is perfect – we all make mistakes, you cannot control every line or anything that goes wrong. The best thing you can do when you make a mistake is to learn from it and move on. Give yourself time to improve and find your own of being creative – keeping it simple is a way of creativity too!
  • Relax your To-do listprioritize, delegate or dismiss it. I talked about this here
  • If in doubt, write – just open your notebook and write. You will more likely stop stressing about things or your new notebook when you put your first lines down.
  • Create ‘Ugly’ page(s) – that’s right! If you like to keep your journal neat and pretty, create some Ugly pages with the book for you to jot anything down as quickly as it comes to your mind, or if you’re learn to paint/draw, use these pages as your practise sheets. These are so much fun to come back to in time! They will show you a real progress of anything you might want to improve.


Personally, I use my journal for everything and I like to mix things up, make changes to see what works for me and what doesn’t. I am currently learning to write with fountain pens which is a lot of fun and the only thing I was slightly worried about is that the ink will bleed through. And it doesn’t, yay! I get quite a lot of ideas throughout the day so I always carry a piece of paper or a teeny tiny notebook with me to write it all down and then transfer it over to the journal. Otherwise, even I wouldn’t be able to read it because sometimes I make notes in the dark or while walking.

Don’t ‘save’ your notebook thinking you don’t want to mess it up or that you use it when… when what? ‘When’ may never come! Now is the time to enjoy it! That’s the only way to make yourself happy. You enjoy things that you have now and not looking forward to start using them when is the ‘right time’. I’ve been guilty of this myself and words can’t describe how happy it made me feel when I shifted this attitude and started to truly enjoy everything I bought or have been gifted! You never know what tomorrow brings. Of course, this applies to any area of your life!

Are you ready to start today? Ok, you can start tomorrow if it’s too late now 😉 We are all learners and we all start somewhere. Keep it simple and don’t put pressure on yourself. Having a journal is amazing and it’ll help you in your every day life!


List of my favourite supplies – click here