I knew it was going to be a challenging few weeks: lots going on with family, various visitors descending, and all 3 of my part time jobs colliding in places. I know myself these days and realised that in order to survive it well I needed to carve out some space for me, even if it was only 5-10 minutes a day. I also know that for me this needs to be a creative space but nothing too fancy or taxing. When I’m tired I’m far more likely to judge myself and feel like everything I create is rubbish! So I need to stay small and simple, quick and easy.

I came a cross #The100DayProject on You Tube – lots of the crafting community are doing it. It’s basically a very simple challenge: find a crafting activity that you love and do it for 100 days. I don’t think they even have to be 100 consecutive days. It’s fine to cut yourself some slack if you miss a day or two. It sounded like the perfect thing to get me through the next few months. You can visit the 100 Day project website here. So inevitably my chosen craft was creative journalling. I decided to focus on happy positive stuff in life, or just some colours or images that made me feel good. I decided that the perfect vehicle for this was a ‘Tiny TN’. These miniature travellers notebooks are great for manageable journalling. The pages are so small that you really don’t have to do much on each one. There’s also something lovely about doing it in miniature – maybe it’s my inner child remembering the books I used to make for my teddies! I decided to make my own TN. You can see it in the video below.

I’m now 19 days in. Yesterday I was at work all day and out in the evening – I didn’t have even 5 minutes for an entry but I’m not going berate myself. I decided it’s fine to miss a day. My mad psychology means I do tend to give up if I get too far behind so I know that in order to succeed I need to create a scenario where ‘getting behind’ is simply not possible within the parameters of the task I’ve set myself! Sounds crazy? It is, but I’ve decided to manage it rather than fight it. It makes life a lot more fun!

How’s it been going? It’s something I look forward to mostly – just what I needed it to be: a little bit of ‘my space’ in a crazy world full of uncertainty and other people. On occasions it’s seemed like a chore but the moment I open my little tin with all my tiny supplies, I can feel the peace and calm flooding through me. If things are really stressful I get the paints out and watch the colours flowing across the page. It has a very soothing effect. It doesn’t have to look like anything. Abstract is fine. It just has to be colours I like! If I decide it looks too dull I simply put a sticker over the top. I’m enjoying the ‘Tin with 100 stickers‘ I got from my Etsy shop. It’s small and pretty and makes me feel positive.

In terms of 100, it’s early days so I’ll be interested to see if I can manage to stay the course. I feel determined at the moment. I just need to keep fighting the inner voice that asks ‘what’s the point? Isn’t there something more useful you could be doing?’ The point is, I’m trying to stay positive and well within myself, and I reckon there’s nothing more ‘useful’ than that!

You can get a Tiny TN set from the Jane Journalling Etsy shop, complete with miniature paper clips and washi tape.

Watch the Tiny TN videos on the Jane Journalling You Tube channel.

Join us on Facebook for more creative journalling and feel free to chat and post in the Facebook group.

Managing Mental Health with the 100 day project

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