Journaling History: Recording Your Pandemic Experience

Regardless of how you feel about the current state of the world, these are historic times. If you’ve ever considered keeping a journal but couldn’t find the motivation, now might be the perfect time. Many of us are stuck in our homes. Some of us our caring for children, while others are still working as usual. Regardless, without commuting or other outside distractions, we all have more time on our hands. So, why not start a journal or diary tracking your own personal history?

Years from now, the novel coronavirus pandemic will be taught in history classes. Like the Spanish Flu of 1918, the current times will be recorded and studied. You can contribute in your own way, even if only for your descendants, with these tips and ideas.

What You’ll Want to Journal About

Your New Routine During Quarantine

Almost everyone’s schedule has changed. Maybe you don’t go to work anymore or your child’s school is closed. Documenting how your daily routine has changed gives you a reference point to tell others how your life went during quarantine.

Work During a Global Pandemic

Almost every work place has been affected by stay at home orders or essential worker designations. Use your journal to document what’s different about your work day.

Have you started working from home? How has self-isolation affected your schedule? What are your new work priorities?

You can also take this opportunity to set an exact schedule for your days. Without the variables of traffic, your day can be more consistent. Use this time to establish a better routine for yourself such as a specific time to wake up, start work, take lunch, etc. A routine helps you stay organized especially when working at home.

238Kids’ School Schedules

Since schools are all shut down for an indeterminate amount of time, why not keep track of your child’s new schedule? Years from now, you can show them what you did to ensure their continuing education.

What do they do during the day? How are you passing the time as a family? What do they want to do while at home? 

If you’ve ever considered starting a scrapbook for your children, now is a great time to start making one. Get basic supplies like a notebook, markers, wood block stamps, stickers, and other embellishments. Set aside time to journal with your kids. Talk about what they’re doing with their days and help them build out a routine to help them build organizational skills.

Pets During the Pandemic

With everyone stuck at home, our pets are happy to have us home more. While you won’t need to show your pets what happened during the COVID-19 outbreak, you can look back and remember the extra time you spend with your furry friends. How many times per day did you walk your dog? How are your pets reacting to having you home more? Remember to include your pets in your writings.

Changes to Your Environment and Neighborhood

What’s different about your neighborhood? What’s the same? What do the roads look like? Are they empty, full or somewhere in between? Are people out walking their dogs more often or is everyone locked inside? What do your grocery stores look like? Are there markings on the floor, six feet apart, to remind people to practice social distancing? Maybe your grocery store has given every associate a mask and gloves, or added a plastic barrier between clerks and customers at checkout. You could even add a note about the epic toilet paper shortage. This may be a funny, lighthearted entry, but it will provide meaningful context when you read your journal years down the road.

Take note of everything you see around you. It’s hard to contextualize the shift everyday life has taken without evidence. History will remember the high-level events such as cities entering lock down, countries closing borders, and the economic impact of the pandemic, but personal accounts give future generations an intimate view of how the world was during the pandemic.

Your journal can serve as your own personal history book for you to remember what your life was like in greater detail. Include details on your family, neighbors, and daily events. Everything you write will help in keeping individual records for future generations.

Personal Thoughts and Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubedtly affected mental health. Some people report a decline in their mental health, while others are feeling happier in a new way of life. Journaling also gives you the chance to reflect on your emotional state. Has self-quarantine caused you to feel more down? Maybe it has given you plenty of time to take care of things around your home, or catch up on Netflix shows. A decade or more from now, you will be glad to have access to your journal which reflects your emotional experience during the pandemic.

Bullet journaling has become a popular way for people to stay organized from day to day. On Sunday evenings, many bullet journalers sit down with their blank pages and plan for the upcoming week, marking every activity and to-do they have on their agenda. From watering the plants to paying bills, bullet journals support mental clarity and can even raise happiness levels. Mental clarity and calmness is even more important during a global emergency.

Your quarantine bullet journal can provide a blueprint for your upcoming week, while giving you a personal history book to look back on years from now. Use stamps to organize blank pages into days of the week. Then fill out each day with your schedule and important tasks. It’s also helpful to set aside recreational time and time to relax. Bullet journaling is therapeutic! From setting up the pages to coloring and decorating, bullet journals have a similar affect as adult coloring books.

Quarantine Journal Call to Action Block

Record Progress of Your Projects and Activities in Quarantine

Many people have used the extra down time to improve their home. From organizing and cleaning to home decorating and painting, there is lots of progress being made in households all over the United States, and the world. If you have started a home project, art project or something else – record your progress in a journal! Take before and after photos and attach them to your journal pages. This will help you feel accomplished and thankful for the extra time that quarantine provided, plus you can look back at these journal entries years down the road and remember the positive aspects of the COVID-19 quarantine.

Record New Hobbies or Talents You Discover

Lots of people are taking on new hobbies while in quarantine, from painting, to sewing, to poetry writing! If you’ve used your down time to try something new or you even discovered a new talent you have, make sure to include it in your journal. Many artists, musicians, teachers and others have turned to social media during the pandemic, to share their skills and to spread positive messages.

Quarantine is the perfect time to get online and take advantage of free lessons, classes, music concerts and more. You may be able to see your favorite music group play, or your favorite painter share his or her technique! 

Many independent artisans, small businesses and large retailers have used time and resources to create masks for healthcare workers, and for other people affected by the mask shortage. These are all things you can include in your quarantine journal. The year 2020 has certainly been one for the history books, so take some time to share your personal experience in a journal. This will be a treasured keepsake for you and loved ones for decades to come.

 

 

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