Daily Lockdown Journal

One of our English teachers, Carol Wright, is keeping a Daily Journal with her family over the lockdown period. Here’s how to implement one in your household.

We are living through an unprecedented event. Everyone, young or old, scared or bold, is trying to make sense as best they can of what they, their whanau and their community are experiencing. Keeping a journal will provide you with some pieces of writing you could use at a later date for your portfolio. It will also help you think about some of the beautiful things in the world around you- even if they are small.

The following instructions will help you write a daily lockdown journal:

Step 1
Tell your whanau, or whoever you live with, that you are going to keep a lockdown journal – not just because your English teacher has asked you to, but because it will be like a time capsule that you can look back on in years to come. It would be great if someone else in your household keeps one too- you could the take the time to look at one another’s journal and maybe see some other positives or discuss some of the feelings that you, or they might be having.

Step 2
At least twice a week during the lockdown, set aside 15-30 minutes where you will sit, undisturbed, with your device, or, if you prefer, a notebook. Try to keep it at the same time of the day and same place, but if this is not possible, or if you want some variety, change it up.

Step 3
Observe what is happening outside of you. Take a minute to look at the obvious things – like what Mum and Dad are doing, what furniture exists in the room you’re in, and what you’re seeing out the window.

Then, spend 5 minutes carefully observing things that are less obvious. Make a note of small details like a ladybug on a leaf outside, or the sound of cars passing on the wet concrete outside. Pay attention to things you normally overlook, and things that are changing, day by day, because these will be the more remarkable things that you can look back on. Try to record something new or different each entry

Jot down these less obvious notes in a brainstorm or bullet points. You can use the Journal Planner sheet (make a copy of it and fill it in) if you need.

Step 4
Observe what is happening inside of you – in terms of your emotions, thoughts, and memories that are coming up. What have you been thinking about today? Is there a particular feeling you can name? You may want to describe an emotion using a metaphor if you can’t name it. Record these down in bullet point form or in the Journal Planner sheet .

Step 5
The final step is to turn some of your notes and observations into sentences. Again, use the Journal Planner sheet if you need some sentence starters. Try to write at least 150 words (a short paragraph) capturing the unique snapshot of your experience. There is no wrong or right way of doing this – just try and do it every day we are in lockdown (and beyond, if you wish). Feel free to share your daily journal with someone you trust, or keep it to yourself.

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