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  • Mathilde Fongen

The Power of Writing Things Down

To someone who calls herself a writer, I suppose it’s a given that I find it’s a good idea to write things down, which is why journaling more actively is on my list of resolutions for 2020. In 2019 I learned the importance of taking care of myself and respecting my own needs and as we near the middle of January, I thought I'd write down a few of the things that help me do just that, namely making lists and journaling.



Lists and spreadsheets bring me a tremendous amount of joy and journaling is becoming more and more a part of my day to day. It's simple, but so powerful. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love a good list and spreadsheets, tables, task lists and calendars make me happier than I'm maybe keen to admit. I have on a few occasions made a list of all the lists I need to make. It can be useful and satisfying, but also an important way to sort through your thoughts when feeling overwhelmed or chaotic.


Writing down a point-by-point list of what I need to do, journaling and brain dumping can be incredibly helpful and writing down the things I'm grateful for every week makes me so much more aware of what those things actually are. It's about making things concrete and tangible, specifying what may feel abstract and hard to wrap your head around. If it simply remains an idea or a thought, it’s much easier to become confused and overwhelmed by it, or simply forget. I suppose in essence it’s about awareness and mindfulness.


In the spirit of the post, here’s a list of the things that have helped me in this sense:

  1. Bullet journal (for keeping track, task lists and getting myself organised)

  2. Morning pages (and general stream of conciousness journaling)

  3. Gratitude journal

  4. Meditation (I use the app Headspace for guided meditations)


There’s something about pulling a seemingly abstract thought out through a pen onto paper that feels freeing. Especially in overwhelming moments, that simple act of writing things down one by one, word by word, makes that weight so much easier to carry. My brain has a tendency to want to do everything all at once which never works out very well. That list of things has been in my life for years and it’s an ongoing process and learning curve. Integrating journaling and meditation into my day to day has been incredibly useful in helping me take things one step at a time and one word at a time.

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