Social Journaling for Your Mental Health

We all travel on multiple journeys throughout life. These winding paths continue to change as we meet new people, have new experiences, and continuously update our list of life goals. Social journaling is the act of using TapeReal — to catalogue this step by step process.

Social Journaling for Your Mental Health

A journey is a process.

One may or may not be aware of the twists and turns from beginning to end, but we all travel on multiple journeys throughout life.

These journeys look different from person to person and depending on what milestone we have arrived at thus far.

Also, the winding paths continue to change as we meet new people, have new experiences, and continuously update our list of life goals.

Social journaling is the act of using technology — specifically, the act of using TapeReal —  to catalog this step by step process on a public forum.

Social Journaling During the Pandemic

We can all agree that this Pandemic has been challenging for all of us, physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Everyone has tried to find their own creative ways of getting though it, but nobody can deny the difficulties this unprecedented event has created for our global society.

In the not so distant past, people would strike up conversations with people in coffee shops, Starbucks, concerts, and start discussions around the water cooler at work.

These days, though, human to human contact has been drastically decreased and it is taking its toll.

Because of the fact that poor mental health can negatively effect both the physical energy and emotional state, it’s important to prioritize keeping our minds sharp.

Things to do to avoid the COVID-19 blues. Mental health is an important part of overall wellbeing, especially now as anxiety and loneliness are on the rise due to the pandemic. This poster is digitally illustrated and designed to highlight the things one can do in the comfort of your own home to increase physical and mental wellbeing during the lockdown/isolation period. Its is a lighthearted take on a tough subject. Image created by Chevon Beckley. Submitted for United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives - help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Photo by United Nations COVID-19 Response / Unsplash

One of the best ways to do that is to find safe ways to talk.

During these trying times, most of us are either alone in our homes or with family only.

Without friends and opportunities to meet new people in person, it’s hard to muster up the motivation and encouragement that we need to keep our spirits high.

That’s why finding a comfortable — yet virtual— place to speak on our experiences is important.

Remember, people just want to feel understood, and knowing you have a voice is part of that.

Mental Health Benefits of Sharing Your Journey in a Community

There have been so many people who have begun “drawing journeys” or “baking journeys” or even “language learning journeys” since March.

And, yes, some of them have been chronicling these processes through their favorite social media app or even private group chats with friends.

But now there’s a social network dedicated to providing a no pressure platform for the play by play.

And not only that, but as more and more people continue to participate in social journaling, there will be whole communities of folks traveling on similar journeys who will very visibly be in your corner.

Community Support while Journaling on TapeReal
Photo by Mathew Schwartz / Unsplash

That visibility is no joke.

Now, more than ever, the community aspect of a social media platform is important.

People need a place where they can vent about the hard parts of the path they’re on without feeling like failures.

They need a place where people going through similar pains can lift them up and help them feel as though they are not alone.

This is true for voluntary journeys (like entrepreneurship) or involuntary ones (like sickness).

Sharing your story with friends is beautiful, but not everyone has friends who can say they’ve “been there, done that.”

Not everyone has friends who can (virtually) pat them on the back and say “I know exactly how that feels).

Even meeting people who have been though the same situations is almost impossible now that so many social distancing restrictions have come into effect.

Connecting to people via TapeReal ensures that someone, somewhere (maybe even someone in a different country) can cheer you on as a supporter and as a person who has overcome the exact same struggle.

Hang In There. Image created by Ayşegül Altınel. Submitted for United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives - help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Photo by United Nations COVID-19 Response / Unsplash

And there is so much power in that.

Allow TapeReal to be that place for you.

The Importance of Remembering to Mention the Good Things

Social journaling isn’t all about recording the pain, though.

It’s also about keeping track of small wins that should be celebrated on the path to big successes.

Having recorded proof of small scale good things helps a person get a second wind when times get tough (and they always do).

Celebrating the small wins also provides fuel to dedicate toward knocking out those even bigger goals.

The reason why recording often (even things that seem mundane) is so relevant to social journaling is because we often forget how far we’ve come every time we’re faced with a new obstacle.

We fall into the trap of leaving out the struggles to make ourselves look more “put together.”

On the other hand, we may instead become obsessed with sharing only the pain we’ve experienced, completely overshadowing the beauty in our lives.

An inspiring bit of street art by A.J. Maldo to help locals get through COVID in Chicago.
Photo by Jennifer Griffin / Unsplash

It’s human nature to hone in on the bad rather than focus on the good (which is why the stories that make it onto the news are almost never positive).

Our bias towards negativity it becomes too easy for hardships in life to overshadow the successes.

When we record everything, though, it becomes easier not to let our negative emotions about an experience overshadow the positive ones.

It’s important to strike a balance between only showing people the positives and throwing ourselves a pity party every day.

Our lives are journeys made up of smaller ones throughout.

So if we want to feel understood, we should share the ups and the downs as they happen.

In terms of the pandemic, we should talk about the hardships it has created, but we shouldn’t neglect to mention the good things as well.

Doing that can really help a person navigate this unfamiliar COVID riddled landscape.

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T / Unsplash

For example:

What new hobbies or interests have you developed doing quarantine?

What have you learned how to do that you didn’t know before?

What have you developed a newfound appreciation for since quarantine started?

This way, years from now when this experience is revisited, we can all search back through our Tapes and see the step by step progression of our experience over time.

After all, like any journey, it is not a straight line.

There will always be peaks, valleys, and plateaus, all in a series that is rarely predictable.

Social journaling reflects the reality of those peaks, valleys, and plateaus.

In fact, you could even say TapeReal is: