This $15 Journal Helps Me Feel Less Anxious Before I Go to Bed

published Apr 1, 2020
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Young woman writing in bed
Credit: Shutterstock/WAYHOME studio

In a time where an uneasy mind can be at the forefront, it sometimes helps to get all of your thoughts out on paper. For me, I’ve never been the kind of person who can journal with a brain dump, and recounting the events of my day always felt too repetitive. Instead, I turned to a journal by Nicola Ries Taggart call “Calm the Chaos.”

The journal focuses on prompts to recount your day and plan for the next. Every day, it asks you to consider how your wellbeing: Did you get enough sleep? Did you move your body? Did you do something just for yourself? The questions help me reflect on how I took care of myself and set me up to do even better the next day, especially if I felt like I slept poorly or didn’t make time for some self-care.

I try to be as detailed as possible when I fill out these sections so that I can look back on them and find recipe ideas I forgot I liked under the “ate nutritious food” section, or remember a part of my day that made me happy when I filled out what my most memorable moment was.

What I also like most about the “Calm the Chaos” journal is that it is two-fold, with a section to recount your day and a section to plan out tomorrow. The prompts change daily to give some variety and to help consider different intentions.

Credit: Amanda McKelvey

In the first “tomorrow” section, Taggart wants the writer to focus on setting goals, intentions, or feelings to guide them through their day. In the second section, she prompts you to write down a list of to-dos to support the first prompt. The third prompt that’s for “tomorrow” also changes each day. One day, it could be what you will do if you feel stressed, and the next day, it could ask you about something you need to let go and trust will work out. As someone who lives by to-do lists, the tomorrow section calms down my mind that if often running in a million different directions, focuses my anxiety and helps me to be more intentional.

I first received this journal as a Christmas gift, and after using it for the last three months, it’s helped to calm my mind and center my thoughts. Since I tend to write my entries right before bed, I’m also less inclined to go back to scrolling through Instagram on my phone, resulting in better sleep.

I plan to continue using the “Calm the Chaos” journal until I run out of pages…and then I’ll be grabbing another.