Last week it was announced that the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK would be extended for a further three weeks, which means that May will be another month of cancelled plans, projects on hold and a general pause on our everyday routines. For those in the US sheltering in place, or elsewhere in the world in lockdown, our weeks are looking really different to how we’d imagined them on that blissfully promising first day of the year. Unemployment and furlough is sadly a reality for many, and even if you’re lucky enough to still me employed, it’s safe to say that our normal routines are completely out of whack. Mine certainly is.

I’ve seen a few Tweets floating around about people’s wasted 2020 diaries and planners — that’s not the case for me as I use a bullet journal and set up my weekly/daily spreads as and when I need them. However for those of you who use a regular planner, I thought I’d share a few creative ideas to repurpose your 2020 diary and make sure that no more pages go wasted.

Write down one significant thing from your day: During these unprecedented, hopefully once-in-a-lifetime, times, I think it’d be really interesting to write down just one significant thing from your day. Take 5 minutes after dinner to reflect on your day and note something down. It could be something as small as ‘made a fresh lunch’ or as big as ‘lockdown was imposed for a further three weeks’ — in weeks, months or years to come, it’ll make for a brilliant vignette of a crazy historical period and how you survived these days. I’ve been doing this in my bullet journal, and it’s already fascinating to read back on those mid-March, early lockdown days.

Practice gratitude: I must talk about gratitude journalling all the time on here, but it’s an intrinsic part of my day! Why not use your daily entries to note down something you’re grateful for? This could be ‘a cup of steaming tea placed on the windowsill as I read a book’ or even something less whimsical like ‘being able to bring home groceries’. Not only will it become a lovely record of these strange times, it’ll also improve your mood tenfold, I promise.

An illustration or painting a day: For those who’re more creative and artistic, try creating a little illustration or painting each day, in your little diary block. Make it a weekly challenge — to use up that area fully; to paint a red scene on Monday, a yellow one on Tuesday, etc. and create a rainbow; to sketch out the places you’re missing; to encapsulate that day’s activities.

Print out — or draw — your Instagram: I LOVE this idea and think I might just have to do this. Use your printer — or photo printer, if you have one — to print out your Instagram posts from the day and paste it into that day’s diary block. Not only will it be incredibly aesthetically pleasing, it means you’ll have a keepsake of these times long after Instagram has dissolved into the digital abyss. Your grandkids will be able to flip through it!

A lo-fi daily log: Lastly, if you find you don’t have much time or headspace to play with, why not document the bare minimum? Under each date, log the time you’re writing, your mood, location (i.e. bedroom, windowsill, garden, kitchen!), what you ate for breakfast, what you watched on TV.

I hope you enjoyed this cosy little journalling post. Let me know whether you’ll be trying any of these!

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