When I was in school, buying stationery during the summer holidays was the highlight of my year. Picking out the fluffiest pencil case or smelliest gel pens felt symbolic; it was a sign of starting afresh. It represented the promise of new and exciting opportunities ahead.
Despite being well into adulthood, stationery still feels just as exciting for me. Except now, it has taken on a whole different meaning. I don't really need pens and paper anymore; like most people, my job largely revolves around the computer. But using beautiful stationery is an intrinsic part of my wellbeing routine. I use my favourite stationery to write lists and plan my life, which makes me feel organised and productive, which in turn, reduces stress. I use it to write diary entries or streams of consciousness when I'm winding down for the evening (writing reflectively in this way has a whole host of wellbeing benefits, like improving mood, and even boosting immune system function). And, finally, I use it to explore my creativity - by writing poetry or creating pretty collages - which keeps me in touch with my childlike sense of imagination.
So, although I don't technically need stationery anymore for my studies, I use it as a means for keeping my mental health and wellbeing in check (which, arguably, is even more important than anything you'd learn in a classroom). And while it's true that you can write and plan with the most basic materials, I think having lovely stationery adds to the whole ceremony of it. It makes it feel special and enjoyable. Read on for my favourite stationery materials for all your wellbeing needs...
Stationery and wellbeing don't overlap more than they do in the world of bullet journaling. Invented by Ryder Carroll, bullet journaling is essentially a way of organising your life so that it's completely unique to you and your needs. Most people use dotted journals to make it easy to draw boxes and calendars - you can design it in any way that works for you. In my bullet journal, I have self-care trackers for every month, so I can log the things that make me feel great, and I ensure I tick off at least one each day (mine are yoga, reading, walking and washing my hair). Each week, I plan my meals, work tasks and I even note down when to water plants and change my sheets. All of this makes life feel so much more manageable! But besides just the organisation, bullet journals can be an amazing place to explore your creativity. You can decorate them however you like, and lots of people like to use their bullet journals to try calligraphy and illustration. I fill mine with little doodles, but I also like to decorate it with collages using old magazines, and washi tape, which instantly makes every page look brighter.
Although bullet journalling is my favourite way to plan my life, it can be a lot of effort so it's definitely not for everyone. There are plenty of ready-made planners with built-in calendars and list prompts that you can use. I love to use pencils when I'm planning (as things always seem to shift around!) and I fill my calendars with useful stickers to highlight birthdays and doctor's appointments. I find that writing to-do lists each day instantly makes me feel calmer. I draw a little circle next to each task, and then colour it in when I've completed it. It's so satisfying!
Gratitude lists & other wellbeing journals
There's a reason gratitude journaling is such a huge trend - writing down the things you're grateful for can shift a negative mindset into a positive one within minutes. I also love writing down my dreams and goals, as this makes me feel filled with purpose and drive! For these lists, I like using sparkly and bright pens as they always brighten my mood.
Fiction, poems and diary entries
One of my favourite ways to use my prettiest stationery is to allow my imagination to run wild. To write without constraints, whether about my life or deepest thoughts, or about something entirely fictional. For this, you need the most beautiful notebook you can find, and I'd recommend splashing out on a high-end pen. After all, this sacred time is just for you, so enjoy it!
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