When "Morning Pages" take place any time of the day

by Amanda Fleet

I'm know I'm not alone in having my mental health affected by lock down, but in many ways it's surprised me. I'm not known for being a party animal. In fact, my "lock down life" is incredibly similar to my "pre-lock down life". The only differences are not being able to see my Dad in his care home, and missing my knitting group. I maybe had one coffee-date with a friend a month, pre-lock down. You'd think I would be able to take this pandemic in my stride.

I'm trying to write my way out of it. Not my books... they currently lie outside my grasp and trying to write them is more frustrating than healing. No, I'm trying to journal, or write to process my thoughts and feelings.

I keep a daily diary where I record how my day has gone, but I also have a separate notebook where I just write. It started out as "Morning Pages" and on occasion I still do "morning pages".

For those of you who don't know, "Morning Pages" is a concept where, each morning, you sit down and write 3 pages of longhand, of whatever comes into your head. They can be about things troubling you, about observations out of the window... anything.

I use it as a process to clear my head. I just write - about what's bothering me; about how I feel. Sometimes I make it more of a "positivity journal" and write about what's good right now (though sometimes that feels so hard it's counter-productive). Mostly I just get things out of my head and on to the paper. They're not restricted to the morning. Right now (for me) they are "any time I'm feeling low pages" which could be any time of the day.

The requirements are simple - a notebook, a writing implement (more often than not a pencil) and some time. Sometimes I write for a few minutes. Other times I'm still in full flow half an hour later. Generally I feel more sanguine afterwards.

I can heartily recommend morning pages - though please don't feel that they can only take place in the morning.