Saturday, March 07, 2009

Writing To Relieve Stress. . . . sounds like exercise doesn't it? You know, you hear it from the doctor, on tv. . . eat less, exercise more (blah, blah blah) So the last thing you want to hear from me is that you should start writing stuff down to help you with your stress level! Well, humor me for a little bit, and I'll give you some good reasons to do it, and also some easy tips to get started, or to start writing regularly!

First of all I hope you won't be intimidated by the thought of keeping a journal. It isn't nearly as scary or as boring as it sounds. My journal, which you saw in the last post is a whole mish mash of stuff. I'm probably the only one in the world that could decipher it (which is as it should be!). I started keeping a journal because I was so frustrated with all the little scraps of paper I had lying around that had phone messages, notes for my calendar, to do lists, and on and on. So I made myself a journal and have been using one ever since. You might associate keeping a journal with the old "Dear Diary" days of your youth. Mine certainly isn't like that! Only every once in a while will I write a "heartfelt" entry where I write about something for a whole page or more.
That's where the benefits of keeping a journal comes in.

An article written by Griff, April 2007 states:
"A new report in the news today will interest all writers out there. According to a new study just released, writing can reduce stress.

The study says if you are having stressful experiences, you should not keep them locked up inside. Instead, you should pick up a pen and notebook, and let it all out on paper. The researchers found that by writing about their lives, people tended to visit their doctor less, sleep better, and had a stronger immune system. The idea of writing about things in your life that are causing stress is called expressive writing"

You can read the whole article here. (It's a good one!)

So, writing can help to relieve stress, especially if you don't let the writing itself stress you out! It's not about pouring your heart out every day on paper. That could be very difficult and cause stress in itself. It's about having an outlet available for when you DO need to pour your heart out! I'll be posting more about this subject and some good journaling tips I've found, in the next week.

But in the meantime, I'll bet you want to know what the second part of the big announcement is don't you!

My "Write It Down Special Event" doesn't just include those special leather journals I made, I've got something else to give you. (drumroll, please. . . )

A spare journal to share! My hope is to spread this stress relief as far as it can go, so I'm sending you an extra journal with your order of the special "Write It Down" journal. You are welcome to keep this extra journal, OR, you might just know someone that is going through a rough patch and think they could use something to write in. This little bonus is yours to keep, or give away, it's up to you!

These envelope style journals measure 5 3/4" x 4 1/2" and have 80 pages in them if you count both sides of the page. None of them will be this exact print, each one will vary in color and print. They are bound with a ribbon and have an envelope closure. If you're thinking of giving this little journal to a man, please let me know. Alot of the prints lean toward the feminine side, but I can include a more masculine one if that is your choice.

So there you go! A great "Write It Down" special leather journal AND an envelope journal to share! These journals will go on sale in my Etsy shop, Monday March 9 at 9:00AM. I will have available 13 black leather journals, and 2 burgundy ones. I hope to see you then!

I would love to hear from you in the comments, if you have anything to add on this subject or if you have any great journaling suggestions!

Until Monday! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Thoughts on Writing AND a Big Announcement

Can you see it on people's faces? -Stress- As I go about my daily errands, I'm keenly aware that the facial expressions on the people around me have changed recently. Furrowed lines on brows and foreheads reflect worry or concentration and there just aren't as many folks smiling as before. You can even see it on my face as I go through the grocery store with my carefully prepared list. Oh, I start out pretty friendly looking, but as I go through aisle after aisle adding up my items on my phone calculator, I know my demeanor gets more somber.

The fact is that we just can't ignore what is happening in our country. It's all around us. I truly think that for the most part, we try to stay positive and hopeful. But, when we have a friend, loved one, or even ourselves out of work, or afraid of losing our jobs or home, the stress will eventually take it's toll.

As I was thinking about all of this last week, it occurred to me that during difficult times in my life, it has always helped me to write about it. Whenever I've had a problem in my life, like most people, I go through many ways of trying to deal with it. I'll mull it over in my mind for days, talk about it with my friends -ad nauseum- and even play out solution scenarios in my mind. When I finally get desperate enough, I'll go to my journal and Write It Down! This always helps! Usually this simple act helps so much, the anger/ worry/ intensity of the problem will seem a lot easier to deal with. It helps to clear my mind and set a course of action.

I began doing some research and found some really interesting articles on the advantages of journaling. Over the next few days I would like to share with you some of the things I've learned.

I've also been thinking that there must be something I can do to ease some of this pressure even if it's in my own small way! I started digging around in my supplies, made some sketches, did some calculations and came up with something pretty special!

A couple of months ago I got a great deal on some very nice black leather. I've been kind of holding it back for a time when it was really needed, and now is that time! I've designed and made a limited number of this lovely black journal and will be offering them at a very special price while they last. I used the whole hide of leather so there are about 13 black ones, and I threw in a couple of burgundy leather ones that I will have for sale. I am going to be offering them for sale in my Etsy shop beginning Monday, March 9 at 9:00 AM, and will be selling them for $20.00 each. After those are gone, I will be using this design in other leathers like the latigo and dyed leather, but they will sell for $31. so this is a significant savings.

The journal is made of Black, premium grade, thick utility leather and has a wonderful feel to it. I've filled it with 240 pages of a nice weight brown Kraft paper. If you haven't written on Kraft paper, you really should try it. . . it's great! There is a self attached wrap piece that comes around to the front of the journal and is held together with an antique brass snap. The leather cover and wrap around is all one piece which will make it durable and help protect the pages. The size is approximately 6" x 4" x 1 1/2" thick. It really is a great journal, and I've been so excited making them all week, and also so glad that I can offer them to you at this really good price!

BUT WAIT! There's more! I've got a little bit more to add to this special event, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see it! I'm going to keep you in suspense! In the meantime, take a look at some of the other views of this great journal!

Until tomorrow!