Make journaling a family activity
16 January 2020
While the weather outside is still hit and miss, the thought of venturing outside on a windy, rainy day can seem unappealing.
With plenty of additional hours to enjoy inside, the winter and spring months can provide the perfect opportunity to embark upon a new project like starting a journal. You can capture your days with your family by recording them in your journal.
Happy memories from across the years bring a feeling of joy and appreciation for life. Whether it’s looking back on holidays abroad, special occasions celebrated with loved ones, or fond memories of friends, places or keepsakes from over the years, immersing yourself in memories stimulates the brain, inspires creativity and brings a smile.
Journaling has been proven to improve both mental and physical health (according to psychologist Kelly McGonigal), which makes it a perfect hobby to pick up in retirement. By getting your family involved, recording the new adventures you get up to every day, can help you feel more connected to the people around you.
Write your memoirs
If you enjoy writing, pick up your favourite pen, sit down in a comfortable chair and begin to journal stories from your life. Start where you feel inspired, whether it’s a favourite anecdote from your twenties or a recent memory. Once you get into the flow of writing, you might find that more and more stories spring to mind, which you can piece together in chronological order after you’ve got them down on the page.
As your story unfolds, imagine your life as one big picture where small jigsaw pieces of moments grew you into the person that you are today. As you write, you may well find you begin to reconnect with your true self, remembering who you were in earlier years. You might also uncover special hidden moments that you had almost forgotten about.
After a while, handwriting can become tiring so try typing up your story on a computer or laptop. You could even download some voice recognition software to enable you to dictate what you would like to say. Alternatively, enlist the help of a friend or family member who is able to spend a small amount of time with you each week writing up your story with you.
Record video or audio files
While you may have a large collection of photos from over the years, there is something special about hearing a person’s voice and watching them back in video format. Enlist the help of family or friends with a good camera set-up and editing skills to put together a film where you recount your fondest memories. Modern smartphones and digital cameras are a really good way to record your memories without having to invest in expensive equipment. There are also a range of apps out there designed to catalogue your memories in video or audio format.
If you’re not sure where to begin, there are plenty of suggested interview questions online to draw out facts and stories about your life, so ask someone to do a Q&A with you. If you don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera, why not record audio stories much like Desert Island Discs?
Piece together a scrapbook
Dig out your old photos, letters, ticket stubs and diary entries, and compile them into a scrapbook of your life. As you stick in the tickets from your trip to the theatre, write a caption detailing who you went with and what you thought of the performance. Old love letters and holiday postcards act as a great prompt for storytelling.
If you consider yourself a good cook or have been making your grandmother’s secret cake recipe for as long as you can remember, be sure to include family recipes detailing all of your culinary tips and tricks so that your loved ones can recreate their much-enjoyed favourites down the line.
Once you’ve decided how you are going to write or tell your life story, a good place to start is by listing key milestones. Start with the basics: Where were you born? Where did you live? Who were your parents and what were they like? Simple facts like these may seem trivial but will be really interesting to your children and grandchildren when they eventually read it.
You can also start to think about the moments that have shaped your life. What did you enjoy at school? Who were your best friends? Where did you live? What was your first job? What are some fond memories of your family?
Your story is unique to you. Don’t worry about piecing your memoirs together in one go but spend time coming back to them, adding and editing as you go. Any memories you’re able to share are likely to be greatly appreciated by generations to come.
Make new memories in retirement and document your very own PegasusLife journey as you consider a move to one of our beautiful community developments around the UK.
You can make brand new memories at one of our PegasusLife apartments and continue to add to your journal.