Silk + Special Review: How I use this self-care diary

Silk + Special Review: How I use this self-care diary

Silk + Special Review: How I use this self-care diary

Here’s my review of Silk + Sonder, a subscription service that helps you achieve your goals by using beautiful self-care magazines delivered to your home each month.

A Self-Care Diary: My Daily Companion

Because I write and edit for my job, I rarely write in my free time. That changed with the Covid-19 pandemic.

I felt lost, disoriented and vulnerable. Eventually, I realized I needed to get more of my thoughts down on paper, and that prompted me to start a self-care journal. I decided to try the Silk + Sonder subscription service, which sends out monthly self-care diaries to help you plan meals, track your mood, and record your thoughts. (Here’s how to start journaling.)

This journal has become a daily companion during the pandemic and I consider it an investment in my mental well-being. (These are the best bullet journals on Amazon.)

It has helped me achieve my goals, improved my mental health, and most importantly, helped me prioritize.

Silk and special issues

Courtesy of Lizette Borreli

What is Silk + Special?

Silk + Sonder was born when company founder and CEO Meha Agrawal felt caught in an emotional rut three years ago.

Agrawal navigated her options to seek support, but “therapy felt intimidating, coaching was expensive, anxiety medication seemed risky, and meditation apps were pretty boring,” she says.

At its core, Silk + Sonder is rooted in the principles of positive psychology, according to Agrawal. Each month you will receive a self-care diary in the mail. You can pay $20 a month or purchase an annual subscription ($180), and the next month’s Silk+ special planner arrives up to two weeks in advance so you can plan accordingly.

Silk + Sonder’s design is delicate, with a rose gold spiral binder. The 56 pages are filled with watercolor art, quotes from notable figures (like Ralph Waldo Emerson), and thought-provoking writing suggestions. In January, the theme was ambition. (Learn how to get more me time.)

The theme, art, quotes, and prompts change monthly. “We try to add a seasonal twist to our themes,” says Agrawal. “Beyond that, it’s about understanding what our members have enjoyed in the past, where there might be an opportunity for challenge and personal growth, and what themes will inspire new layouts and activities that we can incorporate into the magazines.”

Silk and Special Journal coloring pages

Courtesy of Lizette Borreli

My favorite pages of the Silk + Sonder Journal

Each journal has an index that takes you to the different pages – from a monthly overview to a monthly expense tracker. Most of the journal is in a week-to-week format, which allows you to write down your to-do list, important goals, and how you want to feel that week.

There’s also an accompanying meal plan, a mind and body health plan, a grocery list, and a little box for you to think about great food, memories, and songs. There’s even a coloring page for adults. It’s one of my favorite sites because after keeping track of expenses I can relax with some adult coloring. It allows me to balance responsibility with creativity. (Learn how to create a self-sufficiency plan.)

I’ll admit, when I first opened the journal, I felt overwhelmed at the idea of ​​having to do all these writing tasks. But the beauty of it is that you don’t have to. You can complete it at your own pace and there is no right or wrong way to do it.

I choose the order I like and skip exercises that don’t work for me, like the monthly expense tracker. (I used it once, but I don’t want to do it all the time in my free time!)

However, I have two main pages that I like to consistently fill out with each new journal I get: The Meal Planning and Intentions pages.

Meal planning page

I use the meal plan page religiously and tear it out to hang on my fridge. It keeps me accountable and on track with my health and fitness plans. With 2020 being such a chaotic and unpredictable year, a bit of stability and routine was very welcome.

intention page

My other favorite section of the Silk + Specials journals: the Intents page. It contains six separate boxes including Spiritual Health, Personal Life, Physical Health, Important Relationships, Money Management, and Career Goals. It’s a nice way to get in touch with yourself and ask “What are my intentions for this month?”

Before using these journals, I never took the time to simply reflect on the various aspects of my life and list my intentions. I would take notes, but when I write them down and see them on the page, they become more specific. Plus, it shouldn’t feel like a chore. If so, you may need to tweak your approach. “Setting resolutions is not a to-do list,” as the journal gently reminds me.

What is Special Club?

Silk + Sonder offers more than just the physical diary and writing suggestions. Subscribers get access to the Sonder Club, a private Facebook community page for “inspiration, support and accountability,” says Agrawal. Here you can find other journal keepers sharing their tips on the products they use for journaling. They also share the unique way they decorate and use the journal pages. (Learn how a gratitude journal can lead to happiness.)

I like using these Jiulyning crystal diamond pens ($8 for 3 pack) because they go well with the journal’s design and make my journaling a fun and exciting experience.

What are special circles?

In addition to the Sonder Club, subscribers get free and priority access to Sonder Circles, which are journaling workshops with a group of people on Zoom. You will participate in writing prompts and exercises, and may share your writing with other members in your Sonder Circle session (if you feel comfortable).

To keep the special circles intimate, around 15 people are usually held. Non-subscribers can also sign up for a virtual special circuit for a $10 fee.

My first special circle was an enriching experience. In one of our writing exercises, we talked about how we can achieve our respective goals, from taking vacations to becoming more spiritual.

It was refreshing and comforting to interact with a small group of people from different locations and backgrounds who felt similar to me.

What science says about journaling

Journaling has been shown to be beneficial for mental health. A study of distressed young adults published in The Arts in Psychotherapy, found that journaling for 15 minutes twice a week helped reduce anxiety, depression and hostility. This was compared to those asked to write or draw their plans for the day.

There is a growing need for better mental health and general well-being. People around the world are experiencing increased levels of stress, anxiety and fear that come with the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

In July 2020, the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on health issues in the United States, conducted a survey to track adult mental health outcomes during the pandemic. 53 percent of adults in the United States said the worry and stress caused by the pandemic was having a negative impact on their mental health. For comparison, 32 percent of adults reported worsening mental health in March 2020.

Self-care products like this journal can help.

What I like about Silk + Sonder

As a Latinx, talking about mental wellbeing is slowly becoming less of a stigma in my community. When I was growing up, words like anxiety or depression were considered taboo around the dinner table.

It wasn’t until high school and early college that I discovered self-care tools like yoga, journaling, and podcasts like that Daily shine– a weekday meditation podcast. I slowly started talking to my mother about using these resources and she was very supportive. She even cheers me up on the phone when I tell her I’m doing yoga or meditating.

Like me, Agrawal faced high expectations and family pressures to excel.

“Growing up in South Asia, there is a lot of pressure to achieve and perform in all areas of my life,” says Agrawal. “It struck me that this seems to be a common theme that exists in many other women’s communities of color. And what’s even worse is that we don’t really talk about the importance of mental well-being at home.”

The final result

Journaling can teach us a lot about ourselves and how to prioritize our mental well-being. It’s an ongoing investment with long-term results.

If you’re like me and hesitant to jump into something new financially, you can try the $20 monthly subscription with free shipping. For me it’s something I like to treat myself to every now and then, especially knowing that I have a challenging month ahead of me with new projects in my professional and personal life.

After a difficult 2020, this is an excellent self-care gift not only for myself but also for my friends who are looking for new ways to practice self-care.

It’s important to note that you should seek help when you need it. Journaling is not intended to replace medication or therapy for mental illness. It’s important to talk to your doctor first about any mental health issues you have. You and your doctor can work together to find the best way to manage your symptoms or frustrations.

“Your personal growth journey doesn’t have to be a sure-fire success – Silk + Sonder is living proof of that,” says Agrawal.

Next, here are happiness books trusted by mental health professionals.

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