Silk + Sonder Review: How I Use This Self-Care Diary

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

A self-care diary: my daily companion

Since I write and edit for work, I rarely write in my own time. That all changed with the Covid-19 pandemic.

I felt lost, disoriented and vulnerable. Finally, I realized I needed to express more of my thoughts 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 journals that help you plan meals, track your mood, and record your thoughts. (Here’s how to start writing a journal.)

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.)

Here’s how it helped me achieve my goals, improve my mental health, and most importantly, help me prioritize.

Thanks to Lizette Borreli

What is Silk + Sonder?

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

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

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

Silk + Sonder’s design is delicate, with a rose gold spiral tie. Its 56 pages are filled with watercolor art, quotes from notable figures (such as Ralph Waldo Emerson), and thought-provoking writing assignments. For January, the theme was ambition. (Learn how to create more “me-time”.)

The theme, art, quotes and prompts change monthly. “We try to add a seasonal touch to our themes,” says Agrawal. “In addition, understanding what our members have enjoyed in the past, where there is an opportunity for challenge and personal growth, and what themes will inspire new layouts and activities that we can integrate into the magazines.”

Silk and Sonder Diary Coloring Page

Thanks to Lizette Borreli

My Favorite Silk + Sonder Diary Pages

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

In addition, there is an accompanying meal plan, mind and body health plan, shopping list and a small box where you can think about delicious food, memories and songs. There is even a coloring page for adults. It’s one of my favorite pages because, after keeping track of expenses, I can de-stress with some adult coloring pages. It allows me to combine responsibility with creativity. (Find out how to create a self-care plan.)

I have to admit that when I opened the journal for the first time, I felt overwhelmed by the idea of ​​having to do all these writing assignments. But the good thing 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 to go in any order and skip exercises that don’t work for me, like the monthly expense counter. (I used it once, but I don’t always want to do that during my downtime!)

However, I have two main pages that I like to fill out consistently with every 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 keeps me 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.

Intentions page

My other favorite part of the Silk + Sonder magazines: the Intentions page. It contains six separate subjects, including mental health, personal life, physical health, important relationships, money management, and professional goals. It’s a fun way to get in touch with yourself and ask, “What are my resolutions for this month?”

Before using these diaries, I never set aside time to simply reflect on the different aspects of my life and list my intentions. I would make mental notes, but writing them down and seeing them on the page makes them more concrete. This shouldn’t feel like a chore either. If so, you may need to adjust your approach. “Setting intentions is not making a to-do list,” the diary kindly reminds me.

What is Sonder Club?

Silk + Sonder is more than just the physical journal and writing assignments. Members who subscribe get access to Sonder Club, a private community Facebook page for “inspiration, support and accountability,” Agrawal says. Here you will find fellow magazine holders sharing their tips on which products they use for the magazine. They also share the unique ways they decorate and use the diary pages. (Learn how a gratitude journal can lead to happiness.)

I like to use this Jiulyning crystal diamond pens ($8 for 3-pack) because they match well with the journal design, and they make my journal a fun and exciting experience.

What are Sonder Circles?

In addition to Sonder Club, subscribers get free and priority access to Sonder Circles, which are diary workshops with a group of people on Zoom. You participate in writing assignments and exercises and you can share your writing with other members in your Sonder Circle session (if you like).

To keep the Sonder Circles intimate, they are usually held around 15 people. Non-subscribers can also sign up to join a virtual Sonder Circle for a $10 fee.

My first Sonder Circle was a rewarding experience. In one of our writing exercises, we talked about how to achieve our respective goals, from going on vacation to becoming more spiritual.

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

What science says about keeping a journal

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 who were asked to write down or sign their plans for the day.

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

In July 2020, the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on health issues in the United States, conducted a study to track adults’ mental health outcomes during the pandemic. Fifty-three percent of adults in the United States said the worry and stress caused by the pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health. By comparison, 32 percent of adults reported a deterioration in mental health in March 2020.

Over-the-counter products like this magazine can help.

What I like about Silk + Sonder

As a Latinx, talking about mental wellbeing is slowly becoming less stigmatized in my community. Growing up, words like anxiety or depression were considered taboo at the dinner table.

It wasn’t until high school and early college that I started discovering self-care tools like yoga, diaries, and podcasts like the Daily shine– a meditation podcast for weekdays. Slowly I started talking to my mother about using these substances, and she has been very supportive. She even encourages me over the phone when I tell her I do yoga or meditate.

Like me, Agrawal experienced high expectations and family pressure to excel.

“Growing up in South Asia, there was a lot of pressure to perform and perform in all areas of my life,” says Agrawal. “I noticed that this seemed to be a common theme that existed with many other women of color communities. And what’s worse is that we don’t really talk about the importance of mental wellbeing in our homes.”

it comes down to

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

If you’re like me and hesitant to commit to something new financially, you can try the $20 monthly plan with free shipping. For me, it’s something I like to treat myself to from time to time, especially when I know I have a challenging month ahead of me with new projects, both in my work and my 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 self-care.

It is important to note that you should seek help if you need it. Journaling is not intended to replace drugs or therapy for mental illness. It’s important to talk to your doctor first about any mental health issues you may 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 navigated by itself – Silk + Sonder is living proof of that,” says Agrawal.

Next, here are happiness books that mental health experts trust.

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