Today we are talking to the wonderful Laura from Lovendu about all things mental health and journaling! Journaling is a fantastic self-care activity for anyone who enjoys writing, being creative, or just able to get their thoughts and feelings out.
Please could you introduce yourself and what you do
Hi, I’m Laura Schmidt, I am the founder of Lovendu. We are a journal and planner business based in Staffordshire.
Tell us about your journals.
Our products aim to empower women on their mental health journey by providing them with carefully crafted journals and planners.
You, very kindly, sent through a journal for me to take a look at, The Overthinking Journal! I adore the design, the subtle pinks and greys are so appealing, looking sophisticated and elegant. Where did the design concept for the journals come from?
I am a stationery addict. I’m obsessed with buying gorgeous notebooks and planners even before I started my business so I just designed things that I would love to see in shops. We also love getting feedback from customers and letting them help us choose the designs for the covers.
The packaging needs a mention! It was such a joyful experience to open the little parcel. Is it important to you to create this experience for your customers?
Yes! We want the whole experience of ordering one of our journals to be an exciting one. Our customers order from us because they want to improve their mental health or be more organised, so our packaging just adds to the excitement and motivation to do this!
Journaling is something I have always dipped in and out of but have never come across an overthinking one before. Overthinking is one of the things I tend to do with everything. What prompted you to come up with the idea?
It was actually our customers who came up with the idea! I had never thought to do an Overthinking Journal but it was highly requested from our audience so I listened and created one of our bestsellers. It was the best decision I made and really made me value the feedback I get from our followers.
You’ve included a range of exercises and trackers at the beginning of the journal, including Self-Care Ideas, Worry Tree and Habit Tracker. There is also information about unhelpful thoughts, distractions and mindfulness for beginners. They are a great introduction to journaling, I found them helpful and enjoyable to go through. How much research did you do into these topics?
I used a lot of knowledge I had already gained over the years, having a BSc in Psychology and a MSc in Forensic Mental Health. I’ve also worked in IAPTS for a short time where I administered these therapeutic and self-care worksheets and exercises to people. It was a case of combining all of my collective knowledge to create these products. I also did a lot of research about how to maximise the benefits of journaling and making sure all our journals incorporated this.
Why do you feel this type of self-care is vital to positive mental health?
Self-care is so important because it’s about resetting. Resetting your emotions, mindset and stress levels. It’s also important just to do things that bring you joy so you can enjoy life. When people think of self-care they think of a face mask and a bubble bath but if you hate that, then it’s not self-care. It’s about finding something that helps you reset and brings you peace.
Throughout the journal there are mini exercises to complete. They are again simple and easy to do, focusing on various ways to tackle worries and anxieties, which of course contribute to overthinking. I particularly like the Worry Jar the Compassionate Letter. Are these exercises you do yourself when journaling?
Yes I try to! Running a business leaves me with very little time which is very hypocritical when I’m promoting self-care and prioritising mental health. But I always journaling for at least 5 minutes a day. Even if it’s just scribbling a few sentences in my notebook. The compassionate letter is something my ex-therapist taught me and it really helped me speak kinder to myself. When my mental health is going through a bad time, the worksheets are something I use to pull me out.
The daily aspect of the journal is made up of 8 sections. I love the fact that you’ve not just given the user an opportunity to explore their overthinking, but provided prompts for self-care and gratitude, which can have a wonderful impact on our mental health. How did you decide on what to include for these daily reflections and why?
When your mental health is struggling, it’s really easy to focus on how bad things are for you. Having daily gratitude and achievements for the day means you can find some small positives during a very difficult time. Research has suggested how beneficial daily gratitude is to our mental health so I made sure to incorporate it into all our products.
I understand that creating the journals was born out of your own personal mental health journey. Would you be happy to share that with us?
I’ve struggled with mental health issues since the age of 8. I hid it from the majority of people right up into my 20s. Ashamed and embarrassed, I felt that some things that came so easily to other people were impossible for me. I have a phobic anxiety disorder and emetophobia. This has such a chronic impact on my life. Some days it is too difficult to leave the house. Running a business with a mental illness is so hard but I am trying my best to show people that chronic mental illness doesn’t stop you following your dreams.
I had a tough time choosing a journal for myself, it can be difficult to decide on an area to focus on at times, particularly if your mental health has taken a knock. Do you have any advice for people trying to pick which journal to start with?
I think if there’s no specific problem you want to tackle (i.e. anxiety, overthinking, depression, confidence, etc.) then pick one you think you would enjoy doing the most. The more you enjoy it, the more likely you are to stick with it! The act of journaling itself is beneficial so you can’t go wrong with whichever one you go for!
Do you have a favourite journal? Why did you choose that one?
They’re like my children, it’s impossible to pick a fav! But I think the Yearly Life Planner that has just launched is the one I’m reaching for the most at the moment. I also have a soft spot for the Uplifting Journal and Self-Love Journal.
Are there any new journals planned?
We have at least two more products currently in the planning stages! Can’t reveal too much more yet but they have been highly requested!
The Wonder Collection
The Wonder Checklist! We believe self-care is vital to great mental health. What is your go to self-care activity and why?
I love treating myself to a series on Netflix and letting myself just watch and enjoy. Even if I’ve already watched it 10 times. I also like going for walks and baking.
The Wonder Playlist! What song/artist do you find uplifting and listening to it/them boosts your mood?
I love Coldplay, they have been my fav band since I was a teenager. But if I’m looking to boost my mood, I love listening to pop that I can dance to. Old school Chris Brown, Jason Derulo, NEYO, Usher, Rihanna, Beyonce, etc.
The Wonder Bookshelf! Do you have book recommendations for our readers? It can be a fiction title, non-fiction, something to help them learn more about the topic at hand or even one of your own books.
I haven’t read anything that isn’t about business recently! If you want a good book about building a business, ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins has been something I’ve recently read.
The Wonder Sketchbook! Being mindful is a not just rewarding but can also be a lot of fun.
Drawing helps stimulate the brain and can produce dopamine, improving concentration and making you feel more motivated, as well as being the hormone that lets us feel pleasure.
It doesn’t matter if you are any good at drawing, the point is to be in the moment and enjoy the exercise, just be present.
Draw anything – a self portrait, a plant, doodle, absolutely anything.
It was lovely talking with Laura and finding out more about her journals and how they can benefit us all. Don’t forget to check out Lovendu and their fantastic range. Have you done journaling before? We’d love to hear about your experiences with it over on TikTok, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and Twitter. You can always find more self-care ideas in our Wellness & Self-care section.