Self-care, a word that is trending and bouncing off of every lifestyle blogger blowing up Instagram, but other than taking bubble baths, using masks, reading and the like, what are some of the more IMPORTANT things we need to implement more regularly into our lives once the trend disappears? To us, journaling and writing down and documenting your thoughts is very beneficial. Of course as stationery and pen lovers, this is right up our alley, but there are some very legitimate benefits to journalling. In this blog post, we will explore why journaling should be at the top of your self-care list and why it might be more effective than any of the other things you may have been doing.
One of the biggest things and trends to come out of the journaling world, is that of a gratitude journal. I think it’s because sometimes in the depths of our feelings, we tend to focus on the negative (I know I can be guilty of this). Making a list of the things you do have and are grateful and thankful for puts so much more into your view. We read about it all the time, how you feed your mind can literally change your life. Focusing on the positive and manifesting into reality the dreams and goals you have for yourself are extremely important. This can be done in the simple form of using a journal, taking a moment to take stock of your life and of all the things (big or small) you do have. You don’t even have to commit to writing a paragraph each time, simply making a list or starting a gratitude jar does the same thing (I started one with my daughter). Being able to be upset about certain things at the end of the day is a privilege and sometimes we can forget this when we get too wrapped up in it all.
Mental Health Journal:
This type of journaling may not be the most “fun” or catchy, but it’s most certainly one of the more important ones. If you are struggling with mental ill health and can find it hard to put into words how you’re feeling or even the thoughts and emotions you encounter- writing it down can be extremely beneficial. Whether it be strictly for yourself or as a way for a professional to have a glimpse of what you’re experiencing. It can also prove to be a cathartic way of expressing yourself and serve as an outlet. We know that having a voice and putting a spotlight on how we manage mental health is important and having as many perspectives and points of view to the topic can have a significant impact on erasing the stigma.
If there is one thing I can safely say I have taken back up again (I can thank COVID-19)- it’s journaling. Every year, I take up journaling and as the year progresses, typically it gets dropped like all of our resolutions. This form of journaling has been around for ages and I don’t think it’ll go away either. It’s the easiest to execute because there aren’t really any rules, you simply take pen to paper. For me, journaling has always been one of my outlets and I look back with regret that I threw away my old pre-teen and teen journals. 😫 It gives a perspective and internal voice that I probably forgot and jogs my memory on the way I was feeling or an event I witnessed. It can be nostalgic and it can be emotional.
One of the downsides of journaling is struggling to know where to begin a topic or you struggle to find a topic or something specific to write about. There are some really good journals which pose thought provoking questions. They can trigger some great moments of clarity and have some really open and honest self-reflection. I recently picked up Michelle Obama’s Becoming: The journal- mainly because it’s Michelle Obama (so you don’t ask questions) but also because it also had some very introspective and deep questions, especially after reading her autobiography- you couldn’t help but feel inspired.
Letters To Yourself:
Another way to open up and be self-reflective is to write letters to yourself. Simply jotting down my thoughts helps me to put things into perspective and reflect on what occurred. Writing a letter to yourself is not easy. You could kick yourself for saying whatever it was that you said, for doing whatever it is that you did. There will always be words and actions that we want to take back, but its the pauses that allow us to learn and grow
Another way to journal, is to look inwardly from a religious perspective- religion can bring up very important and pivotal scenarios and journaling can help to process those thoughts, but it can also help to help you stay the path of your religious life. You can find the style of journals within a Bible, but you can also find it with journaling prompts- the main difference would be the context of the prompts and the use of biblical verses as an extra way to trigger self-reflection and thought.
We all have our ways of coping with the misfortunes, confusions and devastations that sometimes befall us. We would love to hear what ways you guys have come up with to write down your thoughts and simply cope in this time of uncertainty.