Journaling is a great selfcare practice. It can be used to address all areas of your wellbeing and is easy and accessible to anyone that wants to give it a try. There is no one way to journal or one thing to journal about. You can journal about anything from your day-to-day life, to your personal goals, devotional practice to just simply writing any thing that comes to mind. You can journal to organize your thoughts, process and express feelings, creatively doodle, and so much more. There are so many reasons to journal and each can be personalized to support your style and needs.
Most of you are familiar with the typical “dear dairy” style of journaling and that may make you cringe and think of your awkward teenage years. But did you know keeping a planner is journaling? Doodling? Brain Dumping? Journaling is basically just a way to keep a written record of anything you want. So here are 2o reasons to journal as a part of your selfcare practice.
- Daily Reflection. Recording your day is the standard form of journaling that many of you are familiar with. You can just list what happened during the day for memory sake or you can approach as a form of introspection or reflection.
- Mental clarity. Writing out your thoughts can help you organize your thoughts. It can also help you look at things more objectively and gain clarity around whatever you choose to focus on. Get clarity around a relationship, a challenge in your life or decision you are trying to make.
- Self reflection. You may be the kind of person that likes to take the time to process how how you felt when something happened and what you learned from it. Taking the time to reflect on moments in your life whether small or pivotal is a great way to support your mental and emotional well being.
- Remember things. Mom brain is real and will have you forgetting things left and right. Believe it or not, jotting down lists is a form of journaling. Whether it’s a todo list, or a grocery list…that is journaling.
- Record ideas. If you get ideas popping in your head through out the day you may want to keep journal handy. You definitely want to record all those ideas even if you don’t use all of them.
- Brain dump. Sometimes you just need to get things off of your mind. Jotting down your thoughts can be a great way to relieve stress. You don’t have to go about it in organized fashion. Just write down all the things that are taking space in your brain.
- Goal Tracking. Track your fitness goals, personal goals, career goals, or goals for your family. Writing your goals down and tracking your progress makes them much or tangible and much more likely you will achieve them. You can track your progress, you challenges and wins.
- Explore and identify emotions. All of us experience feelings and emotions. The thing about feelings is that they are not always logical and can be hard to understand. Writing them down is a good way to acknowledge what we are feeling and then be able to make decisions about how to deal with them.
- Devotional Practice. You can simply record your what you are doing as part of your devotional practice. You can reflect on what you are learning in your
- Organization and planning. That’s right…that planner you have been keeping is a form of journaling. You can create a plan for your day or for the next 10 years. Create a plan for your family or for your career. Create your selfcare plan. Write it down and follow the plan.
- Record Memories. Save a ticket stub and write down what it was for. Print a picture and jot down the story that goes along with it. Save a flower that your little one gave you while on the walk. Scrap booking, photo books and even Instagramming are forms of journaling. Yep! They are ways to record memories and share the stories that go along with them.
- Sketching pictures, drawing shapes and tracing words can be a form of journaling. It can help you focus, clear your mind or be more present in the moment. Making it more of a formal practice can be an amazing addition to your selfcare practice.
- Prayer or Meditation Journal. You can write down what you feel or think when you pray and/or meditate. Knowing you will record the thought later makes it easier to focus on your prayer or meditation so that you can be in that moment and give yourself time to process afterwards.
- Practice Mindfulness. Writing in a journal can be a great way to be present in the moment. Whether it is to record your feelings or just acknowledge a stage in your life. It’s a way of making yourself aware of the moment and taking the time to process.
- Record dreams. If you are lucky enough to remember your dreams you know they can be pretty fascinating. Writing down what you dream about can be a fun and insightful exercise. Not to mention there are so many books that can help you analyze your dreams and learn more about what your dreams are telling you.
- Travel journal.
- Improve Memory. Writing things down is a great way to remember them. It reiterates things and is another way to solidify your memory. Whether it is something some one said to you or something you need to do
- Practice writing and communication skills. Writing for pure enjoyment takes the pressure off and allows you to explore your writing skills in new ways. Write out something you wish you could say to someone else. Write the person you having trouble communicating with. No one has to see it and no one will judge you. It can be a purely reflective learning process just for you.
- Affirmations and inspiration. Jot down your positive thoughts. Collect affirmations that inspire you or validate you. Put them in a journal for you to refer to.
- Release negative thoughts and emotions. Writing down the darker side of what goes on inside of your mind can be helpful. Having an outlet to release and process these negative emotions is very healthy.
The point of journaling is to find a reflective practice that works for you and that you will actually do on a consistent basis. It is completely personal. Find a reason to journal that makes you happy and serves your needs. What reasons do you have for journaling?
Elisha Beach is a stay-at-home mom to four kids and four step-kids…Yes, you read that right—eight kids. She is a wife, home cook, taxi driver, herder of children, terrible housekeeper, selfcare advocate and founder of The Mom Forum.
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