How To Improve Your Self-Care Through Journaling
Last week we talked about how to use a journal for productivity, but this week I’d like to introduce you to how journaling can improve your self-care (which by now you should know I am a big proponent of self-care for working moms!).
[Side note: This post was inspired by one of my good friends – thank you for challenging me to create this post for all moms]
Have you heard about the mental health benefits associated with keeping a journal and writing it in regularly? It might bring back teenage memories of your secret journal, but a self-care version is slightly different.
So, let’s chat more about the benefits of keeping a self-care journal and the kind of things you can write about to improve yourself love.
The Benefits of Self-Care Journaling
Figure out your feelings:
We all go through highs and lows with our emotions and you may just put that down to having a bad day now and again. If you’re committing to keeping a journal and you make a point of writing it in when you’re experiencing negative emotions, you may find that there are actually patterns involved. These might not be obvious until you dig that little bit deeper. I like to set aside an hour once a month on a Sunday afternoon to go through my entries and see what patterns have emerged.
Clear your mind:
A self-care journal is also a great opportunity to get all of your thoughts out there and clear your mind. There doesn’t need to be anything wrong for this to work well – just “dumping” everything in your mind on the page declutters your mind and frees up space for new thoughts. This is very similar to the brain dump I’ve talked about before, but instead of categorizing the items into to-dos, you just use it to clear the clutter in your mind so you can refocus or relax (or sleep!)
If you tend to mentally beat yourself up for every mistake you make, writing about it in your self-care journal can bypass your negative inner critic. Think of it as a way to put some all-important distance between yourself and the situation. Looking at it from the outside in can give you a much more objective appreciation and help you to accept what happened. And if you can get to the acceptance point, you’re a lot more likely to forgive yourself.
Related post: How to Crush Your Inner Critic Forever
Changing your perspective:
A lot of people use self-care journals to list some of the things that they’re grateful for. This can be very underrated from a self-care perspective as it switches your mindset and turns your attention from stressing about what you don’t have to appreciate what you do have. Gratitude lists are an easy way to train your mind into seeing the good parts of your life and glossing over the things that may seem important but don’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things.
Related post: Gratitude and Self-Care: What’s the Link?
Increasing your confidence:
If you’ve got low self-esteem, it’s likely that you dwell on the negatives and never remember the positive things that people have said to you. A self-care journal can include these positive moments as a long-term reminder that you can refer back to when you need a self-esteem boost.
Which Kind of Journal?
If you’re already on board with the idea of using journals for to-do lists and writing notes, you might like the idea of a Bullet Journal. It’s essentially a paper journal but instead of blank pages, you have creative prompts. It started life as a productivity tool (which is how I use mine) but has evolved into a self-care tool as well. A few examples of how people use it include to-do lists, books you want to read, logging patterns relating to your health and wellbeing, and keeping reminders of things you need to do that relate to your health, wellbeing and self-care. Everything you need to keep track of for self-care in one handy place!
Love the prospect of literally putting pen to paper? A traditional paper journal might be your best bet.
5 Minute Journals:
If you know you won’t have much time to keep up with a self-care journal, you may prefer the idea of one that prompts you on what to write about. There are lots of self-care journals available that will ask you to answer key questions about the day, such as “Today I’m grateful for …” and “3 big wins that happened today…”. All you have to do is fill in the blanks! This is my favourite form of self-care journaling as a busy mom!
What to Write in a Self-Care Journal
A few of the things that you might want to include in your self-care journal include:
- How you’re feeling
- Things that you’re grateful or thankful for – even the tiniest things count!
- Log the compliments you’ve received
- Your daily “wins”, which can be anything that has gone well that day
- Your goals (both short term and long term)
- Things that you have done that you didn’t imagine would be possible at the time
- A mini food journal to spot patterns between your thoughts and feelings and your eating habits, especially if you’re an emotional eater
- Quotes that really resonate with you, especially inspirational and motivational ones that relate to health, wellbeing and self-love
- You can also use these quotes as a starting point for your discussion in your journal and write about anything that springs to mind when you read the quote
So now you know that journaling can really help improve your self-care in a number of ways – which type of journal do you use? Or which are you going to try? Share with us in the comments below.
And if you’d like to get started with a guided approach to journaling click here to register for my free 7-day Yoga and Journaling challenge. Get started taking care of yourself today! You deserve it!