I have touched on the importance and benefits of a self care journal throughout this blog. Why? Because it works for a number of busy, stressed, and overwhelmed mamas like myself!
Before I tried journaling for better health (mentally, emotionally, and physically), my mind was going crazy. I had so much going on in my head I wasn’t getting the most important tasks done. I also wasn’t keeping up with my self care challenge and taking time for myself.
The journal has definitely helped my mind relax so I can relieve stress and be a happier mama overall.
How to Start a Self Care Journal that Works for You
There is no set way to properly use a journal for self care. The goal is to find out what works for you! This book will likely not be your typical diary, with a full entry day after day.
Instead, it may consist of scribbles, drawings, brain dumps, positive affirmations and phrases, and journal entries. Hopefully the advice below helps to steer you in the right direction as you begin working on your own journal!
Write What You Feel
The thing about a self care journal is that it all stays private. It’s for your benefit and reflection, and no one else.
You might take great care in posting status updates on the internet or composing emails to family, but you’re not required to be careful what you say in the journal.
Write down anything and everything you feel…no matter how positive or negative. Don’t worry about handwriting, incomplete sentences, or even spelling or grammar. Just let it all out!
Here’s 75 self discovery journal prompts if you ever face writer’s block!
Later, you can look back in your journal to learn more about your thoughts, emotions, and responses to your days. You can also take note of the appearance of your handwriting, the jumbled thoughts, and so much more.
These observations help you work through the problems so you can relieve the stress and react in more positive ways in the future.
Empty Your Mind
Journaling is amazing for brain dumping! If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the thoughts in your mind, get everything out and onto paper. All the little annoyances are out in the open, along with the important stuff. Use the dump of information to prioritize what needs to be done.
Trust me, when you release all of the overwhelm, you will feel 100x better! Plus, you will have a clear mind and a to-do list to be super productive. It’s one of the most effective emotional self care tasks you can do.
Don’t Forget Gratitude
A large part of good mental health involves focusing on the positives as much as possible. Therefore, you can use the self care journal to write down at least three things you were grateful for each day.
There’s no requirement to how big or small the thankfulness can be. Maybe you are grateful to find $5 in your glove compartment to buy a cup of coffee on your way to work. Or maybe you find out you’ve received a promotion along with a raise once you arrive at your desk. However your day is going, look for things to be thankful for.
When you can see gratitude on a tangible list, you’re able to focus on being very happy for those things. It’s a simple yet powerful reminder that you do have reasons to thankful in life…even if it doesn’t seem like it when you’re stressed or upset.
Track your Self Care Journey
If you are working on a self care challenge, the journal is a great way to log your progress. Include a self care checklist so you can tick off each task you complete on your way to being healthier and happier.
If you are up to it, you can go in depth with the tracking and jot down notes about how the self care tasks are making you feel. Do you enjoy them? Do you want to try something different? These notes help to further customize the journal for your personal success!
Make Note of Goals and Dreams
There’s nothing stopping you from getting what you want out of live but YOU. Your self care journal is your safe haven to write down all of your biggest, wildest dreams – a protected space where no one can tell you they are silly or unreachable.
When you write out your goals and dreams, they become more realistic and even more attainable.
Perhaps you want to do something amazing like start your own business or take your family to Disneyworld next Summer. Write it down in detail. Also, start working on writing out the plan of how you want to achieve the goal.
Practice Simple 5-Minute Journaling
Quick, mindless journaling is a significant form of stress relief. The days are long, and they are filled with moments that cause you stress.
When you’ve reached the end of a overwhelming day and do not want to journal your thoughts, just give it five minutes.
Write whatever comes to mind. Write the alphabet. Write your name in print, cursive, bubble letters, whatever. Doodle things that come to mind. If you are really struggling, these 5 self care journaling tips can help!
This is your way of relieving your stress by putting pen to paper or your fingers to your keyboard. Whatever it takes to ease your stress in five minutes is what you do here.
No matter how you decide to use your self care journal, the key is beginning now! It’s not a difficult task, and it won’t take you more than 5-10 minutes on your more stressful days. You just may find that you enjoy the brain dumps and gratitude lists.