Having a self-care routine is a very important part of adulting. “Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” Journaling is a part of my self-care routine.
I used to journal when I was a child and into my teens but I stopped journaling when I got older because I associated keeping a journal with being a child.
I started journaling again when it was suggested to me by my therapist.
At first, I was skeptical of how much of an impact it would make on me. I didn’t think something as simple as writing out how I felt would make that much of a difference.
Why You Might Be Scared Of Journaling
When I started journaling, I found that I was quite blocked. I found it difficult to write what I felt and it took me a while to understand why.
I had this fear that someone would read my journal because that was done to me when I was a child. My privacy had been violated.
Tip: If you’re a parent and you’re reading this, don’t read your child’s journal!
I think that many of us as have this fear that someone will read our journal because it was done to us when we were younger.
Funnily enough, I have been able to manage this fear by journaling about it. I have to confess, I’m not fully over it.
Every now and then a little voice in my head tells me ‘Someone’s going to read it.’
Luckily the benefits of journaling for me far outweigh the worry that someone will read my journal.
Journaling has helped me in many ways. Here are three things journaling can help you do.
3 Ways To Use Journaling For Self-Care
Regulate Your Emotions
When I’m feeling strong emotions, I journal about it.
I don’t think about what I’m writing, I just free-write for a few minutes and see what comes to the surface.
Usually by the time I’m done, I feel much better. It’s the same feeling I get when I speak to a friend about a problem.
The benefit of doing this is you can vent without having to actually speak to anyone.
You may offload and vent regularly to the people closest to you because you don’t have the tools to self soothe.
You may not think about the effect this has on them or whether they are in the mental space to handle this.
Journaling can be a good way to offload your emotions without always requiring someone else to listen.
Tip: If you feel like you need someone to vent to, set a timer and journal for 20 minutes. If at the end of the 20 minutes, you still need someone to talk to then call a friend.
Develop Your Self Awareness And Discover You
Journaling is a great way to learn more about yourself. When you’re free-writing, your true feelings can come to the surface.
You might think you’re annoyed with your partner because of X. When you journal you might realise it’s because of something completely different and unrelated to them.
Journaling can also help you to discover more about yourself. Some books have journaling questions you can go through to uncover your thought processes and beliefs.
Playing Big has journaling questions in each chapter that can help you learn more about your fears and insecurities. It encourages you to push past your fears and play bigger in your life.
Another book with journaling exercises I recommend is Sankofa by Sandra Berko. It has short poems and exercises that focus on healing and self love.
Find Your Own Solutions
Journaling has helped me find ways to solve my problems without always needing to seek advice. I’ve discovered my inner wisdom through journaling.
There’s something magical about writing and how it helps you to explain what you feel.
Writing your feelings puts things into perspective, helps you structure your thoughts and explore solutions.
When you write things down, sometimes you see options you hadn’t considered before.
I encourage you to add journaling to your self-care routine if it isn’t already a part of it. Do you journal? Tell me about it in the comments!
If you have a friend that would benefit from journaling, send them this article.