There are lots of different methods of self-care and it is important to try new things as the same activity will not provide the same benefits to each person- it is an individualised journey. The activity I am going to discuss today is Journaling. Believe it or not- there is actually scientific evidence to prove that writing in a journal does not only help mental well-being, but improves physical health too.
James Pennebaker (psychologist and researcher) conducted various studies surrounding the health benefits of journaling. From his findings, he now claims that regular journaling strengthens immune cells and that writing thoughts and feelings decreases stress and therefore decreases the associated health problems- cardiac issues, depression, yada, yada, yada. Journaling will allow your creative thoughts to flow and deepest conflicts float to the surface- simply to rationalise, clarify and resolve. All this between you, a pen and a notebook. Your journal can be your personal therapist- without the added fee! Your jumbled up thoughts and emotions can spill out onto the crisp, white pages of your journal so you can quickly get in touch with your internal world. You can take time to learn more about yourself. What you like and what you dislike. Realise your worth. It is a safe place to discuss anything and everything. Want to rant about your boss but don’t want to look unprofessional? Journal it. Ruminating over a subject you are too embarrassed or ashamed to openly talk about? Journal it. Over the moon about something that has happened, but telling other people makes it seem too good to be true? Journal it and lap up the positivity.
I am by no means experienced at journaling. I started my journal after I was bought an amazing Hogwarts themed notebook for Christmas- and so far it has been rather beneficial. I do not write entries into my journal every single day, that seems like a chore to me, just as and when I want to. One of the most important things is to remember that there is no pressure. It is not a project with deadlines- it is self-care. I knew I wanted to journal after hearing so much about the benefits from other bloggers, I just didn’t know where to start. If you have hit a wall with new ideas for journaling, or would simply like ideas to start one like me, here are a few I have found…
Seasonal Bucket Lists
This isn’t something I have started yet but I intend to write up, and hopefully complete, a spring bucket list. If you have the time for a jam-packed life full of fabulous adventures- you may even want to create monthly bucket lists. Again, there is no pressure to complete your list but it gives you something to look forward to or work towards. In my bucket lists I am going to include personal goals for health and well-being, things I’ve never experienced before and simple ideas for if I’m stuck in a rut and want something productive to do.
I recently started this and love the visual aspect of the task. By completing a daily mood tracker the hope is that, after a steady period of time, you may be able to notice trends or patterns in your mood and know whether something needs to be changed or remain the same. It also allows you to look back and see what kind of a week/ month/ year you have had. After designing your grid this will simply take a few seconds every day and you should gather very important, beneficial information.
Monthly Round Ups
This is something I am hoping to start to include in my blog and it is pretty self-explanatory. A summary of the previous month. I am going to do this by writing 5 positive things that have happened, 5 not so good things and 5 things I can change to make next month better or that I am looking forward to.
Views of Controversial Topics
Have you got a strong opinion you keep schtum as to not offend anyone or start a debate? Why not write it in your journal? Nobody can interrupt, you can get all of your ideas and opinions out and better yet, nobody can disagree.
Likes and Dislikes
I have personally completed a likes and dislikes page in my journal and I really enjoyed doing so. I knew I was to write everything I liked and so just kept scribbling until I couldn’t think of anything else. It was oh so therapeutic. The same went for the things I didn’t like- completely room 101 style. I do love a good rant now and again.
And if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there are so many other journal prompts floating around the fabulous internet. Make the most of your non-judgemental, broad-minded, paper-based friend and good luck with the journaling.
I hope you found this post helpful and I would LOVE to hear some of your journal ideas! For other self-care ideas head over here!
Until next time,
Kayleigh Rose x