Journaling is an incredibly cathartic and beneficial way of self-care. It allows you to stay in touch with your emotions and also serves as an outlet for everything that you’re feeling right now, but cannot or do not want to share with people.
I see journaling as a routine. It does take a lot of discipline, but with time, it becomes a part of you that feels like your happy space. I’ve been writing in my diary for so many years now, I don’t even remember when or how it started. But I can tell you that maintaining a journal has been one of the greatest factors in my journey to self-care and self-love.
And I hope it can be the start of your journey, too!
1. Explore your feelings.
We all have those bad days where for no reason at all, we just want the world to leave us alone and not bother us until we’re in a better state. This happens so often to all of us mainly because we aren’t allowed a healthy outlet for our emotions. Your journal allows you to do just that.
With a journal, you can keep a track of your moods and just write down everything you’re feeling somewhere that is free of judgement. The best part is that you don’t have to censor or filter what you put in your journal, so if you want to yell, you can write down every single thing you want to, as much as you want to.
2. Planning out the finer details.
A lot of times, we just want to squeeze in a tiny part of our day for ourselves. Those little moments are sacred. They’re for recharging and rejuvenating ourselves. When you maintain a journal, whether it’s a bullet journal or simply just a random visual of your plans, it becomes easier to plan out your day in a way that you can still make time for the most important person: you.
It doesn’t even have to be a fancy-schmancy journal. A regular journal where you can write down and plan your day in a way that suits you best can help you prioritize your daily tasks and still leave you some precious me-time.
3. Brain dumping.
A silent mind is the first step to real inner peace. One of the best ways to achieve a silent and peaceful mind is by brain dumping. It’s very simple! You just write whatever is on your mind at the moment— words, phrases, emotions, doubts, theories; no matter how random your thoughts are, just write them down.
And when you feel as though there is nothing else left to spill onto your journal, take a deep breath and close your eyes. This is a great way to restart your brain and clear your head whenever you’re feeling a little clouded or hazy.
4. Gratitude journaling.
After a whole month of writing about gratitude (you can read all the posts here), I realized that being grateful for anything and everything in our lives is so important. Honestly, you could be grateful for one thing every day, for an entire year, and still not be done with expressing your gratitude for everything in life.
Gratitude journaling can help you look at the glass half-full, instead of half-empty. Positive thinking is a part of self-care, after all. Writing down one thing you’re grateful for every day is a simple, but a very powerful way to lift your spirits.
5. Forgiving yourself.
Everybody makes mistakes. Whether the entire world forgives you or not, real forgiveness begins with you. If you still feel like something is bugging you, even though you have made amends for your past mistakes, it’s probably because you’re being too hard on yourself.
Pick up your journal and start by forgiving yourself for something small that has been bothering you because you still blame yourself. With time, start forgiving yourself for your slip-ups and mistakes. Accept them, learn from them, forgive yourself and move on. Trust me. You’ll feel so much better when you have a clear conscience.
Overall, journaling in itself can be a very calming process. If you don’t have a journal, I highly suggest that you start maintaining one. It doesn’t have to be a weekly journal if your schedule is busy; you can always go for a weekly entry. Whatever suits you best!
That’s the beauty of journaling— it’s so flexible. You can do so much with a simple journal and using journaling for self-care is just the beginning. Happy journaling!
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