I cannot underestimate the impact journaling for self-care has had in my life. Unfortunately for me, I got the memo way too late.
I didn't start journaling earnestly until I was 17 or 18...thankfully I was young enough to start an amazing life long habit, but old enough to miss a decade of my most traumatic years. (I'll share more of my story later). In my early twenties, I filled books & books of journals...maybe 15? Lots.
The beautiful thing about journaling is that it pulls you to the present. My thoughts weren't always angsty ruminations of pain, but sometimes pages of praise & gratitude. I can recall whole pages full of me cussing folks out that I wasn't nearly brave enough to do in person. Yet, the aggression exited. The joy found it's place. Many prayers to God were heard & answered. I copied Scripture passages, poems & love notes from the men who loved me. Those early journals became a written collection for my life & I wouldn't trade them for anything.
Journaling has looked very different for me over the past 20 years. It's definitely slowed since I've had dem babies...but I've intentionally allowed it to pick up again when crisis hit.
Don't Be Afraid to Change the Medium to Maximize your Journal Efforts
I used to hand write everything & only in a certain brand of Journal. Eventually, I fell in love with Moleskin notebooks, which I usually get from Amazon.
When my older kids were little I started using Evernote realizing I could type faster & get the job done though less satisiying. (Consequentially, I use Evernote for EVERYTHING & I'm slightly addicted to it as a tool to get my whole life together).
After I had my 3rd, I started using an app called The Little Memory. It's a simple interface which allows you to mini-journal daily, adding a picture if you'd like (& look back easily when the feeling hits you). It also rewards you for consistently, which I'm totally a sucker for.
My absolute favorite way to journal now is using Danielle Laporte's Desire Map Journal. (Her journals are currently off season). When they are back in stock, I will definitely let ya'll know. Desire mapping has become a HUGE part of my self-care + healing. Maybe one of the most significant aspects of my journey towards hope. If you're not familiar with her or her work, you need to be. Desire map journaling is a quicker way of getting to the bottom of what you really want out of life. And clarity is a form of self-care.
Do you Journal?
Why or why not? If you don't, may I encourage you begin. Even if it's 3 lines everyday. A paragraph every other. For beginners, I recommend writing with actual pen & paper. There's something soothing about the process.
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