How Important Keeping A Journal Is For Self Care

I was never one to write in a journal. You’d think as a writer,it’d be easy for me (most of the time)  to put pen to paper.  But when it comes to my own thoughts and fears, a  lot of times, like for most of us, it’s not always easy to do.

About three years ago,  I had a pretty bad bout of depression.   It was something that I had never experienced to that degree and never want to again.  One day,  I’ll address it in hopes it helps others, but know that for anyone who suffers from anxiety or depression, you aren’t alone and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

One of the things that my therapist recommended I do for my particular set of issues, is to write them down.

I was one of these people who kept things in, and at times, opened my mouth at the wrong times.  I picked the wrong battles,  and let my demons win.

When I told her I couldn’t write anything down. Not even pen a story, she literally said just write  everything that you are feeling out.   If it’s “I hate you for what you did:”  Or if it’s “I messed up and shouldn’t have said that to that person.”

Even, if you are happy, she insisted to simply write it down.

So, after that session, I happened to have had by pure coincidence,  a black and white composition book.  Full of empty pages,  I sat on my back porch and wrote everything down. I rambled  for about 2 hours about anything and everything. It felt like my brain had vomited to be honest.  I filled up  about 15-16 pages of the book.   It was my catharsis and the start of a new and improved me that three years later is happy and  more confident than I ever have been in my entire life.

I wrote every day,  Whether it’s a bad day, good day, funny day,  horrible day.  I wrote in the journal.   Sometimes, it was 10 min, sometimes an hour. But I made sure that I did it.

It was a part of my self care that I still continue to use.   I still write in the journal.  Which is now 3-4 composition books later! (But, regardless of the time, I’ll set aside a few minutes every other day just for that.  I write about my friends that I care deeply about, my family, the places I’ve gone to. I write about how concerned I am about the world and if I had a young daughter  how I hoped that they would have amazing role models like I have had.  I write about  my dreams and  my nightmares. You’re  getting the gist.  I write a little of everything.

I encourage everyone to write in a journal.  Write about anything. Your thoughts, fears, happy days, sad days.  Make memories with them.  And then in about six months to a year,  go and look back at those pages.  You’ll be amazed at what you have accomplished what you’ve been through and how you got through it.

I’ve now looking to upgrade and get a planner and start bullet journaling!   With my full-time schedule as an account rep by day while keeping track of my elderly mom and aunt’s activities (I’m their full-time caregiver btw)  bills and other things that need attention around the house, my little to do lists scattered about on pieces of notebook paper aren’t cutting it.

So tell me, do you journal?  And if so, what do you recommend? Tell me in the comments!  I need answers!

 

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4 thoughts on “How Important Keeping A Journal Is For Self Care”

  1. I need to start doing better at this, like do the Artist’s Way 3 pages daily of flow. I have so much built up inside I need to let ride out so in the written word it will hopefully become clearer which path to take when and how to eliminate the things holding me back. Thank you for the reminder, we all have to take time for ourselves and this is also a #selfcare issue

  2. I have counted 11 journals from my past. It’s both liberating and excruciating to review my past. In one way, I am amazed I am still alive. In others, I truly cannot believe some of the choices I made! My question is: Do you toss out your past? I am leaning towards that decision.

    I have been using the 5 Minute Journal this year and LOVE it. Obviously this is only for specific purposes, and I still free write in another.

    1. Hi Nicole!
      I haven’t tossed them out. I’m debating on it. I have mixed feelings on it. I’m proud of where I am, but the past reminds me of what I went through to get to where I am. (If that makes sense) I never heard of the 5 minute journal. Hmm. Decisions. Decisions. thanks! xo

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