Do you have a journal? If not, you should start a journal. Since I was young, I've always enjoyed keeping a diary, journal, whatever you want to call it. I would write in it nearly every night before I went to bed. It's been what feels like centuries ago that I wrote a "dear diary" entry, but I still enjoy journaling in a more adult way.
In those "dear diary" days, each night I would reflect on my day and write it down. I would write down any important things that happened, how I felt that day or how something made me feel, my fears, and my hopes.
Keeping a journal through the years helped me out quite a bit. When I would go through rough times, writing my feelings down relieved a lot of stress and anxiety (like when a boyfriend broke up with me and I just thought it was the end of the world... haha - looking back at some of my writings it's pretty comical now). But all of those experiences made me the person I am today, so I am grateful for that.
Journaling Can Decrease Stress
Because I have epilepsy, I need to make sure I keep my stress levels under control. One of the biggest stress relievers for me is writing things down. Journaling, along with coloring, helps me with my anxiety, stress, and depression.
Towards the beginning, when my seizures first started happening, I would start a journal and keep track of everything I did throughout the day.
This would help me keep track of when I had a seizure, how I felt before and after a seizure, or if there was something specific that triggered a seizure. This allowed me to see what events may have let to the onset of the seizure and gave me more info to take to my neurology appointments.
It also helps me explain to people exactly how I feel before and after a seizure so they can understand what may happen. If I notice I feel differently before or after a seizure, or even have a different kind of seizure, I'll write it down and take it to my Neurologist appointment with me. That way I don't forget exactly how I felt and I can be more precise.
Another thing I often write about is my experience with homeschooling my son. I love homeschooling, but some days with everything we have going on, it can be too much.
I've incorporated journal writing for my son in part of his homeschool routine. If my son or I have had a rough start to the day or need to write our feelings, we will spend a few minutes journaling before we do any other classwork. It seems to help calm him down a bit and concentrate more on his work.
Star A Journal to Help Regulate Emotions
Writing down your experiences and emotions can really help you do some self-exploration. Journaling can help you get rid of those negative feelings you may be struggling with. You can organize your thoughts while journaling and get to the bottom of why you may be feeling the way you do.
There are so many things journaling on a daily basis can do for your mental health.
Different Kinds of Journals
There are a lot of journal styles and options out there as well and if you've done any research on how to start a journal, you'll see there are a ton of different kinds.
- You can purchase prompt journals which will give you a daily prompt to write about.
- Traditional journals that are lined and will allow you to write and/or doodle,
- Spiritual journals,
- Journals you can use to pass down to your children or grandchildren (keepsake journals) so they have your memories to look back on.
- Custody Journals
- Bullet or Dot Journals to help relax you in a creative way or keep track of goals, progress, etc.
I've enjoyed journaling so much throughout the years that I have also encouraged my daughter to start journaling. She's is at that age where she is developing and becoming a lady. Her emotions are all over the place.
It seems that journaling has helped her get her frustration, strange feelings, and new experiences out. This has also helped her organize her thoughts so that she can figure out what's going on. She currently uses one we found on Amazon, it's a pretty purple semi-girly journal.
I've also noticed that since she's started journaling, she is coming to me and asking more questions about what is happening with her body. I can usually time it to right after she has written in her journal and has processed, written down, and organized her thoughts and questions. As a mom, I love that I can be there for her and help her.
I recommend journaling once a day. Write whatever it is your feeling or have felt throughout the day. Let your mind escape without worrying about grammar or being proper. Just let all those feelings and worries out onto the paper. I promise in a few months you will be glad you started journaling.
While I journal about my feelings and events that have happened.. I also use it as a kind of note system. For instance, when I'm thinking of a recipe and might want to try different variations, I'll write it down. Kind of a weird thing to put in a journal, and not a recipe book, but that's how I came up with the Unforgettable Banana Bread recipe.
Start a Journal with Prompt Journals
Prompt journaling has become very popular with both adults and children. Prompts can give more guidance and help give some ideas on what to write about.
Examples of journal prompts you could use:
- What do you want to accomplish in the next 30 days?
- What is one thing you wish you had known before you are the age you are now?
- Name at least 3 positive traits about yourself.
- What is a quality I really value in my child?
- What is one accomplishment I'm proud of?
There are so many different writing prompts that you can make. Even a quick Google or Pinterest search will give you plenty of ideas.
If you're looking for prompt journals, Amazon has quite a few good ones you may enjoy:
In our homeschool routine, we've included using journals and journal prompts into our writing. It's really helped my son with expressing his feelings and learning how to write.
A few fun journals I would highly recommend:
Do you journal or want to start a journal? I'd love to hear your story.
Erin Condren (which I'm sure you've heard of) has some fun journals that would be perfect for you. I love these journals and the quality is fantastic. They're very popular.
If you sign up for the Erin Condren Insider Program you can get $10 off.
There are a couple of planners I'm excited to try out as well.
- Life Planner - to help with time management and productivity
- Lesson Planner - this would help with my homeschooling
- Deluxe Monthly Planner - this will probably be my next purchase.