How To Start Journaling
Studies have shown that journaling improves self-awareness and can give you the perspective that may be beneficial in relieving some of your day-to-day Caregiver stresses. Keeping a daily journal is a therapeutic way to help you gain control over your emotions and improve your mental health. In this video, we’re going to give you some tips on how to use journaling to make connections between what you are thinking and feeling versus what you are actually doing.
Keeping a daily journal is a therapeutic way to help you gain control over your emotions and improve your mental health.
Studies have shown that journaling improves self-awareness and can give you the perspective that may be beneficial in relieving some of your day-to-day Caregiver stresses.
In this video, we’re going to give you some tips on how to use journaling to make connections between what you are thinking and feeling versus what you are actually doing. This will help you identify unhealthy thoughts and actions and allow you to manage them more easily.
Before you begin, decide on how you will keep your journal. You can use a notebook, a computer, or a notes app on your mobile device; choose whichever option you feel most comfortable with.
Plan to write each day around the same time; after dinner, for example, or just before bed. Setting aside a few minutes every day will help you to keep up the habit and journal more regularly.
Find a quiet spot where you won’t be interrupted and try to write for at least 5 minutes, timing yourself if necessary.
Before you start, take a few deep breaths to help relax your mind and body.
In the first minute, write whatever comes to your mind – literally anything!
Allow your brain and your pen or keyboard to connect, and don’t worry about spelling or grammar.
As you are writing, think about the challenges distracting you today. What would you like to do? What would you like to avoid? What’s bothering you? What’s good in your life?
Try not to rush, and make an effort to reflect upon what’s going through your mind as you write. The goal of each journalling session should be to answer the questions “How am I feeling?” and “Why am I feeling this way?”
Always write in the first person, starting your sentences with the word, “I”. Use phrases like “I think”, “I feel”, or “I’m concerned,” then do your best to explain why you feel that way.
It’s also important to use the present tense. This means using words like, “today” or “right here” or “right now.”
Remember to always date your entries! This will give you a timeline of your journey from how you felt in the past to how you feel today.
When you finish writing in your journal for the day, don’t put it away and leave just yet. One of the most important parts of mindful journaling comes after the writing is done. Read over what you wrote and take a few minutes to think about it.
If you had to summarize what you just wrote in a 1 or 2 sentences, what would you say? If you feel any internal inspiration or ideas that you should act upon in your daily life, jot them down!
Journaling alone won’t fix everything, but, combined with other good habits like eating healthy and getting regular exercise, it can help improve your mood and give you peace of mind about your caregiving situation. So give it a try!
Be sure to subscribe and watch our other videos for additional caregiver support and resources.