Why journaling is good for self care

Bullet journals, gratitude journals, diaries, planners, they're all very popular - why? Because journaling is good for self care. From teenagers to women in their 50's people are journaling more and more, and while mental health is an issue we're all trying to tackle, journaling is helping people cope. It's a way to take care of yourself, to give yourself space and time and get things out of your head. So have you stepped onto the journaling path yet or are you still wondering whether it's for you?

Teens take care of themselves by journaling

Back when I was a teenager ("when dinosaurs roamed the earth" - as I would say to my kids!) I kept a diary. I got my first diary when I was 13 years old, it was a small A5 book with a brass lock with a tiny little key. I kept the key on a necklace around my neck and while I didn't have huge worries to write about at 13, apart from boys and homework, I soon established a routine of writing in that diary every day. 

At 14, when my parents split up and divorced, my diary became a safe haven. I wrote down how I was feeling. I vented about my mum when she was mean. I blurted out all the thoughts and emotions that were breaking me inside. I truly feel that keeping a diary, or a journal - whichever you want to call it - helped me stay sane. I really struggled when my parents divorced and my personality completely changed for a while there. I am just thankful that I can look back and know that keeping a diary helped me. 

Which brings me to today's teens - do they keep journals? My son doesn't, as far as I know, but do teenage girls? I hope so.

Why Journaling Is Good For Self Care | My Passion Planner, a coffee, and my computer are all I need for some self care.
My Passion Planner, a coffee, and my Macbook - all I need for some self care. 😊

Journaling is such a good way to take care of yourself that I hope teenagers are being told about it. And if they're not, I hope they read about it, or hear friends talking about it. At a time when emotions run high, hormones are raging, and there's so much angst, journaling could really help.

And it teaches you focus...

Journaling is focussed self care

Whether you write every day or every month, whenever you sit down to write in your journal you are giving yourself focussed self care. You are allowing time, just for you, where you write, draw, whatever it is you do in your journal. 

You take time to focus on yourself, to think about the days that have passed, to think about issues that are bothering you, and you let all that stuff go when you write it down. It is a calming, quiet pastime.

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

Oscar Wilde

Journaling helps get ideas and thoughts out of your head

Like I said, when my parents were going through their divorce journaling helped me. I was able to write down what I was feeling, I was comfortable doing so because I knew no one would ever read it and that helped me vent. 

Journaling is such a good form of self care, especially if you don't intend anyone else to read it, because you can write down whatever you're feeling without the fear of judgement. We spend so much time keeping thoughts and feelings to ourselves for fear of being judged that a lot of the time we never truly say what we're feeling. Our heads become clogged up with all the things we never say and that's when we start to feel overwhelmed by everything. 

Taking a simple step, like starting a journal, could be a brilliant way of taking care of your mental health. You get time to focus on you, putting yourself first for a change. The self care you're allowing will give you time to chill out, to be quiet and calm. And when you're a busy mum any time at all to be calm and quiet is welcome - right?

Journaling can be a form of therapy

Americans are big on seeing therapists aren't they? Or at least that's the impression you get from the TV. Speaking to someone about your thoughts and feelings is a good way to help yourself, to make you feel better about whatever it is that is bothering you. But we can't all afford a therapist so what do we do?

Journaling, or keeping a diary, can be another form of therapy. Instead of speaking to someone about your thoughts and feelings you're writing them down, getting them out of your head and down on paper. If you have troubling thoughts they're out of your head and perhaps seeing them written down will help you see they're not as troubling as you originally thought. Or if they are, it could help you deal with them in an orderly way. If it's just thoughts and feelings you're writing down this could still help. I always found that writing something down, the physical act of using a pen and paper to write it, helped me so much. 

Stationery is awesome!

Who doesn't love new pens and notebooks? Colourful pens, beautiful notebooks, and SO MUCH COLOUR can only make you smile right?

Every time I set foot in a stationery shop I smile. The teenage girl in me shrieks with joy as I look at all the notebooks and journals available and the Hubby runs away in fear when I see the pen section. I have loads of pens that I love to use, including a pen I got from Ted Baker a few years ago. For colour I always use my Manuscript Pen Company pens, they're brilliant and I can draw to my hearts content with them. 

My Passion Planner is full of notes and drawings, and colour is everywhere. Writing things in the planner makes me smile and reaching for the coloured pens brings me joy. 

Journaling isn't just about getting out the bad thoughts, it's about taking care of yourself. It's about enjoying yourself too. Smile while you're writing. Incorporate colour into your journal. Add checklists so you can feel like you're achieving something. Anything that makes you smile - do it.

But never forget the stationery!

Journaling for mental health or self care

Whether you're struggling with your mental health or you're just trying to take care of yourself journaling is for you. 

Stay-at-home mums can use journaling as a form of self care so they can vent about having to do all the housework, or not getting enough time for themselves. Working mums can use it to rant about work, about no one helping with housework, or because they're not getting enough time for themselves. 

Journaling is like whispering to one's self and listening at the same time.

Mina Murray

Journaling can be whatever you make it. A form of therapy. Something you enjoy as a hobby but isn't that serious. Or just something to do. 

And you can choose the type of journaling you do too...

Examples of journaling

Gratitude journaling

Writing down everything you're thankful for, whether it's every day, every week, or every month. Taking time to be thankful, realising all the things that went well - or perhaps that didn't go so well but there was a silver-lining. 

Why Journaling Is Good For Self Care | Start a gratitude journal and be thankful for the little things.

Sometimes writing things down, trying to think of things to be thankful for, is a way to actually be more thankful for life itself. It makes you see that life, seeing the sun, seeing your child smile, are reasons to be alive and take joy in every moment.

Emotional journaling

Stress, anxiety, even love. Writing out your emotions, and your emotional responses to the things happening in your life is a great way to deal with whatever emotions you're having. As I said above, I enjoyed writing a journal when my parents were going through a divorce and it helped me cope. There have been times in my life when keeping a journal kept me going and made me see that things weren't quite as bad as I thought. 

Keeping track of how you're feeling is also a good way to look back and adjust your reactions to things for the future. Learning more about yourself, about how you deal with certain situations, is a good thing and can help you in the long run.

Bullet journaling

This is huge right now. Almost everyone I know keeps a bullet journal and they love doing it. They add things like checklists, they draw little flowers, they make their journal look pretty. And they love doing it. It makes them happy. And why not?

Personal planning

Diaries, journals, or planners they all help you keep you organised don't they. I love my Passion Planner, it helps me keep track of everything I need to do as well making me smile when I read the wonderful quotes on each page. I write down all I need to do, I cross off things I've completed, and I manage to remember birthdays because they're in my planner - which I look at every day.

Why Journaling Is Good For Self Care | Here are a few reasons why you should start journaling...

Journaling is a good way of taking care of yourself, it doesn't cost much (apart from that lovely new journal and pens!) and all you need to do is take time to write things down. Will your journal become your new therapist? Could you have a life changing realisation by keeping a journal? 

Isn't it about time you found out?

Do you keep a journal, and if so how much time do you spend on self care?

While you're trying to write in your journal why not grab this Captured! colouring page for your kids - it'll keep them busy for a while so you get some quiet time to write.