A Guide to Journaling For Those Who Don't Journal
Journaling can be what you want it to be. Keep it simple and it will work for you!
I have been journaling for years and maybe you have to. As a young girl, I always kept a diary of life’s ups and downs. As I grew older, I kept short journal entries in my calendar. As I looked back, I reminisced on memories and learned many life lessons.
The first lessons was to be thankful for each day. I experienced many losses from a young age. I began to see how precious life was very quickly. Sometimes it was hard to deal with the many emotions. So, journaling was a great way to get my frustrations out on paper.
When life throws you a curve, you might become a caretaker sooner than you thought.
When my father was diagnosed with Esophageal cancer, I had to keep a journal just to stay on top of the details. Time seemed to linger and one day ran into the next. It was hard to define if he was getting better, staying the same or worsening. There actually came a time when my journaling helped me realize how quickly he was deteriorating. I could see his declines were getting closer together.
Journaling helped me through the process and made me realize the end was near. If I had not kept a journal, I may not have realized those final days were upon us. It helped me during my grief. I was also able to recall precious conversations my dad wanted me to remember.
The emotional and therapeutic aspect of journaling can be huge. Depending on if you are in a crisis or just need an outlet to release your thoughts, writing them down can help.
I had many worries at night and couldn’t always sleep. So, I would keep my pen and paper at my night stand and begin to write. There seemed to be a calming about it and it helped clear my brain from the obstacles of the day. This process also helped when Olivia and I set out to write our book. We had more content than we realized.
You can also use journaling for writing down your goals and vision going forward. Remember, if it’s not in writing, it doesn’t exist!
Journaling can be as easy as you want it to be. I kept many notebooks around the house. So, when I had an idea or was feeling stressed, I could grab a notebook and write it down. I even carried a small notebook in my purse.
If you are traveling, networking or just need a reminder, journaling will help keep you on track. To this day, I journal who I have met, who I need to follow up with, events I would like to attend or volunteer at.
What part of the day do you feel overwhelmed?
Are you facing a challenge?
Do you have someone to talk to?
Now, take out your journal and write down what you’re feeling. When things calm down, go back and reassess the situation. Is there anything you could have done differently? This exercise will help you see things in a different perspective and it can help identify triggers that lead to stress.