What is journaling?
It's simply writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly - University of Rochester
It gives you an outlet to express your inner thoughts, worries, feelings in a safe space, without judgement in a way that is unique to you.
It can be a therapeutic and reflective practice that can help you process your emotions, clarify your thoughts, and better understand your experiences of the day.
The Benefits Of Journaling For Mums
A study in USA found that journaling 'was associated with decreased mental distress and increased well-being relative to baseline.' Journaling also showed 'less depressive symptoms and anxiety after 1 month and greater resilience after the first and second month, relative to usual care.' National Library Of Medicine
Reducing stress and promoting self-care: Taking time to write about your thoughts and feelings encourages you to create time and space for yourself without the pressures of mum life and the distractions of hearing 'mum' shouted at you every 5 minutes. It gives you the opportunity to put yourself and your well-being first.
Providing a creative outlet: Journaling allows time for self-expression. As a mum we don't get given a lot of chances to express ourselves, talk to other adults or be creative through writing, art etc. Journaling allows you to say exactly what you want, how you want or even express it in other ways such as drawing or poetry etc.
Stop The Cycle Of Overthinking: I am a great one for overthinking a situation or conversation. In particular I tend to overthink and analgise how I deal with my kids in situations like when they are having a tantrum or meltdown. Journaling helps to break that cycle by taking it out of your head and writing how you feel about it and look at it more logically.
Tracking Thoughts & Triggers: If you suffer from anxiety, depression, stress etc writing down your thoughts can help you find triggers or pattern.
Documenting Motherhood: Writing down every day things that you have achieved, enjoyed, milestones your little ones have met is a great way to create a feeling of positivity at the end of what might have been a tough day.
Promoting Gratitude: Reflecting on your day through journaling can help mothers create a sense of gratitude and appreciation for what you have achieved that day.
Types Of Journaling
Journaling can come in lots of different styles, and it is important for you to find a style that suits you.
Journals that have daily prompts in to guide you through your thoughts and feelings. This is a great way to get started with adding journaling to your daily routine.
Allows you to express your thoughts through drawings, colouring, doodles. Not only does this unleash your creativity, it is a great activity to lower stress and anxiety levels. It's a great way to distract the mind from anxious thoughts and focus on something else.
Pick up a note book and write whatever comes to mind. It gives you the freedom to write without thought or filter.
How To Start Journaling
As a mum finding the time and space to journal can be really tricky. I know by the time I have done school run, bedtimes etc I am exhausted.
My biggest tip is don't put pressure on yourself. If you skip a day, that's ok!
Find a time and place that suits your routine: For me, I keep my journal by my bed so when I finally get into bed I can see it to pick it up instead of scrolling on my phone. Find a space where you can have privacy, quiet and you feel comfortable. Maybe light candles, get under a cosy blanket, use some aromatherapy oils ( I don't have these so add a spray of my favourite perfume), out on your favourite music or find a relaxing playlist. This is your time and it is special so give your self the VIP treatment even if it is only for 10 minutes.
Find A Journal Or Notebook You Love: This might sound silly but you need to feel comfortable writing so using a book you love, a pen that is special and writes comfortably is really important to make you want to journal.
If you find it hard to just write, then look at a prompted journal. Take a look at the prompts that are given. Do they inspire you to write, do you have the time to fill the sections? Remember this is for you, so you need to find a journal or prompts that suit the time you have, the thoughts you want to share etc.
Get In The Zone: It can be hard to sit and write when we are still thinking about our To Do List or planning what the kids need for school tomorrow. Take 5 minutes to relax, take some deep breathes, do some yoga or meditation.
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