Winter Self-Care Guide: Journaling  

As we continue our self-care journey this winter on A Healthier Michigan, we’re testing out a new technique this week: journaling.  

Like the technique we tried last week – meditation – journaling is a powerful tool to help process emotions. The ritual of documenting the highs and lows of life is cathartic and allows you to release feelings and thoughts. Journaling can also help you identify and find patterns in your mood based on your daily activities – like what you eat, how you sleep and when you exercise, for example.  

Here’s a closer look at how journaling can help you:  

Journaling can help you reduce stress, solve problems more effectively and resolve disagreements with others. It’s also a great way to help yourself make plans and stick to them, which is especially relevant this time of year as we try and maintain New Year’s resolutions.  

For this Grand Rapids woman, journaling was her lifeline as she mourned the loss of her husband:  

One of the best parts about journaling is that it’s easy to start. All you need is a pen and paper. Or you can use a blank document on your computer or tablet if that feels more comfortable to you. Try giving yourself 20 minutes to journal.  

Here are some ways to use your journal:   

  • Log what happened during your day  
  • Express what you’re grateful for  
  • Draw a picture  
  • Write down a motivational quote you saw  
  • Plan your goals 

If you want to go deeper, consider trying one of these journal prompts:  

  • Who do you trust the most and why?  
  • What values do you think are the most important in life?  
  • What brings you the most joy? 
  • What’s an opinion you had in the past that you now question or have changed?  
  • What do you like most about your personality, and what parts are harder to accept?  
  • What part of your work or home life causes stress, frustration or sadness? What can you do to change it?  
  • What are your coping strategies do you use when you are feeling emotionally or physically hurt?  

Journaling doesn’t have to be completely open-ended. Here’s a guide to bullet journaling, which is a great way to manage tasks and incorporate schedules along with your thoughts and goals.  

Each week during January and February 2022, we’ll be featuring a self-care technique to encourage you to try something new and make time for yourself this winter. Follow along on AHealthierMichigan.org. 

Winter Self-Care Guide Archive:

Photo credit: Getty Images

 

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