In any given week, you probably spend much of your time meeting external obligations: delivering work projects, running errands, caring for family members, responding to friends’ requests for help. These are important priorities, but if you aren’t paying attention, they can take all of your time and energy – leaving nothing left for what you need.
Self-care is essential to your health, happiness and overall well-being. You can only be the best version of yourself – at home, at work and out in the world – if you prioritize your needs as much as those of others. There’s a way to do this in just a few minutes a day, using only what you already have on hand: journaling.
Writing in a journal is a simple, free and accessible self-care tool that has incredible benefits, from reducing stress, anxiety and depression to boosting your immune system and mental clarity. All that’s required to become a journaler is a pen, paper and a short block of time each day.
Tips for Journaling for Self-Care
Make it a habit.
Set a goal to write a little bit every day, even if it’s just one or two sentences. Start small, and you can always build up to more later. Link it to another daily habit so it’s easier to remember and keep up. For example, journal as soon as you get up, before you brush your teeth, or right when you get to work, as you’re waiting for your first cup of coffee to brew.
Let the words flow.
If you’re not sure what to write, that’s OK! Just keep your pen moving, and write down any thoughts, questions or observations that come to mind. Empty out everything that is rattling around in your head. Think of it as an internal decluttering.
Focus on your feelings.
Expressive writing, paying attention to your feelings around life experiences is associated with powerful health outcomes. Expressive writing can bring up difficult emotions in the moment, but research shows that over time, it can help you reduce stress and heal from past wounds.
There is no wrong way to journal for self-care. Just make some time for yourself, and get to writing.
This is a guest post by Mari McCarthy. Find out more about what she is up to on her website: CreateWriteNow.com. If you'd like to submit a guest post, please get in touch!