Guest Post by Lori Radun
Journaling is a great way to practice self-care. In ten minutes, you can renew your spirit, relax your body and nurture your creativity.
When many of us think of self-care, we immediately think about all the things we should be doing for ourselves but aren’t. We remind ourselves we should exercise or start eating healthy. We might even think about getting out to enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend. Some moms express a desire to spend more time with God. If we’re really fantasizing about self-care, we might even dream about getting a massage, taking a nap, or going away to a spa for the weekend. But the reality is moms struggle to practice self-care. It’s not that they don’t want to; it’s just that there is a belief that everything else has to get done first. The problem with that belief is that everything else never gets done; moms always have something more to do.
I’m not going to preach to you about why you should practice self-care, or give you the many benefits of regular self-care. You know all these things already. I do want to talk to you about a simple self-care practice that you can do everyday for five to ten minutes. Anyone, no matter how busy, can create five to ten minutes for themselves.
Journaling is a means to dump your brain, connect to your soul, encourage yourself, and relax your body. Journaling is simply a way to transfer you onto paper through a pen, pencil, marker or crayon. Here are some creative ways to practice self-care through journaling.
Release Negative Emotions
If you’re feeling bottled up with anger, guilt, fear or sadness, let it go on paper. Take 10 minutes to let the emotions flow. Don’t hold back; no one is going to see your journal. Emotions are only temporary if you release them. If you hold onto them, however, you will remain stuck in the negative energy.
Spiritual Renewal and Clarity
Use your journal to write a letter to God. Talk to God about what is going on in your life. Ask Him for clarity around whatever issue is causing confusion for you. Ask God to take your anger or fear so you don’t have to hang on to it anymore. Have a conversation with Him just like He is your best friend.
It sure is easy to focus on everything that is left to be done, or all the mistakes you made today as a mom. Use your journal to notice all that you have to be thankful for. Record every little moment that touched your heart during the day. Remember all the smiles, the simple things you sometimes take for granted, and anything else that will connect you to love.
Get out that journal and make a list of all the great things you said and did today. Don’t be so hard on yourself. If you got a load of laundry done, write it down. That’s an accomplishment. Remind yourself of all your strengths instead of focusing on your weaknesses. You made someone laugh today…good for you!
Express Your Creativity
A journal can be used to capture all your creative ideas. I keep a creative idea notebook because the ideas are always coming, but I don’t always have time to implement them. What other ways do you like to express yourself creatively? Do you like to draw, write poems, or create systems to organize your life? Spend some time being creative.
You can do free flowing journaling where anything that is on your mind is written on the page. However, you can also do guided journaling where you focus on answering one particular question that’s aimed at learning more about yourself. Examples of guided journaling questions would be:
What inspires me?
What are my strongest qualities?
What triggers me emotionally?
What is important to me in friendship?
What stops me from living the life that is most important to me?
Relax Your Body
Coloring is a great way to relax your mind and body. Use your journal to doodle and reflect. Have fun with color. Transform the page to reflect your mood. Think about whatever you like or don’t think about anything at all. Just color and relax.
Pick a time throughout your day or evening to spend some time journaling. If you’ve never tried to journal, give it a shot. What do you have to lose? I could go on and on about the success stories my clients have had with journaling, but you have to try it for yourself. If you’re a regular at journaling, try some of these new ideas.
Sandy Grason, the author of Journalution says "The beauty of journaling is that it's not just about recording and interpreting, it has the power to change who you are. Journaling changes the way you think and feel about your world, because you start to notice more of your life. You find yourself more 'in the moment' than you have ever been. You find yourself more you than you have ever been."