This week I want you to focus on connecting to yourself through daily journaling.
Benefits of connecting to yourself through journaling:
- You’re actively seeking a dialogue with your inner self.
- You’re getting that much needed alone time.
- You fill your cup first so you can be the best version of yourself to take care of others.
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You might notice that these benefits are just like last week! Intentional Solitude (last week’s spirituality tip) is extremely important too. Here on Owls&Indigo I talk a lot about journaling, connecting to your inner most true self, and filling your cup first so you can be the best version of yourself to take care of others. These are all activities that promote good strong mental health. Struggling with mental health is something that we all go through to various degrees and in different seasons of our lives. There is no shame in getting help. This is a shared common experience of human existence. It’s something that we all go through.
My Personal Experience:
The first time that I even encountered daily journaling was waaaaaay back as a child. My mom kept a daily record of anything that happened in a datebook. This datebook was normally a small datebook the size of a checkbook, anyone remember those? It was the size of two debit cards. You can find these datebooks anywhere, even at the dollar tree. It’s a really great way to get started with daily journaling. As I have gotten older I have discovered one thing about daily journaling….
Consistency is key. To get the maximum amount of benefit out of your journaling practice you need to visit the page every day. But that doesn’t mean that you need to write a toam every day. I have a variety of different journals for different purposes and have found that the best journal to solidify the daily journaling habit is The Five Year Journal.
This little journal is the size of your hand and just over an inch thick. Each page has 5 entries on it one for each of the five years that you will be using this journal, for a grand total of 366 pages, with a page for the leap year. I love this journal because there is only space enough for 1-2 lines a day. This has made it SO DAMN EASY for me to achieve consistency with my daily journaling practice and keep it going long term. I just write in a line a day and chronicle how my day went, any special memories, or something health related. I like to fill it out each night as I get into bed or first thing in the morning over coffee.
I am now in my fifth year in my first Five Year Journal and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE being able to look back on my journey on a given day of the year to see my progress. I have also discovered some things that I didn’t realize were still issues years and years later…. like Dan not cleaning the litter box consistently…. I swear… 3 years from the first time I wrote about it and he still hasn’t been able to solidify the habit OR identify a trigger for the habit. I digress….
If I need more than the space allowed on a given day because I have more to say or more to rant about, I start in my five year journal and then make a note on which journal I finished the entry in. I have separate journals for mental health + therapy and what you would call a “diary” type of journal. I like to keep these two separate because of therapy and doctors visits. I don’t want to have to leaf through multiple journals to find health and therapy related things that I need faster access to. So for me, having a “personal diary / journal” and another one for mental health + therapy, works really well. You might not need separate journals. Find a system that works for you.
My Current Daily Journal Set Up:
If I need more space to write a journal entry (which isn’t often anymore unless I’m having a particularly hard day), I choose my personal journal / diary, which is currently digital, or I head over to my therapy journal which houses notes from my therapy sessions, mental health updates, and doctor visit notes and tracking for my mental health as well. I have spoke before about my mental health struggles, you can see my journey here. You are not alone, we are all in this together.
things to remember…
- You don’t need a fancy pen or journal, any old pen and spiral notebook will do.
- Your thoughts on the page are what is most important.
- Consistency is key. Just showing up to write down your mood can start and reinforce a daily journaling habit.
Fostering self connection through daily journaling can be hard and uncomfortable because you are letting your thoughts out onto the page. But you have taken the first step by reading this week’s spirituality tip.
By fostering a self connection through daily journaling I have found, that I am less afraid of my inner thoughts and that I am better able to manage my anxiety. It was really hard to get to know my inner self and let her speak her mind. I have found that if I don’t pacify myself and create the space for that inner exploration through journaling and meditation that I am much calmer because there is nothing bubbling beneath the surface that I am clueless about.
BUT none of this means that I always journal daily. I forget, get lazy, or choose bad habits over good ones. I am constantly trying to get to know my inner self and it’s a struggle. But also a life long journey that have been scarily beautiful. I have already learned so much and have so much more to discover. Create a space for daily journaling even if it’s just one line a day and let your inner voice speak to you.
Have you tried connecting to yourself through daily journaling?
I hope that you focus on connecting to yourself through daily journaling this week. I’d love to learn about your practices in the comments below, or drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you.