Journaling for Stress Relief + Relaxation
Have you ever felt like you were boiling over? Like there’s so much on your plate that taking a moment to take care of YOU is totally out of the question? Well, what if small moments of self care each day could prevent stress? What if you made it a habit to do one nice thing for yourself each day?
That’s what journaling is for me, and a lot of people. Truthfully, most of us don’t have time for an intense self care practice. A bath, 20-minute face mask, and exercise? Yea, right. That’s why I love journaling. 3 minutes – that’s it. We all have 3 minutes to set aside for ourselves.
Journaling is about taking a few minutes each day to de-stress and release what’s on your mind – no judgement, no one giving advice. And, this isn’t some woo-woo, hippy self care practice. This study found that journaling or diary writing among college students was helpful for reducing stress. Cool, right?!
Journaling will force you to put your phone down and focus on one thing – writing. Do you look at your phone first thing in the morning? AND right before bed? Me too. But, I’m trying to break the habit by picking up my journal when I wake up. This allows me to start my day off in a slow, gentle way – versus being bombarded with notifications.
Self care isn’t only for stressful moments. Taking care of yourself can stop the mind-numbing stress before it happens. Adding journaling to your self care practice will help you feel happier, more grateful, and organized.
If you’re looking for more journal ideas, check out 10+ Journaling Prompts + Why Journaling is the Ultimate Self Care Practice.
Venting for stress relief
Sometimes you just need to VENT. The nasty customer from this morning, your annoying coworker, or maybe life is just
hard lately (you’ll get through it, I promise). Your journal can be an outlet for anger, sadness, and frustration. Let your negative thoughts spill onto the page.
When you vent to a friend, you can unintentionally bring that negative energy into their life. Also, journaling is the perfect outlet to complain without having to listen to someone’s advice. There’s times when we just need someone to listen – not give advice and tips and tricks and whatnot. Your journal can be that for you.
Release any tension into your notebook. Maybe you bit your tongue at work today and it’s been bothering you all day – write about it. Or you got in a fight with your husband – express your feelings through writing. This way, when it’s time to have a conversation, you’ve already said all the negative things you need to and can focus on the positive.
It may feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. We’ve all been there. Stress often comes from having way too much on your plate.
Make a list of your priorities. This will allow you to focus throughout your day. One thing at a time. Then, you can cross it off once the task is complete. Doesn’t that feel great?!
When I am feeling overwhelmed, my journaling time sometimes turns into a page of lists. Daily plans, grocery lists, to-do lists. You name it. And even though I’m not venting about my feelings or setting goals, I’m getting what’s on my mind down onto a piece of paper. My thoughts become tangible and I can see what I need to focus on.
I review my plans throughout the day/week and reevaluate. My -a million and one things to do- are now on a piece of paper. It feels good to organize the mumbo-jumbo that is happening in our brains.
Taking time for you
Self care x 100000. It’s so important! I’m constantly practicing how to chill out, take time for myself, and not feel guilty about it. Self care is not selfish.
Set a goal to write for 3 minutes each day. Some days, 3 minutes is all you need. Other days, you may find yourself word vomiting for 30 minutes. Either way, it’s time that you have specifically set aside for YOU.
There may not be enough hours in the day, but if you make journaling a habit, you will ALWAYS have at least a few minutes to yourself. This could be time to just sit in silence, unwind, and breathe. Or, it could be time to jot down all the thoughts buzzing around your mind. Either way, it’s designated “me” time. And you can’t cancel an appointment with yourself!
If you do have an extra few minutes, check out my favorite DIY Natural Face Masks or pin it for later. The more self care, the better!
There are times when journaling isn’t about venting or making lists. Gratitude lists are helpful in times when you’re incredibly overwhelmed OR incredibly calm. Either way, you have something to be thankful for.
When you’re stressed, it can be really difficult to take a step back and realize “Wow, there’s a lot of good in my life.” We are constantly thinking about the ‘what’s next?’ that we don’t realize the amazing things we already have.
Gratitude lists are a huge stress relief for me. It helps me to realize that even if I don’t get every single task accomplished today – I still have an awesome family, a home, and access to nourishing foods.
It doesn’t have to be deep. You can be grateful for your morning cup of coffee and that’s it. It’s something.
Take a step back from the million things on your plate. Vent about your crabby coworker. Make a plan to get shit done. Take care of yourself.
Through journaling every day, you will feel prepared when stressful times come around. Now, you have a daily, positive, stress relieving practice.
Interested in starting your own journaling practice? I’ve linked a few adorable journals/notebooks to help you get started!
*This lemon covered, Kate Spade journal is too cute for words! I have a few notebooks, but my daily journal is full sized. This way I can get all my ideas out on one page without having to constantly flip, flip, flip.
*This list building, journal of weekly prompts will give you something to write about each week. This is great for starting out or if you want to journal for creative purposes.
*A planner-journal combo is ideal if you have three million thoughts racing through your brain at every given moment. You can plan, write, organize, and be creative in one place. Also, inspirational quotes are scattered throughout (and I’m a sucker for quotes)!
Do you practice self care daily? What are some of your favorite ways to relieve stress? Let me know in the comments below. And, connect with me on social media!
I’m considering setting up a Journaling Challenge to start off 2018… 30 days of journaling, including daily prompts AND a Facebook community for inspiration. Anyone interested?! If so, “like” The Mindful Mile Facebook page and let me know. Or, join my email list for weekly updates. Or, BOTH!
That’s all for now. Do me a favor and go do something nice for yourself, mmkay?!