As a writer, journaling has always been one of my favorite ways to express myself and decipher my feelings. Over the past few years, keeping a journal has become mainstream, and many people are starting to experience the benefits of journaling. When it comes to personal wellness, keeping a daily health journal has been known to have many advantages, such as boosting mood, creating discipline, and bringing emotional healing by provoking mindfulness.
A personal health journal (or mental health dairy) helps you to track your personal wellness. It is a daily record of your physical and mental health that allows you to keep track of different aspects of your life such as mood and food intake. Your health journal is private and can be used to help you to pinpoint areas in your life that you would like to improve.
One of my top priorities as a mother is making sure my children are healthy and happy. With three kids with different likes, dislikes, and personalities, I have learned to keep track of what works for who. As easy as it has become for me to take care of them, I am guilty of forgetting about myself in the process.
Feelings and emotions are real, yet it isn’t always easy to determine why you are experiencing the feelings you are having. Here’s an example. Sometimes I feel irritable because my hormones are raging due to it being “that time of the month”. Other days I feel irritable because my husband said something I didn’t like after I didn’t get enough sleep the night before. Although in both scenarios I am feeling irritable, its for two totally different reasons. As humans, we experience dozens of emotions throughout the day. If we aren’t careful, we can cause ourselves more harm than good.
Writing in my personal health journal helps me to de-stress and clear my mind at the end of each day.
At one point in my life, I felt like I was going crazy. I wasn’t eating well or sleeping well, and I fell into a slump because I wasn’t taking care of myself physically or mentally. Starting a daily journal helped me to determine the habits of the mindsets that were causing negative effects in my life. As I started to track my daily routines, food intake, and sleeping patterns, it became clear to me the changes I needed to make to become a healthier and happier me.
If you are a stay at home mom like me, daily self-care is an absolute must due to ensure a healthy lifestyle. Sleep, medication, the foods you eat, and the amount of exercise can affect how you function and feel throughout the day. Keeping a health journal has helped me to assess my habits and pinpoint my problem areas when it came to my own personal wellness.
Working day-in and day-out while handling responsibilities can easily become daunting if you aren’t being intentional with your time. Personal care looks different for everyone. Some people need a daily walk in the sun to feel good about themselves, while others may choose to have an ice cream cone after a long day to put a smile on their face. What makes you smile? Do that daily. Keeping a daily health journal can help you to ensure you are doing everything needed to take care of yourself on a consistent basis.
Every person has different mental needs to thrive. Knowing yourself and what you need will determine how you go about your personal wellness journey. No matter what your life looks like right now, you can benefit from keeping a daily health journal.
Personal journaling can help you to:
- Manage anxiety
- Manage stress
- Cope with feelings
Your daily health journal will help you to keep your sanity by:
- Providing a daily opportunity for positive self-talk
- Building confidence through encouraging affirmations
- Identifying negative thoughts and feelings
- Helping you to pinpoint problems, fears, and concerns
- Tracking symptoms day-to-day and help you recognize personal triggers
When you are having a problem, it’s not always easy to share what you are going through with the people around you. Even if you have access to a great support system, keeping your own personal log, diary, or journal can help you to become more intentional about the things you do on a daily basis.
The amazing thing about journaling is the freedom you have to express yourself as you need to. Keeping a daily journal can help to identify what’s causing your stress and anxiety. As you identify your stressor, you can work on a plan to reduce your stress.
Examples of prompts for your daily health journal:
- Am I getting enough fresh air and sunlight?
- How much junk food am I consuming on a daily basis?
- Am I spending too much time on social media?
- What self-improvement activity have I done today?
Keeping a journal has helped me in many ways. Overall, it helps me to de-stress and clear my mind at the end of each day. If you want to start keeping a daily health journal, it is as simple as grabbing a sheet of paper and start writing.
Daily journals come in thousands of different types and styles, so find one that works for you. You can use a simple composition notebook, or choose to buy a daily diary. The choice is up to you! I suggest that you find a journal that works for you and get started ASAP.
5 Tips for Keeping a Daily Health Journal
1. Make time for yourself.
Keeping a daily health journaling forces you to make time for yourself. One thing that causes stress for stay-at-home moms is the lack of self-care time they have due to their many responsibilities. Choose a time during the day when you are less likely to be interrupted and Set a timer for 20 minutes a day to write in your mental health journal. Naptime, lunchtime, and after the kids are asleep are my favorite times to take time for myself and journal.
2. Take care of yourself.
As a mom, sometimes that is easier said than done – however, it is imperative for your personal wellness. Self-care doesn’t always have to be a manicure and pedicure – sometimes self-care comes in the simplest forms like relaxing on the couch after a long day. Eat well. Exercise regularly. Keeping a daily health journal will help to keep you accountable to your physical health habits.
3. Write daily.
Writing daily can help you to track your habits and trigger more easily. If you have four good days in a row, and then have a terrible fifth day, you can backtrack over your daily log and see the differences that occurred over the five-day span. As you write daily, your journaling will become a habit of helping you to learn more about yourself and make much-needed improvements.
4. Make it easy.
You have enough daily duties on your to-do list – don’t add journaling to that dreaded task list. The practice of mental health journaling should help lift your mental burden, not add to it. Make journaling as easy and as simple as possible. The process doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be productive. Try different journals and routines until you find the one that works for you.
5. Be honest with yourself.
Write what feels right, not what you think you should be writing. Journaling is a great way to vent your feelings, so when you begin writing, go with the flow. Your personal health journal is a record of your personal feelings, habits, and routines. You can’t make improvements if you aren’t first honest with yourself about what you need to change. This is your journey, so become intentional about the results.
I hope this helps!
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