In today’s frantic world, self care is becoming more essential than ever with more and more people looking towards self care practices that can enhance their way of living. In order to be happy and healthy we need to check in with ourselves daily in order to see how we are doing in body and in mind and adopt the necessary practices needed to stay focused, grounded, inspired and healthy, both mentally and physically. That’s where journaling for self-care comes in. As a form of self-care itself, the ritual of journaling can encourage us to find new ways to look after ourselves and new ways to think about what we already have. Here are my top self care journal prompts you need to know and use for better living now.
The popularity of self care has been increasing over the last few years. As our lives get busier and busier and common, everyday stressors arise so does the need to be able to control them in the everyday. This is where a great self-care checklist or morning self-care routine come in in order to ground us and revitalise. (link these articles)
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WHAT IS SELF CARE?
Self-care is all about a focus inward- a focus on you. Self-care is about taking care of yourself so that you can be healthy, full of energy and positivity so you can do a great job for yourself and those around you.
Looking after yourself is so important. We simply cannot take care of our friends, family and loved ones properly if we stressed, over-worked, have no time for anything or we are sick or unwell. This is why it’s so fundamentally crucial to put your health first and to better care for ourselves. Instead, we need to consciously devote some of our time to preserve and improve our mental and physical health.
The practice of self-care involves checking in with ourselves daily and asking how we are doing, both in body and in mind. It’s a great way to deal with the day, or as a means to cope with a bad day. By checking in with ourselves and identifying issues and feelings that aren’t the norm for us we can then do something about it. It’s worth asking yourself how you feel at the beginning and end of each day.
What self-care is not
One of the most important things to note is that self-care is not about selfishness and over-indulgence. Looking after yourself is not selfish, it’s responsible. Selfishness is often about taking from others and in the process debilitating those around you. Self-care however is about quite the opposite, it’s about replenishing yourself and your resources so that you can give more of yourself to those around you.
THE BENEFITS OF SELF CARE
The benefits of self-care really are endless from physical benefits like mental clarity and more energy to mental benefits such as less anxiety. Self-care can help us get to know ourselves on a deeper level- the things we are good at and the things we’d like to work on as well as what our goals, dreams and aspirations are and how we might make them a reality. Self-care practises can improve our drive, motivation and focus.
Self-care rituals can make our bodies strong, at a healthy weight and our immune systems even stronger to protect us from illness. Each self-care practice such as a form of movement or even journalling has a profound number of positive benefits on our mental and physical health, allowing us to live life to the fullest.
For ease of understanding, I normally like to split up my self care practice into two; the physical and the mental and spiritual. Do remember however that self care is very much a holistic notion. Your physical activity will have an effect on your mental capacity and vice versa. It’s important to practise both physical and mental self care for great, all-around wellbeing.
Some ways to practise more self care are (many of these are easy and free):
Practising physical self care:
- Playing a sport with friends
- Yoga practise
- Taking a bath
- Getting a massage
- Eating well (a balanced diet full of fresh, natural produce and less to minimal amounts of processed food)
- Drinking enough water every day
- Going for a walk
Practising mental and spiritual self-care:
- Journaling- just the practice of putting pen to paper and write through your thoughts, aspirations and troubles can help you with mental clarity and goal achievement.
- Listen to your favourite music
- Being honest with yourself e.g. saying no to something you don’t want to do
- Taking a digital detox
- Take up a new hobby
- Diffuse some essential oils
For more self-care ideas check out Amazing Winter Self-Care Rituals To Try Today
HOW TO START JOURNALING FOR SELF CARE
Journaling is in itself a form of self-care with so many benefits for mental and emotional wellness. Just some benefits include better mental awareness and capacity, better mood, a clear and focused mind and reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression just to name a few. There are even some Surprising Benefits You’ll Get from Keeping a Journal that the Huffington Post points out.
Starting a journal is and isn’t as easy as just picking up a notebook and pen and going for it. Sometimes the following of words comes easy and sometimes it doesn’t – which is why we love using self care journal prompts like these to get our writing juices going.
Firstly you’ll want to choose the right journal. If you’re already an experienced journaler you might be ok with using a blank, pretty notebook but if you are just beginning you might want to look into alternatives that can guide your thoughts and writing. There are so many different types of journal such as a gratitude journal, bullet journal (blank page), productivity journal, morning journal and even Zen-inspired journals and each of these tackles self care in some way.
My advice to you is to find your why and why you are thinking about journaling in the first place. Is it for gratitude? Goal planning? Morning routine? and get the journal that fits your interests. You also don’t have to stick to just one- if you have more than a few things you want to write about why not invest in a few different journals for different kinds of purposes.
If you’re just starting out try to go for a guided journal that can guide you through the daily process. This will make things easier for you and you’ll know what to write about. You can add the below self care journal prompts to your daily writing too. My favourite is the 5 Minute Journal which has become part of my morning routine for a long time now. It’s one of my favorite ways to journal as part of my morning routine. Get yours here.
You’ll also want to make your self-care practices fun. Don’t be afraid to spice up the practice with some notebooks and nice pens. There are no reasons why self care journaling needs to feel like an everyday slog. It should feel glamorous and luxurious so invest in good stationery and a nice journal, it’s totally worth the additional cost.
MY FAVOURITE SELF CARE JOURNAL PROMPTS
What am I grateful for today?
One of the best self care journal prompts for gratitude. Making a gratitude list allows you to think about what you have and therefore how lucky you are. When writing like this you begin to realise HOW MUCH you have and how much there is to be grateful for in your life, especially in moments of doubt and depression.
The practice of gratitude has profound effects on our mental health and overall positivity. Instead of looking at what we are lacking, we look and realise how much we already have. The glass should always be half full, you know?
Many people also make this a daily habit so why not work towards the goal of writing 3-5 things that you’re grateful for each morning on a regular basis? It doesn’t have to take much time out of your morning.
What are my goals?
A very broad question but don’t let that deter you. You can approach this from any perspective you like, from your life goals to your monthly, weekly or even daily goals. In fact, you can use this question in order to try to figure out what you want from your life and then break those goals down into smaller, more accessible goals for you to work towards each day in order to achieve your dreams. Thinking about your goals in your self care journal can provide you with motivation and focus in your life to make those positive changes.
What are my dreams?
Want to be the next big female astronaut? Write a bestseller? Travel the world? Those dreams are so much closer to becoming a reality when you write them down and work towards them through structured goals. Writing down your dreams inspires your imagination, creativity and can boost mood and drive.
What do I want my ideal life to look like?
Asking yourself what you really want to achieve from this life can inspire you to be the person you want to be or what you want the future you to be like.
Write down a list of things that make me feel good
We all have things that bring us joy in our every day and make us feel good. For me that’s sunrise yoga, long walks on the beach and sipping on coconuts. Imagine how you feel when you do your favourite things. Put yourself in that headspace. Perhaps your life has been so busy recently that you’ve forgotten to do something that makes you feel good.
Writing these things down is a gentle reminder to us that we need to do more of those activities and incorporate them into our self-care routine. That it’s ok to take time out sometimes to do the things we love and make us feel good.
What things to I try to avoid? How can I stop avoiding them?
This is one of those questions we naturally try to steer right past. Sometimes journaling can be a little uncomfortable in order to really be able to encourage growth. What tasks/things do you avoid in your everyday life or during a difficult situation? What are the reasons behind it? It is fear? Discomfort? By identifying the things we avoid we can only then work past them, making us better than we were the day before.
This is especially useful if you are a creative or business owner. By identifying the tasks that you avoid due to lack of knowledge perhaps, or discomfort you can work on them and see if they are stopping you from developing your business to the next level.
Write a (long) list of things I like about yourself.
This is one of my favourite self-love journal prompts, especially if you suffer from low confidence and low self-esteem. Writing down the things you like about yourself or the things that you’re good at shows you that you’re an awesome human being. We are all good at different things and there is always something that can be found when we are able to dive into ourselves a little deeper.
Start small. List your physical features that you like, your personality traits that you like and the things that you naturally do that you like. Your list might start growing quickly or it might not but that’s ok. The important thing to do is start and keep building on it day by day.
What makes me feel like a goddess/god?
Identifying what makes you feel like a total goddess/god will give you some new, valuable self care opportunities. Perhaps taking control of your day makes you feel good or you feel great during a shoulder rub. You’ll know then to incorporate solo dates or solo trips as well as massages into your self care routine.
Don’t stick to just the physical. What makes you feel strong mentally or spiritually? Is it getting to a certain point in your meditation practice or even connecting with people on a high level? By identifying what you value and what makes you feel strong and invincible, you can actively do more of it as part of your self care rituals.
In what environment do I flourish?
Your environment has a profound influence over your life and the people you surround yourself with are often a mirror image of yourself. Do you thrive on spending more time alone or as part of a group? Do you like busy, exciting city life or do you prefer the peace of the countryside? While you might know the answer to this already and be unable to change your situation, it’s still worth exploring your thoughts on this subject.
Exploring the theme of your environment and making the changes needed so that you flourish can have profound effects on the way that you feel, work and take care of yourself. It can facilitate important life changes and encourage you to think about the next steps of your life.
Write a letter to my younger self
Writing a letter to your younger or even teenage self can give you an opportunity to show how much you’ve grown. What wisdom have you acquired? What mistakes did your teenage self make that you wouldn’t dream about doing now?
Realising how far we’ve come from those younger days can inspire us to continue on the journey of self-discovery, adventure and self care. It helps to demonstrate our wisdom and appreciate the passing of time.
A list of my favorite songs
Why not create a playlist right here in your journal? This way the next time you feel sad, angry, in a creative rut you can use this list to help music bring you back. Music is so powerful when it comes to making us feel better so get creative! Write down your favourite tunes that make you feel good!
My favorite memory
Not only is the action of identifying your favorite memory joyful in itself, but it can also transport you back to another time and help you find the strength that you need to deal with what’s happening in your life now. It encourages you to go out there and keep making new memories.
What helps you slow down and feel more present?
Stressful times are normal in all our lives today so it’s important to know and identify how you like to slow down and connect with yourself. Thinking about your coping kit and the small things you can do to relax, empty your mind of worrying thoughts and slow down can help you to move past stressful situations much faster. Popular ways to slow down and be more present are through meditation, yoga and even journaling.
What are your favourite self care journal prompts? I’d love to know- let me know in the comments below!
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