Before I had my three little angels, I had a lot more time on my hands. Things were a lot different for sure! I love being a full-time mommy and wouldn’t change a thing (except maybe hire a cleaning lady). But let’s face it, I just don’t have the free time that I used to have.
One habit that I kind of “lost” along the way to mommyville was writing each night in my journal. Before turning off the lights, I would spend a few minutes writing about whatever was on my mind while sipping Sleepytime tea. It was very relaxing and kind of like a detox for my brain. Whatever was in my head from the day’s events would spill out onto my journal so I could go to sleep with a clear and peaceful mind. I never realized how much this simple ritual helped to relax me and relieve any stress that might have been brewing inside. And it’s a habit I plan to start again now that things have calmed down a wee bit since the twins were born.
Looking back at my journals from years ago is almost like going back in time. They reveal so much about who I was at that moment in my life and show how much I’ve grown into who I am today. Reading my own thoughts and feelings taught me a lot about myself. I was able to come to conclusions and realizations that I would not have otherwise seen. And that helped me to grow past personal limitations and frailties and to develop my strengths. Those journals are priceless snapshots of my life and my journey that I am glad I have now.
Journaling is a simple but powerful habit. Writing about your experiences, thoughts, and emotions helps you to see outside of yourself. It gives you a concrete picture of your heart and soul. You get a glimpse of what’s happening on the inside; and what happens on the inside most definately affects what happens on the outside. (Your physical health) Journaling allows you to be open, honest, and vulnerable so that past hurts and pains that have been deeply buried can be dug up, dislodged, and dumped out into your journal. This relieves stress and tension and even promotes healing from painful experiences.
Studies show that journaling has proven health benefits:
- improves cognitive functioning
- reduces stress and anxiety
- relieves symptoms of asthma, arthritis, and other health conditions
- strengthens your immune system
- helps you to solve problems more efficiently
- helps you to learn about your inner self
- unlocks mental blocks and unleashes creativity (Writing accesses both the left and right hemispheres in your brain so you are able to use all of your brainpower!)
Just be sure you don’t get caught up with the writing process when journaling. Don’t worry about the way it sounds, how it looks, your spelling, or how it flows. These things are not important. Just free-write and let it all out on paper. Focus on your thoughts, feelings, and responses when writing.
Here are some of my ideas to help me kick-off this new habit:
- buy an inspiring journal along with my favorite pens and some sticky notes to match (Any reason to visit a Hallmark store and I’m there.) :)
- make a cup of Sleepytime tea to sip as I write
- dim the lights and turn on some soft music (I might have to ditch this one if I start falling alseep before I get to the journal.)
- tape pictures in my journal from special events or holidays
- include some of Bella’s drawings and the little notes she scribbles
- include a “Lessons Learned” section in the back of my journal
If you want to learn more about journaling, check out this link: http://www.mytherapyjournal.com/whyjournal/