Updated: Aug 1
It took journaling a couple months to click with me. I had a hard time getting into journaling because you don't feel the emotional and mental impact until several months down the road. Once you start working on your mental health and digging in and not letting go, you don't really notice the difference until you have a lightbulb moment one day and realize how far you've come. So if you're in the middle - in between starting your mental health journey and seeing the real benefits - stick with it.
Now that journaling is part of my morning routine, I definitely notice a difference if I go a few days without it. Sometimes life gets crazy and I've lapsed for three or four days. When I start to feel a little down and start to feel anxious over random things and see old thought patterns start to resurface, I always say, "Well I wish I had just made time it," no matter busy I had been.
My journaling routine can seem pretty intense. It's about a half hour in the morning and a full hour before bed. Sometimes I don't do everything on the list, and that's okay. For me, the most important part of journaling is that gratitude list. Beginning and ending the day thinking consciously about what you're grateful for changes your mindset completely. Without further introductions, here is my journaling routine.
Morning (7:00-7:30 AM) (After coffee and before starting work):
Read an essay from 101 Essays that will Change the way You Think.
List out affirmations. Write down things you want as if you already have them, even if it feels a little ridiculous.
List 10 things I'm grateful for today.
Evening (9:30-10:30 PM) (Before the 'before bed' tv)
Journal using a card from Rupi Kaur's Writing Prompts for Gratitude.
Complete the next page of the Shadow Work Workbook.
Write about what went well today.
Write about what could've gone better today.
End with writing down a few things that will help make tomorrow a successful day.
That's my journaling routine! I'm excited for how it will evolve as I keep finding new ways to journal and new guided journals. If you want more journaling inspiration, I've created some free journal prompts for you here!