Journaling has always been in and out of my life.
I knew how therapeutic it would be so I would try and try and try to keep up with it every day but at times I would lose interest. I would buy so many journals to try to keep my interest and nothing worked.
Then I was diagnosed with Major Depression.
That was a rollercoaster in itself, and I’ll forever be on the road to recovery. But now, I know I’ve done so much research to see what I could do to get better. I joined self-help groups, counseling, and a psychiatrist who started me on medication.
I’ve learned from my peers that it would be a good thing to keep track of how I was feeling since I was started on new meds to help my doctor determine if they were helping or hindering my recovery.
So here we go again, gotta try journaling.
I remember how much I didn’t enjoy it last time, so for this scenario, I thought I’d be a bit easier on myself – I’d write how I was feeling with keywords and a rating out of 10 each day on my day planner. It would look something like this:
“Day 4 of Citalopram. Tired, sore jaw, night sweats. Mood 6/10”
I saw my family MD and Psychiatrist quite often as they wanted to monitor my progress with the medication and they seemed to find it extremely helpful as they both stated sometimes their patients wouldn’t remember how they were feeling or what side-effects they had. I found at first I’d be logging every single thing I felt as I was paranoid about my new medication. Eventually when it started to kick in I wrote less and less and eventually it became very few and far in between writing that I lost the habit quickly.
There had to be a better way
But lately, I want more. I have a less time-consuming non-stressful job now and thus have time for me.
That’s why I’ve created my own journal templates for myself.
Here are two samples of templates I would use:
I really enjoy this way of journaling for myself because I’ve created the prompts ahead of time, so when it comes time to start writing about my day, I won’t lose interest as much as I use to. Keep it quirky and interesting! I know that I’ll be able to look back on the journal in a few months even and say, “Oh! That’s what the weather was like that day.”
(I really love to check the weather forecasts so I probably would say this out loud to myself)
I’ve also tried bullet journaling!
Here’s a sample of one day I made:
**Note that these templates include space for notes for my doctor.
You can download the 3 templates AND a blank bullet dot paper template here!
Download the templates!
I'll send 'em straight to your inbox!
I’m still trying to get the hang of bullet journaling, but I do have time to do it! Also, I do like to decorate everything with stickers and colorful markers, I find it sooo soothing!
I’d like to say that journaling has helped save my life. When you’re on the verge of suicide, nothing seems possible and getting your feelings out almost seems pointless. Having an easy prompt for me to write about (even something as simple as “What color shirt are you wearing?”) helped move my mind to something so simple and therapeutic every day, and as well helped me log my progress without even knowing it.
I remember just taking a peek at earlier days in my journal and seeing how far I’ve come would just give me such a boost of confidence knowing that it is possible to get better. It’s tough and sometimes hard to see, but it’s there and journaling helps you see it, even just a little bit.
Do you journal? What type do you use? Let me know below in the comments!