Why I Started Journaling

Why I Started Journaling

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.

via GIPHY

 

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)

 

Enjoy these templates but want more?  Download a whole months worth of journal pages!  Click here to check them out!

 

Also, check out my new product coming soon!  The 90 Second Journal!  There’s a digital version of it already up on my Etsy shop!

 

I’ve also tried bullet journaling!

 

Here’s a sample of one day I made:

Journal templates

 

**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!

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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.

 

Related:

 

 

 

Do you journal?  What type do you use?  Let me know below in the comments!

 

 

 

 



15 thoughts on “Why I Started Journaling”

  • Hi Elaine
    Thank you for sharing. I’ve been looking at Bullets & they seem so daunting. I like that this is specific to mental health. I’ve been free of depression for about 12 years & now it is creeping back which scares me. I think this may help. God bless
    Lucy

    • Hi! Maybe down the road I’ll do a blog post about it, but honestly as far as I know, there isn’t much to lead me to Major Depression other than chemical imbalances and whatnot but I’ve had a pretty much normal upbringing otherwise

  • I am a free flow journal-er and have played with several different approaches. (I tried to love the bullet journal and just don’t.) I do, however, love looking at other people’s journals. It is so cathartic.

  • I do journal, and have for many years. Like you, I live with “Major Depressive Disorder” and I’m on medication for it. My journal style changes from time to time. It began as just regular writing…then I began adding greeting cards to it on occasions such as my birthday, Mother’s Day, Wedding Anniversary, and Christmas. Then I began putting little cut outs from magazines in it. Then in 2015 I thought I would begin to “dabble” with art journaling…. Now I have a “Junk Journal” which is an “altered” composition book that holds written journaling, coloring pages, things from magazines, art journaling, an occasional collage, monthly calendars with notes on them, etc. It’s sort of a “normal” journal, art journal, and smash book all in one. I’ve looked into bullet journaling, but I’ve not dabbled with it.

    • Ali that’s so cool! Love the idea of adding greeting cards! I use to “junk journal” when I was younger. It was super therapeutic. Bullet journaling is a bit different but it’s great to give it a try! You never know!

      Thanks for reading!
      Xo

  • This Is great. I’m In asimilar position with anxiety and have done a lot with groups and therapy sessions but I’m about to try go at it solo and was thinking journaling is the way forward. However, I’ve been finding it a bit daunting and not knowing where to start. I have had a bullet journal for a while but was using it more as a to do list. I am going to try some of your templates, thank you this should get me started and looking deeper into my mental health. Hedi, bullet journaling doesn’t have to be fancy. I find that being a busy teacher I don’t have time for that. Try searching minimalistic bullet journals on Pinterest, google and you tube. I literally use just a biro.

    • Thank you Emma! If you are going to “go at it solo” journaling is definitely something I’d recommend! It’s to therapeutic and helps get your emotions out and somewhere other than racing in your head.

      Good luck and thanks for reading!
      xo

  • This is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing your templates. I journal inconsistently. It really helps clear my mind so I can let go of things. I just have a cute lined journal; I haven’t tried bullet journaling yet because I feel like there’s too much pressure to be creative with those.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words Heidi! Bullet journaling is a bit daunting at first, but I think once I let that feeling go and just made it the way I wanted, it got a bit better 🙂

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