I am someone who is prone to getting a bit down in the dumps if I don’t take care of myself.
At the start of 2014 I was not feeling so great. After taking the year before off from work to travel and study, I went back into full-time work as a teacher. It was a tough transition getting back into a job that I had intentionally left a year earlier to pursue other things. Part of me wondered if I had made the right move.
Even though logically I knew it was the right thing to do, something was really missing from my life. What made it worse was that I had no idea what it was that was missing. I just felt disconnected from myself, from the life I wanted to live, and trapped in an unhappy situation.
It took a few things to get me feeling a bit better, but by far the most profound thing I did was start a daily journaling practice. I have this woman to thank for this.
It’s hard to put into words exactly how much my life has changed simply by journaling each day. I don’t mean to be dramatic when I say that, I am being honest.
By getting up a little earlier each morning to journal, my entire outlook on life, and in turn my experience of life, has changed for the better.
I mean, I’m not exactly singing from the hilltops each day, but I certainly feel, well, a lot happier. Here’s what I noticed from journaling each morning even just within the first few months:
- Increased self-belief, confidence in myself, courage to take risks
- Increased self-acceptance, gentleness, understanding and compassion towards myself
- Overcoming procrastination – actually taking action on the things I want, today
- Overcoming perfectionism and making peace with making mistakes
- Increased creativity – tapped into my own inner wellspring of creativity and inspiration
- General improvement in mood – more positive and at peace
- More optimistic, increased ability to trust the process and have faith that things will work out as they should
- Increased ability to bear uncertainty
- More productive use of leisure time – no longer using TV or movies to ‘tune out’ of my life, but instead doing creative things that nourish me
- More connected to myself – feel a stronger sense of who I am and what is important to me
- Improved relationships based on better understanding of/connection to myself
- More confidence in standing up for what is important to me
- More enjoyment in being alone and spending time with myself
I now consider journaling each day to be part of my self-care practice.
Just as exercise, a good night’s sleep and good food are important to look after ourselves, for me, journaling is too. As an introvert and a creative person who tends to over-think everything, journaling is essential for me to feel at peace with myself and remain connected to my creative source.
If I go more than a day or two without journaling I start to feel disconnected – from myself, the divine, the creative life force of the universe. It is my anchor.
I want to share what I have learnt so that I can help others connect to their inner source of strength and wisdom, and realise the creative potential that lies within them.
This post is part 1 in a series of posts to help you get started with a regular journaling practice. You can read the next post here.