Have you ever wanted to journal? So you make the obvious first step in buying the cutest journal, it's expensive, but it's perfect and you're so excited. You set it next to your bed at night and plan to use it in the morning, but as the sun breaks and you wake up, looking over at your new expensive purchase—you realize, you're in a rush. You don't actually have time to journal, but you tell yourself you'll do it later. Later becomes never though, and out goes $24.95.
Or maybe you begin to write, but you roll your eyes at what you're writing because it sounds so inauthentic. It's not you. You're writing to please, or writing what you think you should write, because you really don't know where to start?
Girl—I get you.
That was me, I would buy a journal every 3-6 months or so and sometimes I would open them. Writing something like this.
I love being a mom. Cooper pooped 2x today, TWO!!!. I'm so happy, just the happiest. I'm grateful for everything. I love feeling the sun on my face and the bugs on my long walk today didn't even bother me. I love bugs. I love all creatures. I am so zen, I am one, I LOVE journaling. I feel cleansed and better connected to myself already."
LOL. Maybe you can relate.
It wasn't until I bought Katie Dalebout's Book: Let It Out, A Journey Through Journaling, that I learned how to journal. I know it seems a bit odd, to buy a book on writing your own thoughts, but hot damn did this book straight up change my life. No, I'm not kidding—it changed my life.
Katie's book is filled with 55 prompts. Each prompt guides you through a different situation. Going through a breakup? There's a prompt for that! Trying to forgive someone? There's a prompt for that! Wanna do a brain dump and free write? She teaches you that too.
My mind needs quick and simple, this book guided me how to authentically get my words from my head and out onto paper which is pretty life changing. I think there is pure magic when pen hits paper, letting your thoughts come out.
Journaling rocks because:
It's specific time you are using for no one other than you
It's a time where you can learn to authentically share what's in your brain with no BS
It brings you into mindfulness. Letting go of future worries, focusing on each word coming out—you'll find yourself more self aware and connected to your body
You're going to heal. I wasn't kidding (clearly, I've written it three times now) when I said learning how to journal through Katie’s book, changed my life. Writing out my thoughts helped me stop overthinking, and I learned, through various prompts (The F Bomb Throw down is a fave!) how to move through hurts and heal. I will forever sing Katie's praises for teaching me this practice. **Also not being paid to write this, she just wrote a super dope book**
You may gain more confidence. When you stop over thinking and have a place to brain dump, you can think clearly, and show up to life more connected and ready.
You are forced to level up. By level up I mean you are forced to face yourself and stop hiding from your stuff that you've buried deep down. You learn how to own your messes, and work through them.
You reduce stress! Don't let the idea that you need a fancy journal and mass amounts of time stop you. You can use a $.99 journal and take 5 min daily. By doing so, like above, you'll learn how to heal, connect, move through emotional trauma, and more.
Can you see how this quick, and pretty cheap practice can be a monumental aspect of your self care routine? No matter how many times you've tried before, try Katie's book. It's where I start every single one of my clients.
How You Can Make Journaling A Part Of your self care
1. Grab a copy of Katie's book. If you don't know where to start, here is a beautiful place to learn the foundations of journaling and get a solid routine down.
2. Forget spelling and punctuation, forget sounding perfect—don't even think, just let the words flow. Reminding myself of this is key in my practice of journaling. Sometimes I'll read back and it doesn't even make sense, but I honestly got it all out. This practice isn't about judgement.
3. Find a quiet spot. We tend to not act our most authentic self when others are in the room and we are trying to get real with ourselves. So find a quiet spot, give yourself 5-20 min and let it out.
Can't buy the book but want to start right now?
Here are 7 journaling Prompts to get you started!
How: grab a journal + a pen. Sit in a quiet place and pick one of the journaling prompts to begin. Let yourself write as honestly as you can.
I feel happiest in my skin when......
Write the words you need to hear......
These are the things you would like to say NO to......
If this (insert situation: fitness journey, relationship, forgiving this person etc ) was easy, what would it look like...
What are you good at helping other people with?.....
What makes you feel strong?....
I forgive myself for.....
My hope is that journaling resonates with you, and that you could add it to your toolbox of how you practice self care. But if it doesn't, that's okay. Not all ways of self care will apply to everyone. Some may vibe with you more than others. That's why trying multiple different ways in which you can practice self care are essential in building up your own tool box.
All of my Strong Chicks Rock Customized Coaching Clients get their own SCR Self Love journal which walks them through 47 journaling prompts on healing their relationship with food, their body and working towards a more connected relationship with both! But if you can't get Katie's book, or you aren't a part of SCR, there are plenty of free resources online. My best advice? Don't overthink it—just start!