Therapy usually just feels like I am having a conversation with a friend. Today was different. My therapist was a therapist today. February is a tough month for me so I was glad to have my therapist today rather than what sometimes feels like a friend. Don’t get me wrong, friends are great but sometimes you need to talk to a professional to work through things.
How many of you journal? I do and I bet like many of you, I am not very consistent at it.
I started journaling a few years ago at the suggestion of my therapist at the time. I actually did it pretty consistently for a while. I even took time to go back and read old posts to see how much progress I had made. It was actually pretty enlightening to read. I could see the days that were horribly dark but also the days where the light was shining. As the days went on I got out of the habit of journaling.
A new therapist suggested I write down what i am grateful for even if it was just one thing. The goal was to think of one thing every day that I am grateful for and to try and not repeat the same thing each day. It worked for a while and I was back to writing something each day. I am not sure when I got out of that habit. I manage to post a motivational pic to this blog every day so why I can’t take a minute to write in my journal every day?
I ran across an article today that might help me get back on track journaling regularly. I wanted to share the tips from the article in case you, like me, need some motivation to get back to writing in a journal or blogging. It’s a template the author uses. The original article is here if you want to read it. The template assumes you journal in the morning but can be adapted as necessary.
- What happened yesterday? I don’t chronicle everything, of course. I just hit the highs and the lows—those activities or events I want to remember later.
- What were my biggest wins from yesterday? This gives me a sense of momentum to start the day.
- What lessons did I learn that I don’t want to forget? I try to distill my experience down into a couple of lessons I want to remember. It’s not what happens to us but what we learn from what happens to us.
- What am I thankful for right now? This is one practical way I can begin my day with a sense of abundance and gratitude.
- How am I feeling right now? Feelings aren’t the be-all-end-all, but they are an important clue. In the past, I just ignored or suppressed them. This gives me an opportunity to check in on myself.
- What did I read today? I record a list of anything I’ve read since I last journaled, including books, blogs, and Bible passages.
- What stood out to me in my reading? I don’t want to lose what I learn, so I record key lessons and insights.
- What are my plans for today? I preview my schedule and identify the key tasks for the day. This helps me prioritize.
I found some of the tips above helpful particularly the part about what am I thankful for right now? I seem to do better at journaling when I have something positive to think about rather than just when things aren’t going well. I hope you found some of the above tips helpful.
Take care of you!
We all have setbacks in our recovery. Today’s image reminded me that if we don’t like where we are at (ie. in the wrong story), we have the ability to change. I have gotten away from some of the positive coping mechanisms that help me get through each day. I need to jump back in to the story I want to be in. The one where I am volunteering and running on a regular basis and really just taking care of me. Be safe peeps!