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Real Self-Care: Journaling

This post is part of a month-long series on Real Self-Care for world-changers. It’s about the experimentation: figuring out what works for you and following your heart. Simple, messy and everything in between. Self-care should be custom, intuitive, feasible and kind – to serve your actual life.


To be honest, I’m not much of a journal-er. It’s not really in my nature. But I’ve been experimenting with some different kinds of journaling that I’m finding interesting. Journaling doesn’t have to be pouring out your heart and soul and crushes onto the page. And it doesn’t have to be rote lists, either.

I use planners as a way of plotting out the future, but also reflecting on what’s come before. I process through the past, present, and future.

I also use note cards as a form of journaling. Rather than keeping my thoughts and feelings to myself, I’m writing and sending physical mail as a form of expression. It’s a fleeting and impermanent form of journaling that makes me feel more connected with folks.

I’m also experimenting with art journaling–using visual media to expressing my mood and events in my life. Sometimes I’ll add a little quote, but oftentimes, it’s just about swirling some paint around to capture what’s coming up for me.

I also love gratitude journaling; I’ve spoken about gratitude at great length, and gratitude journaling is a powerful practice.

Journaling can be stream-of-consciousness; it can take form in lists. It can even take shape through classical poetic forms like haiku.

Whatever form it takes, journaling can be a useful mechanism for processing what comes up and for getting the information we need in order to care for ourselves well. Experiment, play and start to hone in on what kind of journaling, and what rhythm might suit you. There’s no wrong way to do it.

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