Journaling - How and Why I do it!

It's not a secret that my life has gone through some pretty significant and emotional changes over the last few months, and even the last few years! You can read lots more about all of what has happened here, but suffice it to say I've basically endured drastic changes in every area of my life, except one; the support and constant companionship of my amazing husband - who has been right with me during all these changes.

I'm a huge proponent of self-care and I'm very sure that it's because of my intense levels of self care that I've survived most of these changes. I do my best every day to take time for me and to connect with my own heart. I realize this sounds wierd to some, but I'll explain how I do it, because it's not as crazy as it sounds!

Every day I make sure I do 3 things - at some point through the day, though preferrably in the morning before the craziness of the day really sets in.

• Journal
• Meditate
• Read something uplifting

Today I want to talk about journaling. Journaling takes many different forms for me. Sometimes it's gratitude journaling when I'm feeling particularly defeated or even just feeling reflective. Other times it looks like free writing, stream of concious thought when I'm feeling like I have a million things going in different directions at once. And even more times, it is planning and affirming my future. I write about anything and everything. But let's also not forget that I'm a very organized person and if I write in that many different directions in one simple notebook, I feel as though I've ruined it because it's so disorganized and jumping around on a million topics. But, it's totally unrealistic for me to think I'd keep up with journaling if I had 17 different notebooks to house the different styles of writing. I wouldn't.

I've done a lot of trial and error on journaling and learned that for me, the best way to journal is electronically, because my nerdy self can get into tagging and organizing, but when I just need to get in it and write, I can do that without distraction in a beautiful app called DayOne.

Not only does it serve the purpose of being as many journals in one as I need it to be, it also works for this brain that tends to go WAY faster than my hands can write. Lucky for me, I'm a really fast typist, so I can always keep up when I type. It can go with me anywhere I need it to on my phone, but also be accessible on both of my computers (laptop and desktop) and everything is beautifully in sync. 

Yes, this is starting to sound like a sponsored post, and I assure you it isn't. I just love this app that much and it has really changed my life with journaling.

And journaling has saved my life through all the change as a way of sorting out my thoughts.

If you haven't journaled or are new to this method of self-care, I'd first encourage you to START! But then I'd also encourage you to stick with it! One of the easiest ways to start journaling is to start with gratitude journaling. Write 30 things you're grateful for. When you begin this, you'll find that your list is usually really surface level things - like I'm grateful for running water, heat and electricity, etc. But as you eliminate all the surface things from your list, you'll begin to go deeper and realize that there is so much to be grateful for that most of us don't even remember the vast majority of things we really do have going for us! 

If you feel like that is going well, you can go into what is called "stream of conscious" writing. Basically, just write whatever is in your head without paying any attention to punctuation, spelling, grammar, etc. If the thought comes into your head that you need to water the garden, write it down. It's a great way to clear your head of whatever is going on that is keeping you from focusing on YOU! 

I'd love to know! Do you journal regularly? Do you use a notebook or an app? What type of journaling do you do the most frequently and what is your favorite method?