As moms we already are tight on time, so I can imagine you’re thinking, why add something else to my to-do list? For me, journaling is a form of self-care and an outlet for stress and anxiety. I began to journal as teenager, when there were probably more rants against my parents and the details of my newest crush than anything else.
As an avid reader and writer, I have always believed strongly in the power of words. And there is something about physically writing out our reflections and experiences that can be so healing and transformative. That is what I found in late February when I went on a writer’s retreat to have the space (both physical and mental) to write about motherhood expectations vs. reality. Most of the weekend was spent writing the toughest parts of my personal journey to motherhood, which honestly was not the original plan.
But as I dove into the nitty gritty of my birth experience, postpartum depression, and family trauma, I discovered that the weekend was about far more then a word count goal. It was about bringing healing to my motherhood story in ways that I hadn’t been able to accomplish in the year and a half after my daughter’s birth. It is something that is constantly evolving of course, but for me, writing is one way to dig deep into understanding, of both myself and my role as a mother.
Journaling for Moms
Journaling is a technique used frequently by therapists to allow clients to express their feelings, thoughts, struggles, and fears. And therapy is not the only setting that journaling proves useful, any mom can find positive results from journaling, whether it is about a trauma they have experienced, a loss they have suffered, or simply the ups and downs of daily life as a mom in a world experiencing a pandemic. Journaling is a way to get it all out on paper and learn how to deal with it, even if you aren’t comfortable sharing those thoughts with another person.
The Benefits of Journaling for Moms
- If you are confused about what you are feeling and why you are feeling it (and let’s face it, motherhood lends itself to a lot of those moments), journaling is an excellent way to sort it out over time. And there is no judgment from that mom friend that seems to have it all together when you admit that sometimes being a mom sucks.
- Journaling offers a way to brainstorm and write out creative solutions. It may not solve your children’s sleep issues or how they are currently not eating anything that is the color green, but it can help you sort out an unequal workload with your partner or set goals for the future.
- For those suffering from depression or anxiety, journaling has proven to be an effective way of dealing with traumas and stressors, as well as helping to manage the daily symptoms. Currently we are dealing with even more stressors and anxiety than ever before as moms, and journaling can provide a healthy coping mechanism.
- You may not be able to tell your boss exactly what you think of him or have a conversation with a loved one that has either passed away or isn’t in your life anymore, but you can journal what you would like to be able to say to them.
- Letting out tough emotions with an outlet such as journaling will reduce stress, which leaves you better able to handle the tantrums and endless laundry, while opening you up to be able to enjoy the happy moments to their fullest.
- Looking back over a journal reminds you how you have grown. Remembering all you have accomplished is especially helpful when you find yourself dealing with circumstances that seem overwhelming.
The best way to implement journaling into your life is finding out what works for you. Would you rather keep a journal on your computer or on paper? A sketchbook, a notebook, or a pretty leather journal? Don’t have time to journal for 20 minutes or more a day? Even writing for 5 minutes several times a week can be effective. To get started, grab the free journaling printables below!
Dos for Journaling
- Do give yourself permission to journal for your own health, even in the midst of your busy week.
- Do keep it in a place that is safe and private, so you feel open to expressing the full truth when you journal.
- Do remember that there is no right way to journal. Techniques such as letters, lists, idea mapping, and using art are all options.
- Do be kind to yourself.