It can be hard to create a daily habit of journaling. As a mom, you may find yourself with a million things on your daily to-do list, and as a human being, you might find yourself in a “keep moving or be run over” state of mind. Despite this, taking the time to stop, sit, and be present enough to write on a daily basis can be one of the most therapeutic habits you could gift yourself.
The key to accomplishing this and making it habitual is to make it as easy as possible. It’s important to reduce pressure on yourself and increase the awareness of the mindful experience that comes along with it.
Here are a few suggestions when starting out:
Choose a journal that you love.
The covers and inside designs of journals vary. Finding one that speaks to you will motivate you to use it more often.
Don’t put pressure on yourself to write substantial entries.
Start with smaller goals such as 5 minutes of writing upon waking or 3 to 5 sentences per day.
Carry your journal with you DAILY along with a pen/pencil (writing utensil).
This practice allows you to write anytime, anywhere, whenever inspiration may hit.
Once you begin building the habit of journaling daily, you will have more clarity over what to write about and when you do your best writing. To start, a blank page may be intimidating, however, daily exposure to that blank page can turn into your most sacred, safe space and your cheapest form of therapy!
When starting out, keep a list of prompts in your journal for days when inspiration doesn’t come as easily. Here are a few suggestions as related to the motherhood transition:
What do I want my birth to look like?
How can I show myself love today?
What is one way I can connect to my baby today?
What is one thing I am grateful for right now?
What is one thing I could communicate to my OB/Midwife/Physician that will make me feel empowered by my birth?
What is one area in my life where I could ask for help?
What is one thing I can communicate to my partner that they can do that will make me feel more supported?
What is one thing I love about my body?
A thank you letter to someone showing up big in my life right now.
Science shows that journaling provides a whole host of benefits. Writing accesses your left brain, the side of your brain in control of logic, language, and thought. When the left brain is occupied, it allows your right brain to be creative and intuitive. Using all of your brain power through writing allows for more clarity through thoughts and emotions, thereby reducing stress. Less stress can help you gain a clearer vision to problem solving effectively.
If you’re looking for ways to slow down and be more present this year, start with journaling. Think of your journal as your best-listening, most accepting, non-judgemental friend! Get vulnerable with whatever comes up. Give yourself time to get comfortable with this process and you just might become more aligned and aware of who you are and what you need than ever before!
By: Leah Barto - BIRTHFIT Houston