|It's September... we are nearing the transition from summer to fall. While we're still baking in heat (at least I am here in DC), we can start to look ahead and prepare ourselves for the seasonal transition.
As we turn inside, as the weather cools, as the days shorten, we get less sun. Our lives get busier as school starts, or as work picks up following the end of summer vacations. This seasonal transition can affect our mental health (referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD).
We can feel tired, drained, moody, depressed, down, anxious, stressed, irritated, withdrawn, unmotivated. This can affect our sleep, appetite, social interactions, balance, and routines.
Here are some ways that we can use self-care journaling to support our mental health as we navigate seasonal blues.
Journal to Stay on Top of Your Feelings
Seasonal blues can sneak up on us. When we're less in tune with our feelings, we often don't notice we're feeling down or drained or anxious until we feel REALLY down or drained or anxious. At that point, it's harder to take a step back and say, "Oh, this is because of the season."
So, even before those blues hit, we can build a routine of journaling our feelings. This self-care journaling practice helps us become more aware of our feelings day to day, moment to moment. This way, we become more aware of how our mood is changing with the seasons, which helps us be more prepared for those down times.
Journal to Develop Positive Mental Health Strategies
Journaling also helps us gain a deeper understanding of what positive things we can do for our mental health. After we express how we're feeling in our self-care journaling, we can journal to come up with ideas for how we can support ourselves. This helps build our sense of ownership of our mental health journey, even during down times.
It's ok if some of what we try doesn't work. Journaling about it helps us continue with the trial, error, and learning. Eventually, we find the ways of thinking and ways of living that nurture our mental health.
So, what's next?
Optimize Your Journal for Your Mental Health
We know that your mental health journey is personal to you. We are all unique beings in different places in our lives. That's why we created our Custom Wellness Journal, where YOU can actually choose the journaling prompts that go in your journal, so it's customized to you.
How it works is, on our website, we provide a menu of prompts based in mental health practices. You choose the prompts that speak to you, and we hand-make your custom journal with your prompts in it.
Here are some recommended prompts in our menu of prompts to help you navigate seasonal blues:
If these resonate, you can select these prompts when you customize your journal on our website. You can also add your favorite affirmation, mantra, or quote to the title page of your journal! Here are some real life examples of Custom Wellness Journals!
- What am I feeling? What's driving my feelings?
- What serves me today?
- My wins, big or small
- What gave me energy? What drained my energy?
- How am I honoring what I want?
- I feel stressed or down about… What do my heart and wisest self say about it?