One day this week, I felt depressed. I wasn't despondent. Nothing bad had happened. I just felt my baseline had dropped for the day. I wasn't feeling joy at things that usually make me smile. I was lacking motivation and energy. But I was functional and went about my work day.
In the evening, I journaled in my custom wellness journal to my prompt, "What am I feeling? What's driving my feelings?" I wrote in my wellness journal about how I was feeling depressed, but "I'm not upset over anything in particular." But once I wrote that in my wellness journal, my inner wisest self raised an eyebrow at me. "Really?" What came next was, "Well, damnit, if I'm truly honest..." Then the words flowed. The truth came out in my wellness journal about one thing in my life that had been eating me up from the inside.
I've talked to people who have said, "I don't know what my needs are, so it's hard to journal about it." That's real. The beauty of daily self care journaling is, it's not about finding the answers right away. It's a process of exploration. When I journal in my custom wellness journal, I start with what's present - what I can easily identify in me. Eventually, that leads to uncovering something deeper which I didn't know was there. That's how we deepen our understanding of ourselves bit by bit through our daily self care journaling.
Journaling is a safe, sacred space where we can be honest with ourselves about what's really going on. The thing is, it takes courage. It takes courage to say, "If I'm being honest with myself..."
When we are honest with ourselves as we do our journaling, we uncover things in our journaling that can be hard to face. Maybe it's that something isn't going right in a relationship, or that there's something lacking in our work, or that we've been going down a path that isn't true to ourselves. Whatever it is, it often reveals that some change is needed. Change is hard - even when we know it's change for the better.
To create something better for ourselves, we have to take something apart first. It's a hard process. It can be painful. It's messy. I'm learning to trust in the messy phase. I'm learning to exist in that broken space.
As you journal in your wellness journal, allow yourself to be honest with yourself. Remember, you don't have to act on everything you reveal right away. But allow yourself to peer deeper and marinate on what you uncover in your self care journaling. And of course, take your time. Be gentle with yourself in the process.