Parenting is hard. Parenting during a global pandemic is really hard. Even with things opening back up, the “new normal” is hard.
All this hard is stressful. And chronic stress lowers your immune system and can lead to chronic disease.
So, what is a mom to do? It’s not like you can just not be stressed.
6 Things to Know About Mindful Journaling
First, let’s talk about mindfulness. Here is the dictionary definition:
“a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
Basically, mindfulness is the exact opposite of being reactive. Being mindful means being present in your own life. It’s taking deliberate time to focus on how you feel, what’s around you, and what is happening. This can be really hard for a busy parent!
Learning how to be mindful can improve your emotional, mental and physical health. Mindful journaling helps you clear your mind, learn how to focus on yourself, and learn more about yourself.
When you can do all these things, you can be a more calm, confident parent. You can manage the stressful situations around you instead of impulsively reacting to things out of your control.
1. Mindful Journaling is Deliberate
It might be difficult at first. It might take some time to discover your mindful thoughts. Whatever you do, don’t get stressed out by this exercise. Give yourself some time and grace. Take time learning how to be more mindful by writing in your journal daily.
Even when you don’t feel like it, take the time to be intentional, deliberate and get it done.
2. Mindful Journaling is Messy
News flash, your mind is a jumbled mess of thoughts, feelings, and things, so your journal is going to reflect that. Our minds and our lives are a disorganized, chaotic mess sometimes. That’s okay! And it’s okay if your journal is a disorganized and chaotic mess. Just focus on how you feel and forget about everything else.
“There is something wonderfully bold and liberating about saying yes to our entire imperfect and messy life.”
3. Honesty is Key to Mindful Journaling
The worst thing you can do is “cheat” in your journal. You have to be honest about your feelings and this is not the time for sugarcoating.
You’re writing this journal for you, not for anyone else. Be real, be honest, be you.
The purpose of a mindful journal is to help you clear your mind. If you’re spending so much time organizing your thoughts and lying to yourself, you’re cheating yourself. It won’t be easy right away, but don’t give up. Give it some time.
4. Don’t Forget the Glass is Half Full When Journaling
Obviously, you’re not going to be filled with happy thoughts every day, but you do have to focus on something good every day. You might have to try real hard, and that’s okay. But you need to find something to be happy or grateful for every day. It can be something small and seemingly insignificant.
Practicing gratitude and gratefulness is a powerful way to shift your mindset.
5. Mindful Journaling is Great for Stress Relief
When you write your stressful thoughts down, you help to get those thoughts out of your mind, and that helps to relieve stress and tension from your body. Remember accumulated stress equals accumulated sickness.
6. You Can Use Essential Oils to Enhance Your Mindfulness and Your Journaling
When you sit down to journal, create a soothing space by using essential oils. You can diffuse them or put them on your skin. Of course, you can do both too. (Be sure to check with your doctor before using essential oils.)
If you’re putting them on your skin, put them over your heart to help you connect with your heart and your feelings.
Essential oils can help you to calm your mind and stabilize your emotions. They can also energize and motivate you to do your journaling. They can also help you push past mental blocks.
Some good essential oils to use when journaling are lavender, orange and frankincense.
Final Thoughts on Mindful Journaling
Being mindful takes time, practice, and patience to learn. It might not come naturally the first time you try. Keep messing up and learning as you go. A journal is a wonderful way to start making positive changes in your life. Your family will thank you for taking this time for yourself to be a better human being.