I have written things down for as long as I can remember. I would never call what I wrote journaling back then, it was more like incessant list making. But, I was never without a notebook.
Fast forward a few years and I have become devoted to my journal practice as a way of keeping myself sane as life gets crazier and crazier. Journaling is like free therapy and as someone who has to actively work at keeping their head above the murky waters of mental health issues, journaling has been a lifesaver.
Devote yourself to processing emotions
Journaling has also been a way for me to get in touch with me feelings. I realize now that growing up, displays of emotions were unwelcome. Being in control and masking unpleasant feeling was met with approval and respect. This made me not trust my feelings and there have been moments in my life when I have completely detached from my emotions. Unfortunately, detaching from emotions does not make the hurt or trauma disappear. In fact, as anyone who has experienced this knows, you also end up numbing any feelings of happiness and joy too.
Journaling has become a safe space to let it all out without the worry of judgement. It is a place that I do not need to be in control. Of course, working through emotions is harder in the short term than detaching from them. However, in the long term you reap the rewards of healing and growing and living a healthy life.
“Pain is a portal to transformation,
It does not knock politely.”
– Lucy H. Pearce, Medicine Woman
I have come to respect that anger and sadness are a necessary part of the human experience and help us grow. Also, no feeling lasts forever. Writing my thoughts and feelings down into a non-judgemental medium allows me to process them. I feel instantly calmer once it is all out. Journaling is mindfulness in active form.
If you, like me, feel like you are wading through deep warm water right now, you are not alone. It is an extremely confusing time. And so I have prepared a few pandemic edition journal prompts below, to help you process the craziness.
Journal Prompts – Pandemic Edition
Explore these prompts in your journal.
What thoughts are you sitting with? How are you feeling today?
Where do these feelings live in your body? Take a moment to feel these feelings in your body. Write in your journal what sensations you feel.
Now ask your body what it needs.
What do you want?
What thoughts have been creating stress? What are you dreading for the future?
Now, journal on what it would be like if this weren’t true.
Ask yourself, what if it all works out? What if I choose to follow what feels good?
Will I give myself permission to follow what feels good and meaningful right now?
Name three things you are grateful for.
What is your intention for today?
What is one small step you can take today towards caring for yourself?
Remember, as all of these dormant feelings may start surfacing, an integral component of being able to cope with emotions is the practice of self-compassion, which is simply treating and responding to yourself the way you would a loved one who was sad or struggling. You deserve to extend to yourself the same kindness that you would to others that you love.