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Journaling for Mental Health

Do you journal and did you know that journaling can be good for your mental well being?

The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month! This month at WashiGang, we are thinking about our mental health and well being in our everyday lives. It affects how we think, feel, and act and determines how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices.

Read more to find out how to journal for better mental health, different ways to journal and for some prompts to get you started in your mental health journal!

Why is Journaling Good for your Mental Health?

Journaling can help you to manage anxiety, reduce stress and cope with depression by helping you to notice your habits and patterns, set and achieve goals and problem solve. Journaling is a great way to express your thoughts and feelings and to learn more about yourself. 




Journaling can help you to improve your mood and manage your mental health by allowing you a space where you can:

  • work through your thoughts and feelings

  • express and rationalise problems and fears

  • provide an opportunity for positive self-talk

  • identify negative thoughts and behaviours

  • track reoccurring issues and recognise triggers

  • set and work towards goals
- practice gratitude 

  • debrief at the end of the day or set intentions for the day

  • help you to connect with yourself
  • help with better sleep

Daily Gratitude journal

How to keep a mental health journal:

Keeping a mental health journal is as easy as writing daily in a journal. The key is to keeping a regular practice!

Here are a few tips for getting started -
1. Set your intentions for the journal.
What are you hoping to improve from journaling? Is it: noticing your triggers, easing anxiety, improving self esteem, learning more about yourself, or help getting organised? 

2. Keep it consistent!
Journaling each day and following a similar formula each time is a great way to form a habit.

3. Keep it simple
If you don't have a lot of time or are finding things overwhelming, just keep it simple. Write 1 paragraph about your day each night, or write for 15 minutes each morning. Another idea is to follow a few questions or prompts each day, such as "Write 3 things you're grateful for.", "How am I feeling today?" and "What was I proud of today." Track your mood and habits, such as sleep & exercise, as a quick way of monitoring your mental wellness. You might notice a pattern. Journaling for mental health
4. Reflect
Spend time once a week or once a month reflecting on your journal. Can you notice any patterns, triggers or reoccurring problems? Is this style of journaling beneficial or would it help to change up your process?

5. Make it fun
Use all the fun stickers & washi tapes! Write swear words, poems, positive affirmations and quotes and do funny drawings. Journal at a local cafe, journal in the park or journal with a hot chocolate. Find a location and setting that makes you feel good while you journal!

This journal is for you and you don't need to show it to anyone else. Making journaling fun in some way or another will make you more likely to want to keep doing it.positive stickers

10 Ways to Journal for Mental Health:

  1. Keeping a Bullet Journal
    A bullet journal is a great way to stay organised through scheduling, reminders, to-do lists, brainstorming and habit tracking. The great thing about keeping a bullet journal is that you can personalise the layout to your needs. Check out our guide on how to create a bullet journal spread!

  2. Write a Gratitude Journal
    Practicing daily gratitude is all about acknowledging the things that you're grateful for in order to find things to look forward to and feel gratitude in your life. Try one of the MiGoals Gratitude Journals!

  3. Journaling before bed & sleep journaling
    Journaling before bed can help you to put your worries to rest so that you can get a better night's sleep. Plus, getting better sleep is also great for better mental health! Have a look at our guide to sleep journaling here!

  4. Nature Journaling
    Being outdoors improves your mood and reduces stress. Spending time outdoors has been known to help improve cognitive function and boost your memory. Journaling outdoors is also a great place to do grounding exercises! Read our full blog on Journaling Outdoors for more tips.

  5. Habit & Mood Trackers
    Track your mood and habits so that you can notice patterns and make changes to improve your life. You can do this by adding mood tracking stickers, or using a template that you add to your journal and fill out each week. Spend time reflecting on your results to see if you can make some changes in your life.

  6. Affirmations & Inspiring Quotes
    Add affirmations & quotes to your journal to remind yourself about what you're working towards, inspire you & improve your self worth and self esteem. Writing an affirmation each day that encourages positive self-talk can help you to start to see the good in yourself and value your worth.

  7. Schedule self care activities
    Make a self care challenge for yourself. Schedule in self care activities throughout the week, such as seeing or calling a friend, going for a walk, taking some time off, screen free time, or doing your laundry! Sometimes life can get busy and we can forget to take a break or take care of ourselves.

  8. Follow a Guided Journal
    If you find the idea of journaling overwhelming, why not try a guided journal that asks all of the questions for you and prompts you to take action!
    We have lots of great guided journals in the shop!

  9. Try art journaling or learn to draw
    Art Journaling is a great way to express yourself and explore your creative side. Creating art is a great way to relax and destress, it can help give a voice to ideas that are hard to express with words, it can boost your confidence, as well as many other benefits. Why not try one of our art books to spark your creativity and help you unwind? art books for mental health
  10. Create a memory keeping journal
    Recording your memories can be beneficial in so many ways, from tracking your progress and important milestones, to helping others see that they are loved and important, to telling your own story. The process of collecting photos and recording memories can be therapuetic and help you to process hard events, or find gratitude and joyful moments in your life.
    Read more tips on how to create a memory keeping journal here!

What products do I need to start a Mental Health Journal?

A Journal or Notebook
Choose a lined, dot grid, blank page journal, or soft cover notebooks. We have so many different journals with patterned covers, in different colours, with different textured covers and different features, such as gratitude journals, goal books and more.

Pens
Choose from our range of gel pens, highlighters and markers to write in your journal. Having a range of different coloured pens is great for colour coding, using a different pen to represent a new day, or for highlighting headings, topics, dates and titles. Pipsticks So many feelings stickers
Fun stickers & washi tapes
Use all of the fun stickers & washi tapes to decorate your journal, make it personal and keep things fun! Check out So Many feelings Stickers from Pipsticks, which are perfect for your mood tracking needs.

A guided journal
If you need a bit of direction, we have so many great guided journals in the shop. Find a kindness journal, journals for art journalingor a guided journal for self acceptance.Guided Journals

6 Journaling prompts for self care:

1. Do a grounding exercise - List 5 things you see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can smell, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste.

2. Forgive yourself - list 3 things you forgive yourself for

3. List 3 things that you love about yourself

4. Think about something that you've been having a hard time with and ask your self 2 questions. What would I say to myself? What would I say to a friend in the same situation? Do you use more caring words for your friend than for yourself?

5. Go for a mindful walk! When you get home, write down 5 different things that you discovered.

6. Write a positive affirmation - what's something that you needed to hear today?

Seek More Help for your Mental Health:

A journal is just one way that you can work towards better mental health and it can work best in conjunction with other activities. There are many ways to look after your mental health, including exercise, talking to a friend, seeing a psychologist or speaking to your doctor.

If you're struggling with your Mental Health, it's ok to reach out for some more help! If things just aren't feeling right, if you're feeling very blue or worried all the time, we recommend talking to your doctor.
Or you might find one of the following services useful:

Beyond Blue (24/7):
For anyone feeling anxious or depressed.
1300 22 4636
https://www.beyondblue.org.au/
(You can also chat online)

Lifeline (24/7):
Provides 24-hour crisis counselling, support groups and suicide prevention services.
131114
lifeline.org.au

Headspace:
Provides free online and telephone support and counselling to young people 12 – 25 and their families and friends.
https://headspace.org.au

1800RESPECT:
1800RESPECT is the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.
Call 1800 737732
https://www.1800respect.org.au/

QLife:
Provides nationwide telephone and web-based services for lesbian peer support and referral for people wanting to talk about a range of issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.
1800 184 527
https://qlife.org.au/

For more support visit: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/mental-health-helplines

Thanks for tuning in! Do you think you will give journaling a try for your mental health?

Visit our Downloads page for a FREE Mental Health Download Pack to use in your planners and journals.

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