A self-care journal is a kind, heart-centred way to nurture the self. Any time you journal — no matter what you are writing — you are taking time for yourself, which is always nurturing.
However, if what you want is to heal and develop healthy thinking, a self-help journal can channel your writing towards upliftment.
Writing is a gentle and effective tool for developing self love. With the help of writing, you can shift your thought patterns and learn emotional resilience. Provided here are some beautiful writing prompts and journaling habits specifically focused on self care — so you can live your best life.
Do you struggle with negative self-talk and harsh judgments? If you feel like you’re not good enough, it can be an incredibly painful experience.
We’ll let you in on a little secret: you are good enough. Just being alive makes you worthy of acceptance and appreciation and love. But we have to give ourselves this love, acceptance, and appreciation first and foremost.
How? Well, journaling with affirmations is a powerful practice and a great start in the self-love journey. It might seem simplistic, but positive affirmations are effective.
Here’s what you do: devote a daily page in your journal to positive affirmations. Every evening, fill the page, writing down positive affirmations, taking the time to really feel them. You can find positive affirmations all over the web. Louise Hay is famous for her work with affirmations and offers up hundreds on her website.
The key is to work with affirmations that really resonate with you. If you choose affirmations that feel empty, it probably won’t do much. However, if you’re feeling really down, it can be hard to notice a response.
Center your focus internally when you say an affirmation — is there any little response deep inside? A little opening or tug of hope? With practice you’ll learn to find the affirmations that really speak to you. Only write down affirmations you can feel or connect to in some way.
A few examples of affirmations:
I forgive myself and set myself free.
As I say yes to life, life says yes to me.
I am safe.
I trust the process of life.
You can do this any time of day, but it is said that however you fall asleep is how you wake up. So if you fall asleep anxious and full of negative self talk, you’ll wake up in that same energy. Set yourself up for a good day by setting yourself up for a good night of sleep.
Then, throughout your day, when you catch yourself saying negative, unkind things to yourself, pull out an affirmation. Repeat it to yourself.
Even if you don’t feel that you are particularly negative, using positive affirmations can lift you up to an even higher vibration. They are a beautiful practice for anyone, any time. And doing them every day can help to maintain a positive mind space.
Re-Write Your Story
We are the main characters in our life story. We also have a tremendous amount of power over the direction our story goes. If you are frustrated, or stuck in an undesirable storyline, try re-writing your story into a more uplifting version. Shift your perspective!
Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor and stoic philosopher, said:
“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
In other words, you always have the option to change your point of view. You are never a victim of life. Tough things happen that are out of your control. But you always have a choice in how you respond.
An incredible practice is literally taking your story to the page. If you feel stuck or like a victim to life, open your journal.
Write your story fresh. Make yourself a hero that continues to get up when knocked down. You can put whatever spin on it you want.
For example, you can ask yourself, what have I learned from this pain? Then write from the point of view of growth and learning, instead of struggle.
If you aren’t sure how to get out of a predicament, you can write an imagined exit, one that allows you to move through easily and with grace. Here’s a specific method for coming up with alternative solutions.
If you have a strong imagination, you can even write your story as a myth, with yourself as an archetypal character, like a god or goddess.
If you need some help with this process, The Work by Byron Katie is a free worksheet that you can write out in your journal. It is a step-by-step guide that helps to literally flip your perspective on its head.
Write a new, empowered story for yourself!
You’ve probably heard of keeping a gratitude list. It is deceptively simple, as the effects can be significant. The more you learn to appreciate the little things around you, the more you begin to refocus away from the things you don’t like, towards the things you do like.
Little by little you begin to embody a state of appreciation.
Living in gratitude has a tremendous effect upon your entire world view. It helps shift us out of negativity, annoyance, and frustration. Studies indicate that gratitude improves self esteem, mental resilience, empathy, and psychological health, among other benefits.
A gratitude journal is a small habit that will help you strengthen your gratitude muscle.
Here’s what you do: every day, perhaps first thing in the morning, open up your self-care journal and write a list of things you’re grateful for. Write at least 3 things (you can always do more if you like!).
The things you’re grateful for can be anything. Don’t worry if they are seemingly insignificant. For example, you could be grateful for a particularly soft shirt you wear around the house, for a hot shower before bed, and for a walk in the park.
Don’t repress yourself. Allow yourself to like whatever it is you like — whether it’s an interesting crack in the wall, or the particular light at dusk.
Journaling with Betterly
If you are interested in a self-help journal and want to learn more, why not subscribe to Betterly’s subscription service. The Art of Journaling is a 12-box series that provides journals, markers, stencils, and writing prompts for self help and self improvement.
It will help you develop a mindful journaling practice that you can keep forever for a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle.