What does your self-care routine look like?
I’m going to be honest with you- mine sucked. It was little to non-existent for quite some time. And that was, quite possibly, one of the worst things that I could have done. It never occurred to me at the time how something so simple could be so useful.
But, during the most difficult times of my life, self-care made a world of difference.
One of the components of my current self-care routine includes keeping a journal. And I get it- you’re busy. You don’t have a lot of free time. But a journal does not have to be a time consuming task. In fact, here are a few reasons why I think you should use a journal as a part of your self-care routine.
The Importance of Self Care
Self care involves taking better care of yourself, which is essential for mental and physical purposes. It can really make a positive impact on your life, from helping you to become closer to friends and family, to relieving your stress. Here are some of the top benefits of self care.
It Helps to Relieve Stress
If you are like most people, you probably deal with a lot of stress. This can be stress from your job, financial situation, relationships, or other personal reasons.
Self care is important for stress relief because it provides activities that help distract you, improve your mood, and help you take better care of yourself. Keep in mind that self care can be anything from taking a bath to going for a walk, so there are tons of options available.
You Can Improve Your Mental Health
In addition to relieving your stress, self care can also help in other aspects of your mental health. Perhaps you have anxiety or depression, and are trying to relax while also figuring out your triggers. Well, things like writing in a journal and walking help you accomplish both.
You are able to focus more on your mental health during these activities, so you are practicing self care while actually improving your mental health at the same time.
It Raises Your Self Esteem
Did you know taking better care of yourself can help with your self esteem? Lack of proper self care often causes you to feel bad about yourself, such as from not getting a manicure or pedicure in a while, or not exercising. These types of activities make you feel healthy, fit, and beautiful, which goes a long way with self care.
With higher self esteem, you raise your confidence, and that can help boost your mood and help with your stress levels.
You Deserve Some Quality Time
Don’t underestimate the power of having quality time to yourself. There are so many ways to do this, whether you allow yourself some time to meditate in the morning, get up early to have your cup of coffee alone, or have dance parties in the living room with your family.
This quality time gives you a short break from your daily life, and can be so wonderful for your self care.
Why You Should Have a Self Care Journal
One of the top recommendations for practicing self care on a routine basis is to start a journal. This is so helpful, easy to do, and won’t cost you a lot of money. It is convenient and can be brought with you everywhere, so even in the middle of a busy work day, you can grab the journal and write in it for a few minutes.
You Can Express Yourself in a Healthy Way
First of all, when you are dealing with a lot of stress, it can make it hard to focus on anything. However, you may not want to express yourself in a frustrated or angry way, especially with your friends and loved ones. In order to practice self care with journaling but also express yourself, you should have a journal that is kept private and confidential. Whenever you need to unload your thoughts or feelings, you can do it with the journal.
It Helps you to Find the Root of Your Issues
Also consider what is causing you stress or anxiety. Do you know why you have so much emotional stress? Are you sure you know the reason behind your frequent panic attacks? If you don’t, a journal can be very helpful. As you write in the daily entries, try to include information about your mood and how you’re feelings. When you feel a high amount of stress, frustration, anxiety, or depression, make a note of it.
Then you can look back and see if things like caffeine or diet, work, relationships, or other aspects of your life are becoming triggers for you.
Journaling Provides a Good Distraction
In some cases, your stress causes you to constantly think about what is stressing you out, which can be very overwhelming. If you just want something to take your mind off it, journaling is a great option. While you are writing in your journal, you aren’t thinking about anything else but what you are journaling about.
It is a really good distraction from the different issues you are dealing with that lead to your stress.
It Helps You Find Your Next Actions
Perhaps you are stressed because you’re not sure about the direction of your life, from what college to go to, what career path to choose, or whether or not you should break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Journaling can help you express yourself and find the next path your life should take.
Keeping a journal and self-care are also discussed in my eBook about developing coping skills for the initial autism diagnosis. You can purchase this in a paperback format as well and receive a free Kindle version.
This post is also part of a 12 month long series about parenting children with special needs. To read more tips and advice about practicing self-care as a special needs mom, be sure to check out the posts below:
Self-Care for Foster and Adoptive Families | The Chaos and The Clutter
What Happens When You Ignore Self Care | This Outnumbered Mama
50 Self-Care Activities You Can Do Together With Kids | And Next Comes L