Let’s face it, caregiving is stressful. It can turn into a daily grind that you may not look forward to. Without realizing, you can lose yourself in your everyday caregiving responsibilities at the expense of you and your self-care. It’s easy for resentment and upset to occupy your thoughts.
Here are three reasons why caregivers should consider a journaling practice.
1. JOURNALING IMPROVES YOUR MENTAL AND PYSICAL HEALTH
Studies have shown that expressive writing among controlled groups resulted in reduced visits to physicians, improved immune functioning and improved well-being including reduction in depressive and anxiety symptoms. When you journal, you strengthen your awareness and mindfulness abilities and connect to your emotions. You give yourself the opportunity to vent your frustrations and what depletes you. Simultaneously, you can identify what sustains you and fills you up. This puts you in a better position to establish limits, boundaries and implement strategies that serve you in your day-to-day caregiving schedule.
2. JOURNALING HELPS YOU REVEAL YOUR TRIGGERS AND LEARN WAYS TO BE IN CONTROL OF THEM
Triggers can be anything, (i.e. an action, event, exchange, smell, sound, etc.) that provokes an internal reaction. Not being aware of your triggers, causes reactionary, rather than intentional behavior. As you journal and peel back the layers of your story, past and present, you can detect patterns and identify your triggers. Journaling puts you in a better position to dismantle reactionary behavior and proceed with intention.
3. JOURNALING PROVIDES A SAFE PLACE TO PRIORITIZE PROBLEMS, FEARS, AND CONCERNS
Caregiving is unpredictable. Each day can present new and unique challenges and hurdles. When you journal about your fears and upset you unpack your stressors, rather than allowing them to accumulate and fester within you.
The good news is journaling puts you in the driver’s seat! There are no rules. You journal the way you want to journal. You have complete control over how, when, and where and what you choose to explore and write about. It is your opportunity to dwell in your truth exactly as you see it. Journaling is a tool for mapping out, navigating and living your best life in the midst of your caregiving responsibilities.
Want to explore a journaling practice, but not sure how? Journaling prompts are an easy way to start. Get your free Journaling Prompts for Caregivers so you can Keep Calm and Journal On.