This past year has been the most stressful of my life so far. With finishing college, beginning a new job, taking the MCAT, and getting my applications prepared for school….sometimes, it feels like too much to mention.
With stress piling up, it’s inevitable that there is a hindrance on my mental health. To ignore it would be to ignore something I really need.
To combat this stress, I decided to try out a mental health journal. What’s I’ve really enjoyed in this process is that you can be as creative as you’d like to be. So without further ado, here are some of my tips on how to get started
Choose your journal:
This seems self-explanatory right? Well you have to decide, do you need to start with a template with phrases and/or writing prompts? Or do you want a blank canvas where you can be creative and start with whatever you want?
Draw a calendar
I like to have a calendar in my journal soI can track my moods. On weeks where I feel like everything is going wrong, I can go back and reflect. In my case, it helps me to realize that it’s not actually as bad as it seems. Using this calendar really helps me to be proactive for the following week by asking myself what I can do differently to help better myself.
Have a brain dump page
I really like this idea because having this section gives you the opportunity to write about whatever you want to. Whatever is on your mind, you can dump it here. After a while, you’ll begin to realize what is reoccurring. By reflecting, you will begin to see what thoughts are healthy and what thoughts may be unhealthy for you.
Have a goals page
Having a page with short and long-term goals really helps you to see what you’re working toward. It will help you to see why paying attention to your mental health is so important and remembering how it will help you now and in the future.
Have a page full coping mechanisms (including therapy)
Sometimes when you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s hard to think of anything that could help. Having a handy list of ways to cope when stress is taking over will make it easier to find something that will work for you in that moment.
Even add in some things you haven’t tried before so when it feels like nothing is working, you can try something new. If you’re struggling with finding ways that work for you, reach out to a professional and ask for help. Pairing therapy with your own mental health journal can be very convenient while also being beneficial to you!
If you’re thinking about starting a mental health journal, good for you!! You’re one step closer to reaching your goals.
Much love <3