How to: Mental Health Journal

Mental health journaling is a really good activity to get involved in. Writing down your feelings helps process difficult thoughts. Keeping a track of your mood everyday really, really helps. Although, I must admit when I started tracking my mental health, I found it incredibly hard. It took a lot of energy to stop and go through the good and bad from each day, everyday. However, I changed my journaling style from writing pages and pages to a few simple structured techniques for tracking how my day had been.

Journaling has become an incredibly important part of my recovery. It’s something you can customise with colour, doodles or anything that brings your personality. I love it. I love it so much it’s probably what made me start this blog. Writing, doodling and colouring is very therapeutic for your mind. I will add some examples however, they will not be my own examples as mine are very very messy! I used these as examples when I first started mine and I altered them to suit myself.

So here are the three main journaling techniques I use everyday:

 

 

A Year In Pixels

I’m sure you’ve probably heard of or seen photos of this on Pinterest

. You select a different colour for every mood and shade a little square that represents that day, that month. I think it is a brilliant way to see how you’re changing and recovering (and it’s an amazingly colourful way to see the year!). I love this because it’s such a visual way of presenting your recovery. I intend to look back at the end of the year and see how things have (hopefully) changed for me.

 

 

Monthly Habit Tracker

This is very similar to ‘A Year In Pixels’ except it offers a more in depth analysis of every month. The theory is similar. A square represents each day however, you have additional lines that present an emotion or activity. When you feel that emotion or you do that activity one day, you shade the square.

The activities and feelings can be both positive and negative, although I recommend keeping the positives and negatives separate on the page, like above, otherwise it gets confusing. This is another brilliant way to track progress and find potential triggers.

 

 

Little Notes And Achievements. 

I have sections over two pages for morning, afternoon and night. In these sections I make short notes about my day, how I felt and what I did. Instead of writing pages and pages, little notes are quick and easy to look back over if you ever want to.

(I have mentioned something similar to this in my previous posts because I truly believe in it’s importance)

The achievement part is a little section at the end or halfway through (basically whenever you want to write it down!). I write a sentence, maybe two if its been a good day, on something I have achieved that day. Whether it is getting up, getting dressed, going to the shop or even wearing my favourite outfit. This helps me find a positive every day, even on the worst days.

This little thing has changed my life I promise you. I told Charlie I was trying to find a positive everyday and now he asks me what it is so I never forget. It is so easy to dismiss our good moments but everyday, just take a second to stop and think I did ……….. today and I’m proud of it. Maybe its not an achievement, maybe its something to be proud of or something someone else did that made you smile. It can be anything positive, just write it down or just think about it. The little things matter.

I really hope these journaling tips help you, let me know if they do or if you have any helpful journaling ideas yourself. Don’t forget to share if you think these could help someone you know!

Jess

 

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15 Comments

  1. Great post, I enjoyed reading it! I find writing about my day really helps my mental health and it’s a good way to keep track of thoughts and emotions. Your journal looks great! I want to be more creative with mine and start making it more colourful!

  2. This is SUCH a good post! I have depression also and journaling is actually something that my counsellor has recommended me to do. I’ve been keeping a journal for a few weeks now but had no real structure to it, so this post is going to be really helpful for me going forward! Thank you for this post!

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  3. Can I simply say what a relief to search out somebody who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You undoubtedly know the right way to carry a difficulty to gentle and make it important. More folks must read this and understand this facet of the story. I cant believe youre not more common since you undoubtedly have the gift.

  4. I love this post. I recently just got myself a bullet journal and I’ve also just been diagnosed with a chronic condition so my anxiety, worry and stress has just went into overdrive. I hope I can use this to help me out! Thank you.

  5. Love this post. And I was able to pin it to multiple boards of mine. (Triple bonus lol) My stress is through the roof. I have an addiction recovery blog and people in recovery are more often than not diagnosed with mental illness. My anxiety and stress are so bad that doctors say it’s causing my psoriasis outbreaks which began only on my knee and is now spreading to 4 other places! It’s only making my mental state worse. Journaling yes, it helps everything else. Why not this? 🙂

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