Now more than ever, taking care of yourself is so important. But, while you might have the intention to set time aside for self-care, the truth is that our lives keep getting busier by the minute. If setting aside time for yourself doesn’t come naturally, making a self-care journal can help you get started.
What is self-care?
There isn’t a one-and-tried definition for self-care. Mainly because it involves taking action to preserve or improve your health, which means it’s different for everyone. Self-care consists in taking an active role in activities and habits that protect your well-being and happiness. Still, how you define self-care and your active role in preserving your well-being remains a personal choice.
How to start your self-care journal?
A self-care journal is the perfect combination of a journaling notebook and setting time aside to practice self-care. Journaling can help relieve stress, process trauma, and even prevent burnout. Think of it as a private notebook where you can share your emotions, thoughts, fears, and everything else that comes to mind. Thankfully, starting a self-care journal is easier than ever before.
1. Find a notebook
The first thing you’ll need is a notebook. You can choose a dotted grid journal, or any blank pages notebook will do the trick. Another option is to find a binder that you can customize with planner inserts.
2. Get your journal ready
To help you get in the habit of journaling, you’ll need to have all the necessary supplies at hand. Some of the things you’ll need for self-care journaling include:
3. Choose your topics
It’s easy to have a topic to focus on each month. Choose your topics on the first day of every month so that you can explore different outlets. Having a topic to write about will help you stay on track to practice journaling every day.
4. Start journaling!
Now that you have your topics, stickers, and planner inserts, you can start writing down, painting, and organizing your self-care thoughts and ideas in your journal.
What are some styles of self-care journals?
There are many styles of self-care journals you can start with. Choose whichever you feel you need the most at this moment. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- A gratitude journal: a gratitude self-care journal is a great way to start your journaling practice. Every day, write down at least one thing for which you’re thankful. Gratitude can help lower stress levels and improve your overall well-being in times of stress and pressure.
- A purge self-care journal: if writing stories doesn’t come naturally to you, a purge journal might be for you. Instead of writing stories, just jot down whatever comes to mind. Purge all your brain’s thoughts down on paper. Some days you might end with a few scattered sentences, and in others, you’ll have solid paragraphs, both are worth it.
- An art journal: for anyone with a hidden artistic talent, this style of self-care journal can become a healthy outlet for meditation and journaling. Instead of words, each page will be a blank canvas where you’ll draw, paint, use stickers, photos, or any other creative outlet that comes naturally to you.
- A prompt self-care journal: sometimes, having a little bit of help can make journaling less intimidating. If you’re new to journaling, choosing one with prompts can help you get started. In this form of journaling, you will fill in the blanks and answer questions as you go through the journal.
Self-care journal prompts
One way to choose self-care topics to write about each day is using prompts. These are short questions that will get you thinking about yourself and how you take care of yourself.
Remember, self-care is all about your active role in protecting your well-being. Some days it might be about making sure you drink eight glasses of water; others, it might be about getting enough sleep or reaching out to your therapist. What you’ll need to practice self-care will continue to change, just keep your self-care journal close to help you throughout the process.
Here are some prompts to include in your self-care journal:
- What makes you feel calm?
- What’s a choice you can make this week based on your needs?
- How do you recharge after a bad day?
- What helps you feel more present?
- What is one thing you can do today that you didn’t think you could do a year ago?
- What’s a goal you want to accomplish this week, and why?
- How do you set boundaries?
- How do you celebrate the time you get alone?
- How do you notice when you’re burned out?
- How do you advocate for yourself every day?
Self-care bullet journal ideas
A bullet journal is a great way to create short, quick notes of to-do reminders and other activity-tracking. Here are some self-care bullet journal ideas to consider:
- Incorporate self-care in your morning routine: use space in your morning journal to add self-care activities like meditation to keep track of.
- Create a master list of self-care activities: take up one or two pages to list your wish list of self-care activities for the month, so you’ll get to mark them off as you complete them.
- Add a 30-minute daily self-care plan: incorporate self-care into your routine by scheduling 30 minutes solely dedicated to self-care. Make sure to use bullet prompts to help you complete your tasks.
- Mental health tracker: create a monthly tracker using the bullet journal method to keep tabs on your emotional and physical self.
- Create a gratitude day: choose a page of your journal to write the highlights of your day, so at the end of the month, you can look back at your gratitude prompts.
Creating a self-care journal involves a lot of trial and error. Keep trying different styles and ideas until you can find the one that best goes with your personality and schedule.
Try our Daily Planner to start your self-care journal journey and incorporate self-care into your daily routine.