Self care journal can be very beneficial in steering your life towards a happier future. Here are 20 ideas to get your started on your self care journal journey
Do you remember the last time you indulged yourself? When was the last time you felt fresh from the inside and outside? Self care is provably a phrase which has been used more times than I can count but it is not just a slogan. It should be a way of life. A way which would lead you to a happier and stress free future.
Currently as the global crisis is on a constantly shifting tectonic plate, the lives of people are on a spiral, sometimes going up, sometimes going down. We have to maintain distance from our friends, family and loved ones. Jobs are becoming more stressful and their is hardly any difference between home environment and office.
Most people do not have self care on their priority list. Self care does not stand a chance of competing against ones assignments and deadlines. People become machines and just keep operating. The workload gets to us sometimes but we keep pulling through and going on. Every once in a while, the burnout hits but we just keep going. When in burnout we tend to lose motivation and focus. But the stress of the job and career forces us to not take any break for ourselves, just proceed forward.
Using a self care journal can prevent you from suffering through this burnout. This is where a bullet self care journal can be a huge help to you.
Let’s start with what is self care?
Self care is any action you take which aims at taking care of yourself. This includes any action you take or anything you do which is focused on making you feel physically, emotionally and mentally better.
Every individual has different needs. Therefore, the self care activities as well as self care journal ideas of every person will be different. A self care activity may also be as extreme as leaving a toxic relationship or as tiny as indulging in a warm soak.
If you haven’t yet started working on a self care journal yet, now would be a great time to start. However, before you start designing your journal, you must answer a few questions for yourself.
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What are the activities which make you feel relaxed and happy?
First, you must figure out what activities help you de stress yourself. For me, it is painting and spending time with my little pup, Delta Bunny. I was in a car crash in the year 2018. I also suffer from chronic pain issues. Painting is a therapeutic experience for me. When I paint, the world falls away. All that is their is my painting and my focus. When I am painting, I don’t realize how much pain my body is in.
Delta has helped a ton with my PTSD. He was adopted in 2018 after the car crash. He has been a constant source of support besides my husband whenever I feel burned out due to excessive work. I am also foster mom to 15 dogs. So all I have to do to rejuvenate myself is to get out of the house and meet my foster kids. They take away my stress and help me feel relaxed and happy. For me, this is what works best. You must find out what works best for you and add it to your daily routine.
What do you need to feel complete in yourself?
Indulge in a new hobby, take dance classes, learn music, go hiking or bake a cake from the scratch. The activity can’t be anything. Whatever hobby or activity makes you feel motivated, boosts your confidence and makes you satisfied with yourself should be a part of your routine when you make your self care journal.
However, self care does not only mean doing what you love. At times, you have to go through your finances and make a few budget cuts, but these are necessary and can keep you from getting burned out in the long run. Therefore, such activities must be a part of your self care journal as well.
What are the activities which take up the most of your time and energy?
If going through social media makes you look at your body negatively, put your phone at a place where you cannot reach it when you are indulging in working through your self care journal. If your kid is causing distractions, ask your spouse to provide help.
What is stopping you from indulging in your self care journal?
The most common reason behind a person not being able to make time to go through the activities on their self care journal are money, time or not being aware of how to proceed. If your biggest problem is that you don’t know from where to start self care, a self care journal can solve your problem and also be your biggest asset in your journey of self care.
What are you already doing for self care?
Reading a book, watching a movie or doing yoga, all these activities can be a part of your self care journal activities they make you feel better and happier. The first step to getting your self care journal is to list out the activities which help you relax and make you feel happy and content. Make these activities a regular part of your life by adding them to your daily task list on your self care journal. These tiny activities will be the foundation to a brighter and happier future.
Now that you have answered the aforementioned questions, it is time to start preparing your self care journal.
Remember to start small
You don’t have to make a ten page everyday routine in your self care journal. Self care is a huge concept. Start small with baby steps. Allow yourself lots of tutorial and error time so you can figure out exactly what works the best for you. If you are facing trouble coming up with ideas of self care things to do, you can borrow a few tips from the following list.
Tasks or pointers to add to your self care journal:
A list of happy things to take part in everyday
We are always rushing to complete our assignments before the deadlines. Do we ever take the time out to do the things which actually make us happy? Most likely your answer is NO. Add the activities which make you instantly happy in your to do list. These activities can be one or many.
The number of activities you can schedule on an everyday basis will depend on the time you can manage to indulge in them.
If you are finding it hard to come up with things that make you happy, check out the following:
List of happy things:
- Flip flops
- Live music
- Ice cream
- Popsicles or lollipops
- Make up
- Board games
These or other items could make up your happy list. make sure to add a few of them to your daily self care journal, so that you don’t miss out on the tasks.
Add a few self care tasks to your daily to do list
As the name suggests, self care journal is all about self care. Along with the to do list of your daily goals and activities, put in a few things which are or should be part of your daily self care routine.
Self care to do list of the self care journal
- Take a nap
- Listen to music
- Sit in the sun for a while
- Put on a face mask
- Take a long shower
- Check out old photos
- Watch a comedy movie
- Indulge in drawing/ painting activities
- Decorate your room
- Write a story
- Draw a mandala or indulge in coloring
- Drink a ton of water
- Make a healthy snack and eat
- Work out
- Go for a walk
- Indulge in body care
- Call a friend
- Meet a friend for coffee
- Call a family member and chat
- Get in touch with old friends
- Go on a walk with a friend
These ideas mentioned in the above list can be started anytime from the comfort of your own home. These ideas are perfect not only for keeping you from getting bored, they will also act as perfect part of your self care journal for taking care right at home.
Make a stress release do list in your self care journal
Get a stressful to do list ready and at hand. A stressful to do list is like a mental first aid box. You will access and work on these items in the days which are super stressful for you. These tasks will help you get back the peace you may feel like you have lost. Here are a few tips on what you can add to your stress release to do list section of your self care journal
Stress release to do list ideas:
- Call a friend
- Read the bible or any other spiritual book that you follow
- Tell someone you love them
- Eat a healthy snack
- Hello a dog or spend some time in shelter
- Listen to music you love
- Take a walk
- Remember you are not the only one with problems
- Go outside and spend time with nature
- Give yourself a compliment
- Take time out from work
- Consider how much you are loved
- Put the negative thoughts in the dustbin
- Slow down and take deep breaths
- Drink some sweet tea
- Don’t overbook your appointments
- Wear your pjs
- Celebrate all the good things you have in your life
A well maintained self care journal can help navigate through your busy day with some time to spare for yourself. You can also indulge in self care bingo.
Add a body care section to your self care journal
The body care section of your self care journal will focus on your physical well being. In this section, include the activities which would boost, care or makes your body happy. To add the body care section, you will have to work on answering a few questions first like:
- How is my body doing today?
- Is my skin feeling good today?
- Am I feeling any stress or pain or have any tensed up regions?
- My body would feel happy if I did ________.
Once you have answered these questions, you will know what to add in the body care section of your self care journal.
One thing to remember here is that your self care journal is completely personal to you. No one else needs to know what makes you happy or joyful. If you like to get your nails done, do it. Do whatever makes you and your body happy.
General activities which can improve your body self care
- Indulge in workouts
- Go through your self care routine
- Sit in the sun
- Take a nap
- Have a long soaking bubble bath
- Go for a walk
- Go to the spa
- Get a massage
- Drink lots of water
- Eat in a mindful manner
Mind care section for your self care journal
The mind care section of your self care journal focuses on healing and keeping your mind fresh and relaxed.
Answer the following questions before you plan your mind care activities in your self care journal:
- How is your mind doing today?
- Is there anything that is causing you to feel upset?
- Are you feeling stressed due to work?
- Are you being mindful?
- Are you feeling burned out or does your brain needs recharging?
Once you have answered these questions, write down the activities which relax you and write them down. These tasks can be anything from reading a book to preparing a meal.
Some general mind care ideas for your self care journal:
- Write down positive affirmations
- Do some relaxing activity like reading a book, spending time with nature, meditating etc.
- Declutter your mind and your home
- Organize your place of work or work desk
- Write down your thoughts on a brain dump page
- Finish the tasks on your to do list
- Say No when you cannot commit to the task
- Create a vision board and go through your personal goals
- Start taking a new skill class.
Self care journal tasks for the soul
The soul care part of your self care journal is related to relationships and spiritual fulfilment. To do this you indulge in activities which improve your spiritual and emotional experiences. This part is focused on tackling and fulfilling your emotional needs.
A few questions you must ask before embarking on the soul’s care part of your self care journal:
- Are your relationships affecting you positively?
- Are you practicing gratitude?
- Are you avoiding someone or something?
- Are you practicing compassion towards others and yourself?
General soul care activities:
- Turn off your phone
- Smile at a stranger
- Do some self reflection
- Work on your relationships
- Ask for help when needed
- Be kinder towards yourself and your family
- Spend time indulging in a hobby you like
- Journal for self discovery
Love yourself journal page
These are a few pages which should be a part of your self care journal. These pages will focus on loving yourself. These love yourself pages will help you keep an out for any kind of behavior which is acting as a hindrance to your emotional, physical or mental well being.
For the love yourself journal pages, you can use positive affirmations, positive life quotes, acceptance statements as well as a list of things which you want to stop doing like spending excessively, cut down on alcohol consumption etc.
Have a gratitude log
Feeling and expressing gratitude can help you with self care. This part of your self care journal should not be underestimated at any cost.
In your gratitude section of your self care journal, write down everyday what you are grateful for. This task can be done before bed time or right after waking up. Write the things in your life which you are grateful for. This is not a one time exercise. For gratitude to work, it must be practiced daily.
Add a mood tracker to your self care journal
A mood tracker can be extremely helpful especially if you suffer from anxiety issues, stress or depression.
Tracking your mood everyday will help you see the pattern and understand whether your mind is doing better than before it is their a decline in your mood patterns. If you notice a decline, you can dig in yourself and find out the cause behind the decline . This will help you understand your own self and help you get back on track.
The sudden reminder of a task which needs to be completed while you are in the middle of some work can be really annoying and distracting. If in the middle of your current task, you feel they need to indulge in another task, write it down in the brain dump section of your self care journal. Once you have it written down, get back to the work at hand. You can come back and finish these tasks later. Brain dump section is a very important part of the self care journal and will prevent you from getting distracted when you are in the middle of an important work.
Maintain a sleep log as part of your self care journal
We all know how much importance sleep holds in one’s mental health. Maintain a sleep log as part of your self care journal will help you track your sleep and see if the lack of sleep correlates with bad mood or increased feelings of negativity in you. You will realize that on the days you sleep well, you not only perform better, you also feel more energized and rejuvenated.
Challenge yourself section
If we only go about our daily lives, work from morning to night and repeat the same task the next day, life would be no fun. So why not spice up your self care journal with a challenge section. Set some goals for yourself which you are to succeed within the year. These don’t have to be a job promotion or a cross country hike. These can be as simple as trying to reduce your anger levels or doing one good thing which you enjoy daily. You can decide to focus on working on one challenge per month to make yourself a better person.
Affirmations may have already come as part of other self care ideas, but is always better to have a separate section of affirmations in your self care journal. Everyday, write down one affirmative quote which you believe in. You will notice a positive change after indulging in this task daily for a few days. Use one entire page for an affirmation, decorate the page any way you like. This will not only boost your mood, it will help build self confidence and you will fall in love with yourself all over again.
Write the good parts of the day
This task must be done right before you go to bed. This is another form of brain dumping. Right before you go to bed, write about the parts of the day which were good for you in your self care journal. A good part can be as simple as enjoying a cup of coffee or seeing a beautiful flower during your walk. Writing these down will provide a boost of good feelings which will allow for a better sleep.
Write the bad parts of the day
Bad is an inevitable part of our life. However, sometimes these bad sections of the day may take over your good mood and affect your sleep. Writing about the bad parts in your self care journal before going to sleep will allow you to find a release from the bad moments which you suffered from. Write how you felt during that moment, and all the emotions you felt. This will act as a release mechanism and allow you to feel lighter and not burdened by the negative emotions.
Write the primary thoughts that were on your mind all day
Write about what you primarily felt the whole day. We go through a variety of emotions in one day. However, sometimes some emotions prevail longer than the others. You don’t have to talk about your feelings with anyone. Just writing them down is enough. Release your deepest darkest thoughts into your self care journal and let your journal take care of it.
Answer the whys
Sometimes we feel a certain way but don’t understand the reasons behind the same. When writing in your self care journal, ask yourself why you are feeling in a certain way. The more you ask yourself this question, the more you find the answers within yourself. These answers will be the key to a better future of your mental health.
Note down the positive memories
Good memories don’t have to be relieved only through photographs and videos. You can write about them as well. If you had a good day and have a memory you would like to preserve, write about it in your journal. Your journal is your private space. Writing down your memory as you remember it will allow you to revisit your memory any time you want in the future.
List your favorite meals
Sometimes when we feel angry, hurt or sad, it is hard to come up with the things which we like. Therefore, it is best to write down everything about your favorite meals in your self care journal. Next time you feel hurt, sad or angry, you can eat a meal which you like and hopefully feel better.
List your hope for the future
The tasks we do today are aimed at us having a better future. We are future oriented creatures. Therefore, it is only fair that you put down your hopes for the future in your self care journal. These don’t have to be 5 year plans. These can be goals you intend to achieve in the short term. Furthermore, if you have your goals written down somewhere, it will be harder to miss achieving them since every time you look s at them, you will be reminded of the tasks you need to complete to achieve your goals.
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Even an inconspicuous notebook can change your life if used in the right manner. If you have not started a self care journal yet, their is no need to wait any more. Just take a notebook or a tablet with a notebook app in it and start designing your very own self care journal.
One promise you need to make to yourself is that you will adhere to your plans and goals you write for yourself in your self care journal. You will not let the struggles of life take up the time you have set aside for you in your self care journal.
If you stay on this road even for 7 days without falling off the wagon, I promise you that you will start to see a noticeable change in your mood and self confidence. Your mental health would be on a positive upward curve while your negativity and self doubt would start to fade.
Which of these tips you found the most helpful? How do you maintain your self care journal? Please share your experiences in the comment section with all of us. If you have any queries pertaining to this blog post or any other, feel free to mention them in the comment section or contact me on any of my social media channels. I will be happy to help.
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Frequently asked questions
How do I start a self care journal?
Here are a few journal prompts for starting a self care journal:
- What are you grateful for?
- How was your day?
- What are you proud of? ‘
- What are your talents?
- What are your favorite hobbies?
- What makes you laugh?
Adding the answers to the above mentioned questions to your daily to do list of your self care journal will help you begin your self care journey.
What are some self care ideas?
Here are some self care ideas for you to start with:
- Go for a listen to music
- Go on a long drive
- Have a spa day
- Take a break
- Put on a face mask
- Spend time with your companion animals
- Take a bubble bath etc.
How can I make myself better everyday?
To work on self improvement and make yourself better, you must stop thinking negatively towards your body or yourself. The following techniques might help:
- Cultivate gratitude
- Go on a digital detox
- Self affirmations
- Get proper sleep
- Breathe conceptually
- Engage in random kind acts
- Help out in animal shelters
To name a few.