Journaling on Bad Mental Health Days

I wanted to share some prompts I’ve used on bad mental health days. On those days when my mental health sucked the absolute most, regardless of the funk I was in, I think those are the moments I need to write the most. I did 2 wonderful weeks of Outpatient Therapy at a local hospital and after lunch there were 2 hours of art and journaling time. A few of these are prompts I found and wrote my responses to while there.

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  • Describe a time in your Life when you failed & what you learned from it.–This one was tough. Who wants to dwell on failure?..but it was the second part that got me. What did I learn from this failure? I wanted to focus on a time when things didn’t turn out how I expected or hoped..and what I took away from that not happening.
  • What does your ideal life look like?–Looking at life and goals for my life, especially during such a dark period really helped boost my hope for the future.
  • What lessons have I learned from having depression?–Determined to not allow this piece of my life to kick my butt, I jotted down what finally calling it what it is, seeking help and managing day to day with it had taught me.
  • What are 3 things that made you happy today?–When life feels so redundant and when you live with this cloud following you around, I know me personally, I forget to reflect on the happy moments. So I jotted down one day what had made me happy. Don’t give all the negative your energy.
  • Write the words that you need to hear–This prompt was really important to me, because when I hit my really dark period it was after years of having never giving my “monster,” a name. So it was really new for me..and also new for my loved ones. I think with it being this new thing we all needed to learn to live with,  no one really knew what to say to me. And things they were saying weren’t always the right thing. A lot of people in my life, some of the most important ones definitely have the ability to make things about them. So writing what I needed to hear in that moment was refreshing and uplifting.
  • Jotting down “triggers,” and what I can do to combat them–For a few weeks my therapist gave me an assignment to jot down when my moods take over, what I’m doing and how it made me feel so that at our following session we could sit and discuss them. This got me to thinking and wanting to write down triggers. Focusing on my triggers and coming up with my own ways to combat them felt very powerful. It took some strength but I knew that was only the beginning of the battle..I’d have to actually use the techniques I came up with when the time came. There was something moving about owning it and taking that responsibility.

 

So these were just a few writing prompts that I used during some of my darkest mental health days. I do have a specific journal just for my mental health journey which I love and prefer and would recommend to you as well. It has a little bit of everything in it..music lyrics, quotes, poems, art work and writing.

My hope is that even if not one of these prompts, this post gives you the encouragement needed to do some writing on the days when nothing feels possible. and know I’m here rooting for you.

Until next time, take care of yourselves. xo.

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Ways to Fill a Journal

Since receiving a Lisa Frank diary as one of my birthday gifts back in 3rd grade, journaling has been a very important part of my life. As I get older, it gets even more important. 

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My daughter is now a 3rd grader, and it was shortly after giving birth to her that I got heavy into researching our ancestry. I remember my research coming to a dead end, and telling my Mom, “This would be so much easier, had someone kept a journal!” 

Then 2 years ago, my Grandfather passed away after a tough battle with Alzheimer’s. There is so much I wish I could’ve asked him, but seeing his memory fade away, I knew it was impossible. It was really his passing that was the kick in the butt I needed to jot down life. If anything were to happen to me, I’d like to leave behind something for my kids to read and understand how my mind worked, my opinions on things, my loves..

I understand though that journaling can be tough! Especially when your day to day may feel like there isn’t really anything exciting worth writing about. So I’m sharing some ideas of other ways you can fill your journal if you find yourself in a rut.

  • Recipes I’ve Tried--I consider myself a Pinterest Chef. Most recipes I’ve tried have come from there and if they turn out right, I’ll jot them down. You never know whose hands years from now your journal may end up in..and food is such a way to connect!
  • Movies Watched–All of 2018 I jotted down every movie title I watched as I watched them. This was cool for me to reflect back on because I don’t watch very many movies and I’m trying to do better with that. I watched more romantic comedies than anything, lots of classic film and of course..horror!
  • Quotes–I have notebooks I use specifically for jotting down quotes I’ve come across and loved. My soul is eternally 17, so the more angsty, the better..
  • Prompts–I am a big advocate of going on Pinterest and searching for writing Prompts. These come in so handy when you want to just write, but don’t really know about what exactly. A few I have written before are: The Best Advice I’d give to my younger self..The thing I’m most thankful for..
  • Art Journal--I am obsessed with watching art journal flip through videos on Youtube. I don’t go all out but I did buy a notebook with blank paper/no lines that I use for art journaling. I cut magazine articles out..I have art supplies..whatever I’m feeling at the time goes in there. I don’t use that journal often but when I do it brings a different sense of calm and relaxation. I love it.
  • Ideas/Thoughts/Lists--I keep a smaller, pocket size notebook in my car to write random things in that come across my mind while out and about. Any ideas I have, things I need to remember even grocery lists before running into the grocery store.
  • Book Reviews–I know most readers post reviews on Goodreads and if you want to go deeper, you can probably find a review for something on Instagram and of course Blogs and Youtube. Prior to posting my reviews on my blog though, I write my thoughts down in my book journal. I jot down quotes I like as I’m reading it and character traits, plot twists..opinions of the writing while making my way through. Doing this helps me better formulate a review once I’ve finished. And one day my kids will be able to take my book journal..see what I read years prior and read my thoughts on it.
  • Tracking Spending–Now this is an idea I want to give a try. I want to keep a record of where all of my money goes to, that way I can start doing better at budgeting and managing. Either paper clipping receipts, printing them out and gluing them in or just jotting them down..I think either way it could be very beneficial. Especially over a period of time and if say next year I kept track of all of my book buying, to be specific..it’d be interesting to see how much money goes toward my book buying habit.

 

So those are just a few ideas I have of ways you can fill your notebook. I hope this helps.. if you’d like maybe some Prompt ideas, I’m totally down to share some or create some. Just let me know.

we will chat again soon. Until next time, take care of yourselves. xo.

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