Whether you’re feeling stressed or are seeking a way to get to know yourself better, a self-care journal is an excellent tool to keep handy and use in your everyday routine.
While many journals are blank or offer insightful quotes, self-care journals tend to include prompts, list activities, reflecting exercises and other tasks for you to track each day. Self-care journals can improve your mental health, allow you to re-discover yourself, let go of any negativity and help you stay on track with your goals and ambitions. Here’s everything you need to about when it comes to choosing the best self-care journal for you:
Which self-care journal is best for me?
Journaling can do more than just ‘get your thoughts out’; it can help organize your thoughts, or inspire new ones. Self-care journals can also help you track work progress, water, vitamin intake, mindfulness and other key components of a healthy lifestyle.
Self-care journals come with a variety of details and themes. For instance, many include checklists or prompts for you to list things you are grateful for, while others focus on future-oriented tasks like goal setting. Other self-care journals tend to be geared more toward anxiety, depression, or for those fighting battles who need an outlet.
Writing down your thoughts, whether prompted or freestyle, in a journal can help provide a release and allow you organize your inner feelings and ideas.
Before deciding on a self-care journal, you should consider the following:
Determine why you want/need a self-care journal: if it is being sought specifically to help deal with anxiety or stress, look for a journal that is designed for improving mental health. If you are seeking a journal for general self-care and motivation, a more generic or light-hearted option may suffice.
Decide whether you want a journal that is entirely based on prompts and activities or one that has room for free-writing: depending on your experience with writing, you may want the journal experience to be entirely guided, or, have a good mix of both.
Consider the length of the journal too: some journals are intended to be one-year journals, whereas others are designed to take only a few months to fill in. There are even some journals that are entirely self-paced, where you can fill out portions whenever you feel compelled to.
How to start self-care journaling
Determine your self-discipline abilities and set some goals: along with choosing a journal that is the appropriate length and style, if you are serious about self-care journaling, you’ll want to set some goals to ensure you stick to your routine. Many journals require constant entries, or at the very least, 3-4 a week, to maintain consistency and for you to see any progress, regardless of what that might look like for you. Set aside time on days that you feel are appropriate and incorporate your self-care journal into your routine… and stick with it!
Decide where you would like to be one year from now (or, at whatever point you feel your journal will be complete): use that vision to motivate you and guide you. Reflect on your past, understand your present self, but keep a future-oriented mind.
Other tips for journaling include:
setting reminders for yourself so you do not forget to write, and even if you feel unmotivated or feel stumped, write anyhow.
- Whether you write down one word or skip to another question, understand that no idea or thought is insignificant; everything you write contributes toward your self-care journey and helps propel you forward to your next prompt or task.The best self-care journals available now
The Calm & Mindful Notebook: available at Amazon
This journal is intended to span over a 12-week period and is perfect if you are looking for writing exercises that are grounding, promote self-awareness, help you harness your passions and motivate you to be your best self.
Self-Care: A Day and Night Reflection Journal: available at Amazon
This 3-month reflection journal is designed to help cultivate mindfulness and to help you keep track of your habits and daily tasks so that you stay organized and remember to take time and focus on what’s most important.
I Am F*cking Radiant: A Self-Care Journal to Help You Ditch the Spa Days, Quit the Bullsh*t, and Actually Feel F*cking Better: available at Amazon
“I Am F*cking Radiant” is an empowering journal that promotes self-care for anyone who is constantly busy, anxious or feels like they need to take time for themselves. This journal is intended to help you feel your best, unwind and reflect – no matter who you are, what you do for a living, or what kind of life you have.
The Self-Discovery Journal: 52 Weeks of Reflection, Inspiration, and Growth: available at Amazon
This journal will take you one year to complete. Each week, you’ll write to reflect, to grow, and to discover (or rediscover) parts of yourself that need nurturing, or that you need to let go of. This self-discovery journal is written by a psychologist and acts as a form of self-care for those looking to better understand themselves.
Burn After Writing: available at Amazon
This best-selling journal is intended to help you express yourself, rediscover who you are, laugh, cry and then ‘burn after writing’; while this is just an expression, the journaling experience is meant to be a release and once completed, you can do with the book whatever you choose.
Self-Care Check-In: A Guided Journal to Build Healthy Habits and Devote Time to You: available at Amazon
This journal takes a 3-step approach to self-care and includes prompts for daily writing exercises for you to observe, reflect and actively solve your problems or challenges and develop healthy habits that are unique to you.
Let That Sh*t Go: A Journal for Leaving Your Bullsh*t Behind and Creating a Happy Life: available at Amazon
For those who are stressed, upset, holding onto pent-up anger and seeking a cathartic writing experience, this journal could be your new best friend. Sometimes profanity combined with some realistic writing prompts is what you need to let go of what’s hurting you.
Self-care comes in many forms; while some opt for scented candles and spa-nights, others find these are only temporary fixes. A small investment in a self-care journal helps you creatively discover your inner-self and could lead to permanent, positive changes.