When you search the internet for ideas on self-care, one of the top suggestions is journaling.
But what is journaling for self-care, and how do you get started?
If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of even starting, we have a few ideas to help you begin.
You don’t have to use all of them — just choose the ones that speak to you and motivate you to begin the journaling habit.
What Should Be in a Self-Care Journal?
So what should you write in a self-care journal? The simple answer is anything you want to write.
The point of keeping a self-care journal is to explore important questions and challenge yourself to think about your life in new ways. There are many ways to do this.
As you get started, you may want to consider your goals for keeping a journal. Are you trying to change bad habits, stop negative self-talk, or relieve stress?
There are many reasons to start journaling, so there’s no limit to the things you can put in your journal.
Whether you want to explore your memories or try to treat yourself more kindly, the direction you take in your journal is up to you.
What Are the Benefits of Using Journal Prompts for Self-Care?
Science shows that journaling is a good exercise for self-care and self-reflection. Journaling can help improve focus while organizing your thoughts and goals and making sense of past trauma.
Here are a few more benefits of self-care journaling:
- Putting names to emotions
- Talking through trauma
- Organizing goals
- Acknowledging positive aspects of life, such as memories, hobbies, relationships, etc.
- Acknowledging your good qualities
- Tracking progress
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Slowing down and reflecting
How to Get Started with Self-Care Journaling
There are many ways to do it. You should consider a few things as you start keeping your journal.
- Choose a journal you like and writing implements you find comfortable. Some people like using a variety of colored pens or pencils to draw pictures or doodle; others are content with using a regular pen or pencil.
- Keep a schedule that works for you. That might mean finding time every day or just once a week. Many people enjoy journaling right before they go to bed or first thing in the morning.
- Create a pleasant environment where you can reflect, ideally where you won’t be disturbed.
- Remember that not every prompt will be a good fit for you. If a journaling prompt is causing you to engage in negative self-talk or dwell on bad memories, feel free to skip it.
45 Self-Care Journal Prompts To Help You Put Your Needs First
If you’re unsure what you want to write about, we’ve got you covered. Here are some self-care journaling ideas to help get the ideas flowing.
1. What is a memory of a time when you were the happiest? Who were you with, and what was the situation?
2. What are the things that you are most grateful for? How do they affect your life? These can be big or small things.
3. What are your favorite hobbies? Why do you love them? What hobbies do you wish that you could start/get back into?
4. What are some ways that you can prioritize self-care? Write a list of all the things you could do to improve your well-being.
5. What makes you feel like you’re in control? What makes you feel like you’re losing control?
6. What thought patterns are holding you back from being happy? How can you change them?
7. What do you fear? Write a letter addressing your fear and explain why and how you plan to conquer it.
8. What is the most significant source of stress in your life right now? How do you plan to tackle it?
9. What things in your life no longer serve your best interest? Make a list and how you could move past them.
10. Who are the people who support you? Make a list of the ways they could help you find time for yourself.
11. Who are the people who have helped you in the past? What did they do, and what impact did it have on your life?
12. What are you proud of? What are your most significant accomplishments, personally or professionally, that come to mind when you think of this?
13. Describe yourself in 10 words. Then describe yourself in ten words as the people closest to you might do so.
14. What was one of the big failures you’ve experienced? What did you learn from it, and what could you have done differently?
15. Write a thank you letter to yourself for the self-care you do. It could be anything from a skincare routine to cutting out toxic people.
16. What are some of your bad habits? How would stopping them positively impact your life?
17. What is something wild you would like to try? Is it something that is out of character for you?
18. What was the most unforgettable moment you’ve ever had? What did you feel during that time, and how did it affect you?
19. Who is your best friend? Write down all the ways you are grateful for them and how they’ve influenced you.
20. What is your bedtime routine? What would you like to change to get a better night’s sleep?
21. What parts of your personality do you like the best? Which parts are the hardest for you to accept?
22. What are three examples of negative self-talk that you struggle with? How can you change these habits?
23. Write down ten things that inspire you. What about them do you want to emulate in your own behavior?
24. What would you want to say to your teenage self if you could?
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25. What is something you can’t forgive yourself for? What would need to happen to help you heal and move past it?
26. What are some songs that make you happy? Make a playlist of the songs that lift your mood when you’re down.
27. What is the most challenging thing you have ever done? How did it make you feel?
28. Make a list of the books that have impacted you. What lessons did they teach you?
29. What are the goals you want to accomplish this week? What about goals you want to achieve in the next year?
30. What three things would you like to tell a friend, partner, or relative?
31. What is your morning routine? What would you like to add to make yourself ready for the day?
32. What are ten words you would use to describe yourself? What are ten words you’d like to use to describe yourself?
33. What belief or opinion you once had that has changed? What made you change your mind?
34. Setting boundaries is an integral part of self-care. What are some ways that you can set boundaries in your life?
35. What would you do if you had total freedom, assuming finances or other responsibilities were not a factor?
36. If you could take a vacation wherever you wanted, where would you go?
37. What does self-care look like to you? How does it make a difference in how you feel, physically and emotionally?
38. What do you want your life to look like in five years? Discuss your dream life — nothing is too unrealistic.
39. What would you say if you could speak to yourself five years ago? What about 10 or 15 years ago?
40. What do you think is your best quality? What was a time when it really shone?
41. Talk about a time you showed support to a friend. How can you treat yourself the same way?
42. What is your favorite space in your home? What makes it special to you?
43. In what ways do you want to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone? It can include both small and big challenges.
44. Who is the person you enjoy talking to the most? What was the best conversation you ever had together?
45. What is something you wish other people knew about you? What is keeping you from sharing that?
The bottom line is that there is no wrong way to start journaling. Pick the prompt that speaks to you, and just start writing.
You’ll find that once your thoughts start flowing, you’ll have more to say than you think. And that’s one of the best ways to care for yourself.