Do you find yourself coming down with a case of the Sunday Scaries each week? Does that anxious feeling carry over to Monday, causing a hectic start to your work week? While there are countless ways to help combat that feeling, let’s start by focusing on one: Journaling.
Journaling can be a great help for people struggling with their mental health. It does so by helping manage anxiety, reduce stress, and cope with depression (1). This makes sense, as journaling helps you work through what is going on in your mind. Consider a meeting at work: the person leading the meeting is likely jotting down ideas on a whiteboard for everyone to see. By seeing the ideas, you and your coworkers are probably better able to work through issues and create solutions. The same goes for the workings of your daily life. Keeping a record of your thoughts by journaling can help you prioritize the problems in your life, notice trends in your mindset, and even help you focus on the “good”.
While it would be great if you could journal every day, it’s easier to start small so you can keep up with the habit. This Monday, start writing in a journal in the morning. Ideally, you’ll have woken up, done your normal bathroom routine, and have sat down with your breakfast when you pull out your journal. Since you’re already sitting down when you eat your breakfast, it’s a good time to squeeze in your weekly journaling. If you don’t usually sit down for breakfast, start to do so on Monday mornings. Not only will it give you something to look forward to at the beginning of the work week, it will also give you intentional time to sit down with your thoughts.
You don’t need to write for long. Even 5-10 minutes can help clear your mind and set you up for success for the week. When writing, you should make it feel like your personal space. There’s nothing right or wrong to write about; the goal is simply to get your thoughts on paper. If you’d like some ideas for getting started on your journaling routine, here are five prompt ideas:
What am I most excited for this week?
- This prompt can help you find motivation for the week by giving you a few things to look forward to.
What am I stressed about this week? How can I help ease those stresses?
- By addressing what you are worried about, you can start to find solutions to help ease the stress.
What went well last week? What could have gone better?
- It’s important to think back on how your last week went. You want to try to repeat and build on your successes, while also trying to decipher what led to the slight downfalls.
What, and who, are you grateful for this week?
- It’s important to find things to be grateful for, and if you let people in your life know they’re appreciated, you and them will feel the positivity.
What is one thing I can do to prioritize my health this week?
- Maybe you’ll add in an extra serving of veggies each day this week, or maybe you’ll squeeze in an extra workout class. Your physical health helps keep your mental health in line, so make it a priority.