Sometimes we need a little boost to lift our mood so that we can keep growing, move forward or nourish our souls. Writing or journaling can be part of an effective self-care routine because it can give us time for reflection and goal setting.
Here are a few suggestions to get you thinking about some of the good you have going on in your life and the worthwhile things you do for yourself and other people …
Things That Went Well | Write about 3 things that you did today that went well. What positive impact did they have on you or those around you? They don’t need to be big, impressive things but rather any part of your everyday life that reminds you of the steps you take each day that matter.
A Better Tomorrow | Write a short plan about what you can do tomorrow to make your day better or to improve on something that maybe didn’t quite go as well as you had originally hoped. How can this be an opportunity to move forward? What did you learn from things not working out at this point? Remind yourself that each day is a fresh start and that you can make a difference.
It’s Going Well | Write a list of what’s working and going well for you in life at the moment — no matter how small. Use this to clearly see the progress you’ve made and focus on what this makes you feel and why it impacts you in a positive way. You’ve overcome or accomplished more than maybe you realize — you’ve got this!
Times Are Different | Write about one area of your life — or one particular everyday aspect — that has improved from a year ago. Focus on how you are making progress and where this may lead you. Set a goal for where you want to be in another year and how you are going to work towards achieving it.
A Thank You | Spreading some kindness can definitely improve a gloomy mood as it helps us realize how much good we have around us. Write a thank-you note to a family member, friend or neighbour to let them know how much you appreciate them, email a store manager to leave a compliment for a worker who gave excellent service, thank a hospital worker for their care, leave a glowing review for a creator you bought something from, etc. No matter who you do this for, the difference you make in their day will be something you feel positive about too.
Pay-It-Forward | Write a plan for some simple ways you can pay-it-forward. Cover the bill for the person behind you in line at the drive-thru, pay for the next person’s coffee at your favourite caffeinated spot — anything you can think of — as it could well be the reason that someone has a better day. Simple acts of thoughtfulness and care are never wasted.
Words To Live By | Write down your favourite quote and list the ways you use it in your daily life or why you like it so much. Has it inspired you to do anything or does it remind you of someone/something important? Create a graphic of it so that you can share it with others and explain what it means to you.
Music You Love | Make a list of 5 songs or pieces of music that make you feel really good. Which one energizes you or makes you feel ready for the day? Which one has the best memories attached to it? Make a simple timetable of when these tracks would be most beneficial to play (such as when you are getting ready for work, exercising or doing chores, etc) and enjoy the encouragement it gives you!
But please remember, feeling positive is not always going to happen or come easily, it’s okay to not see the sunny side of life when things are being particularly difficult, tough or painful. While this collection of writing prompts may be a useful self-care tool, if you’re overwhelmed or struggling with stress, anxiety or depression they will not provide the support you need. Here are some places you can get help …
NAMI Helpline – a free, nationwide U.S. resource that offers experienced peer-support guidance and advice
CheckPoint – global (by country) resources for mental health support
Why You Should Pay It Forward — HuffPost
5 Reasons Why Being Kind Makes You Feel Good — The Conversation
5 Powerful Health Benefits of Journaling — Intermountain Healthcare