Some people recharge and take care of themselves by socializing at an event with friends, going out to a new workout or art class, but personally that doesn’t appeal to me. I prefer to keep to myself and indulge in an activity that brings me comfort. In a world where technology is everywhere, it can be so therapeutic to be present in the moment and compose a list of your thoughts. Whether it’s reflective or for gratitude, it can really ground you and transform the ecosystem of your brain. If you were like me as a child, you had a sequined, locking journal with your initial on the front, and it was filled with delusions about your future life with your 5th grade crush. Journaling has been proven to help manage the stress and emotions that come with life, especially as a college student.
What if I told you I took the same approach that brought me my now boyfriend of over a year? I had a session with my therapist, who recommended that I write down a specific list of qualities that I am looking for in a partner. So that’s what I did, and while it did feel quite silly in the moment, looking back, it was such a healthy thing to do! I really took a step back and thought about my needs, and I ended up matching with him on a dating app about 4 months later. Did the writing itself actually bring me a boyfriend? No, but I can say that it truly changed my mindset from then on. After that, I took on the practice of gratitude journaling which was a great way to gain more positive insight into my daily life.
I consulted with a Maryville classmate of mine, Lydia Rice, who has spent the past month working on herself, and implementing journaling into her mornings. What motivated Rice to start journaling was the worst mental depression of her life. Rice takes inspiration from many media sources, for example, The Wizard Liz. Clicking her name will lead you to her channel of videos you can pick from. Rice’s personal favorite video is How to stop doubting yourself and how to stop being lazy and pathetic. “She took a needle and sent it right through the dreamland of “I am not allowed to be depressed anymore!””
I asked Rice what kind of physical impact that the habit of journaling has had in her life, and she gave me some interesting insight. “It helps me feel more awake in the mornings, because I wake up and engage my brain in something good. I have also noticed that my confidence has gone up because I have switched from having a victim mentality and now, I have some optimism and am pushing myself to get involved in things that I haven’t before.
While journaling isn’t the most innovative self-care activity, it is perfect for introverts, or anyone that is lacking positive movement in your life, or just could use a refresh in your days. Acquire a journal that makes you happy, and pour your thoughts and aspirations into it. You never know what can come from it!