How good have you been at practicing self-care recently?
Looking for ways to practice self-care in stressful times is more important than ever – especially with 2020 being such a tough year for so many.
A simple way you can look after yourself every day is with journal prompts focused on self-care.
There are 30 self-care journal ideas below which you can use every day for a month. Or you can use one of these writing prompts when you need some downtime or a little stress relief.
However you decide to use these self-care journal prompts, they will bring some great benefits to your daily mental health – specifically to manage stress and anxiety.
The Benefits of Journaling for Self-Care and Mental Health
Self-care for everyone today is essential.
Caught off guard, we’re all just scrambling to make things work in the new normal of our world, and it’s wreaking havoc on our mental health.
Along with social interactions, communication with your medical doctor and mental health professionals, writing is another source of help to cope with the strain and the fatigue of daily stress.
Writing is a form of self-care.
“Keeping your stories bottled up inside can make you sick, but when you write them down, you get them out of your cells. You feel lighter.” – Nancy Slonim Aronie, author of Writing from the Heart
How can Journaling for Self Care be a Way to Better Mental health?
Using self care journal prompts can:
- Ease anxiety by providing opportunities to mentally escape
- Help navigate your emotions, manage stress and clear your mind
- Reduce feelings of confusion and misdirection by providing insight
- Provide support for depression by rebooting your motivation, which gives your mind a chance to learn something new
Along with mental health benefits, there are also studies that suggest journaling has a positive physical effect as well, such as reducing trauma, lowering blood pressure, improving sleep and memory.
30 Self Care Journal Prompts for Adults: Write Your Way to Improved Mental Health
Take the self-care writing challenge! 30 days of journal prompts, designed to make you feel good 🙂 #writingprompts #mentalhealthprompts Click To Tweet
Some of these self-care journal prompts may be tricky, but that’s the point – to challenge your state of mind and work through your emotions with words.
So, let’s get into some self-care writing ideas…
1. What Was Your Favourite Childhood Book?
List your favourite book, and explain why it’s your favourite.
Remember to think back to the feelings you felt when reading this book and really try to put it into words.
- Was it a story of comfort for you?
- Did it reassure you of something?
- Was it a familiar tale, with which you felt a connection?
- Did it make you forget bad times? Did it make you remember great times?
2. Write About a Happy Time
When was a time you felt really content?
Describe the situation and surroundings during this time.
- Where were you, who were you with, what were you doing?
- What made you feel so happy?
- Can you create this feeling in other ways to re-experience this sensation? If yes, write down these ideas.
3. Stream of Consciousness Writing:
Wait – what is this?
Stream of conscious writing is simply defined as:
“Stream of consciousness writing refers to a narrative technique where the thoughts and emotions of a narrator or character are written out such that a reader can track the fluid mental state of these characters.” – David Mamet, Writing 101 Masterclass, Resource.
Stream of consciousness writing is a great way to extract your inner workings and gain insight into your thinking and emotions.
How To Start:
- Take your pen and just start writing the first word that pops into your head.
- Now, keep writing. There is no need for periods, commas or capitalizing.
Typically, you will know when to end because you’ll be a little worn out.
Once you’ve finished writing, read what you wrote. You’ll be surprised by what you find!
4. Songs That Make You Feel Good
Write a list of 5 happy songs you can listen to when you feel sad.
How do these songs make you feel?
What kind of messages do they give you?
- Use this as a resource when you need to lift your mood.
5. Write a Letter To Your Greatest Fear
Tell your fear to hit the road.
Write a letter to your greatest fear and tell it how you feel.
Then tell your fear that it no longer needs to rule you and go find another place to live.
6. Write Why Being Strong Matters
Write out your reasons for staying strong or for getting strong again.
Confirming why do you want to focus on strength will give you deeper insight into what truly matters to you.
Some reasons you may want to focus on being strong:
- Reaching goals
7. Write a letter to someone you love
… but you haven’t connected in a long time.
Write about why you love them or why they are important in your life.
You can decide whether to keep the letter or mail it, but the point of the exercise is to rekindle what is special about this relationship.
8. Give Your Stress or Anxiety a Voice
You might feel like this is counter-intuitive, but when you’re in the throes of an anxiety attack, get your pen and write about how crappy you feel.
When in a moment of anxiety, you have a hyper sense of self-awareness.
Slash at the pages. Let every ugly word come out.
- How do you physically feel at this moment?
- What are your emotions?
- What do you want to do? Where do you want to hide?
Scream blasphemy at the anxiety monster hovering around you. When I did this, it felt so much like a deflation. I had a good nap after that. Try it!
9. Write Some Inspiring Quotes in Your Journal
Find some quotes that speak to you and make you feel good.
Write them down in your journal. Or turn it into a work of art by practicing your cursive handwriting or calligraphy and frame it for your eyes only.
Check out these quotes post to get you inspired:
- 40 Inspiring Quotes & Being Thankful Sayings
- 20 Quotes To Give You Strength When You’re Feeling Low
- 21 Quotes The Alchemist Teaches About Love & Life
- Inspiring Quotes to Live in the Present Moment
10. Apologize To Yourself
Write an apology letter to yourself.
Forgive yourself for being only human, and for not being perfect.
Apologize for being too hard on yourself when you’ve gone through hard times when you lost control or slacked off at work because you were too tired.
11. Write a Letter To Your Negative Self Thoughts
As you are writing picture your negative thoughts as an individual and really tell them why the relationship isn’t working out.
12. List Your Goals
Write down all of your goals for the next year, big or small.
It can be something as simple as cutting down coffee to making that big move you’ve been dreaming about.
Just make sure your goals are realistic.
13. Sensory Journaling
Take your journal outside and find a comfy spot. If it’s cold outside, just bundle up!
Write about what you see, hear, feel.
This is a good form of meditation. It slows you down, helps you see details, and is a great way to stay in the moment.
14. Write About Your Favourite Place
What is it about this place that makes you feel good?
Describe what this place is in detail – from the way it smells, sounds, feels, to what you do in this place.
Your favourite place could be something as simple as your bed, or a castle overseas.
15. What Does Your Perfect Self Care Day Look Like?
Write down all aspects of the perfect “you day”.
Once complete, figure out how you can make this day – or even part of the day happen.
By incorporating activities that cater to your overall happiness you will be more capable of being in control of your true happiness.What does your perfect day look like? #selfcare #writingprompts Click To Tweet
More Self Care Journal Prompts To Improve Your Mental Health
16. Write Down Your Typical Daily Emotions
List the typical emotions you experience in a day or week.
Once you list your typical emotions I encourage you to check out these free mood tracker worksheets to continue with this process.
Sample emotions: Happy, sad, grateful, excited, stressed, calm, depressed, relaxed, irritated, proud.
This self-care journal prompt is great for checking in on your mental health.
17. Write a Love Letter to Your Body
This is so important, as we typically fight, hurt or insult our bodies on a daily basis.
Tell your body what you love about it. Love it for being unique, thank it for always trying to keep you healthy and safe.
18. Be Honest with What Stresses You
List 3 situations that stress you out.
Now list, how you are able to change these situations and respond to them.
Deep self-reflection and honesty are key with this self-care journal prompt.
19. Find a Photo You Love & Describe It
Why do you love the photo? How does it make you feel when you see it?
To take it a step further print out the photo and put it in your journal alongside your description.
20. Write About a Day of Awesome
Write about what your best day looks like.
Provide details on each moment throughout the day. How will you wake up? What will you eat? Will you be alone or with someone? Where will you go?
Now that you’ve written this down, visualize experiencing this day of awesome.
21. What Makes You Smile?
Make a list of at least 5 things that make you smile. If you can write a lot more, write ideas until you can’t stop!
If you need a little inspiration check out this post – 99 Simple Pleasures To Fill You with Joy.
22. Write a Character Profile
Write a description of your hero/heroine as if you were writing a book.
Describe their appearance, personality traits, fears, dreams, family, flaws and more.
This helps you hone in on specifics and breaks you out of your anxiety bubble (if you’re in it at the time).
23. Use Symbolism To Describe How You Feel
Are you like Poe’s Raven? Dark and looming representing depressive thoughts and morbidity?
Are you feeling like a flower bud just opening after a hard thunderstorm, feeling fresh and new and bursting with ideas?
Symbolism is a great way to turn your feelings into a vivid display – and it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else but you.
24. What’s Your Favourite Season?
Use your 5 senses (sight, touch, scent, sight, taste) to describe your favourite season.
You can include your favourite things about the season for each sense.Self-care writing prompt: What's your favourite season? Use your 5 senses to describe it. #writingprompts #selfcare Click To Tweet
25. Do a Writing Brain Dump
Writing for your health essentially means writing as a way to de-stress.
Write down everything that is in your head – absolutely everything.
- Projects you want to start
- Things you need to remember
- People you need to call
Whatever is in there, get it out.
When you see your thoughts on paper, you can start organizing based on urgency and importance, and THEN, you can start checking them off.
Once you complete this journaling exercise the noise in your mind will be quieter. You’ll also find you can remember more, and be more creative and productive.
This may be the ultimate self-care journaling idea as it clears out the cobwebs and helps de-stress.
26. What Are You Grateful for?
Make a list of everything you are grateful for today.
Think of things big and small… the smell of freshly brewed coffee, a hug from your child, sunshine and birds chirping, alone time, a good laugh with your friend.
Once you write down what you are grateful for, keep this list handy. That way, when you are feeling down you can reread your gratitude list as a reminder to all that you have.
27. Create a Mind Map for your Goals
Creating a life that you love involves work. Start a mind map or a vision board.
Write down your goals and how you will achieve them. This exercise leads to self-reflection and helps you get started on reaching your goals.
28. Self Love Affirmations
One night before bed, write down 5 self-love affirmations.
To get you started you can check out this post and download the self-love affirmations worksheets.
Writing self-love affirmations in your journal is a good way to end your day – cozy and warm in your bed.
29. What are Your Favourite Hobbies?
Make a list of all of your favourite hobbies and things to do.
If you find that your list is short, make it a point to discover something new – whether it’s crochet, learning a new language, or taking up tennis.
If your list is long, congratulate yourselves for being so interesting! And keep growing that list 🙂
After all, educating yourself is a great way to care for your mind.
30. Write a Self Care Activities List
List out as many things you can think of that give you support and make you happy.
Taking a bubble bath, drinking champagne with someone you love, going for a long drive by yourself, playing the flute you’re so horrible on, but you just LOVE playing.
This self-care journal prompt is an important one, as you can look back on these activities when you need them most and focus on doing them.
Self Care Journal Prompts: Conclusion
These self-care journal prompts are meant to help you realize how truly awesome you are, but times can be tough.
The best way to take care of yourself is to make your life happy and healthy.
Find ways to have lots of natural lighting, have access to the great outdoors and have your pen and paper always nearby.
What Self Care Journal Prompt Resonates Most with you?
Share your thoughts in the comments below…
About Rebecca: Freelance writer at The Poe Scribe. Inspired by, Elon Musk, L.M. Montgomery, Edgar Allan Poe and my father, I specialize in writing about natural health, mental health, children’s health, literacy, homesteading, prepping and survival themes.
Related Self Care Blog Posts & Resources:
- How to Set and Achieve Your Mental Helath Goals
- The Art of Dating Yourself + 10 Self Date Ideas
- Take Care with the Best Self Care Sunday Ideas
- Morning Self Care Routine – New Ideas To Start Your Day
- 25 Ways to Simplify Life and Be Happy