How a journal can help you during grief.
Journals or diaries are helpful during grief and loss because writing allows you to be more present with your feelings and thoughts. During grief and loss, your head might feel messy and you might struggle to think clearly. Writing gives you the opportunity to be close to your feelings and thoughts without judgement.
It doesn’t have to be a fancy new journal with a cute cover and you do not have to be a good writer. The only thing that you need is your feelings, thoughts and a blank piece of paper. Or if you prefer an app or computer, these work just as well. If you want to share your diary or journal with someone that is fine, but if you want to keep it to yourself that is fine too. There are no rules.
Perhaps you think writing in a journal is something that you would like to do but you don’t know where to start. Let me give you some tips.
1) Create a moment during the day
Journaling works best when you write every day. Even when this is just for a few minutes a day. Try to choose a time in your day when you will write in your journal. But don’t be hard on yourself when you do not write in your journal every day. Journaling should be a tool to help you explore your feelings and thoughts, not an added from of pressure in your life.
2) Don’t judge the things you are writing
You can write down anything you want. It does not have to look pretty or be in a certain structure. The goal of writing is to be close to your feelings and write down whatever works for you.
3) Use your journal to identify trends and triggers
After a while, if you continue to journal, you may start to notice some things can trigger you to feel a certain way. For example, you may feel sad when you see something that reminds you of the person you’ve lost. Or you may just feel lower at the start of the day than the end of the day. Noticing this through journaling, you can learn more about what makes you feel good and bad. This will help you find ways of coping and ways to control your feelings when something does trigger you. Journaling can be a very powerful tool. If you need help exploring your feelings further contact me.