As we previously discussed, the feeling of stress can be a constant state of mind for many caregivers. A helpful way to deal with this is to write in a journal. By simply jotting down your thoughts and feelings, you’re partaking in a therapeutic and ultimately beneficial task. It’s important to find time to fit in stress reduction and coping methods into your busy schedule.
Other than recording your thoughts, we’ve listed 5 other ways you can use a journal to reduce stress and improve health.
1. Keep a gratitude list
It’s easy to be engulfed by negative thoughts when you’re stressed out. To reduce these feelings, it’s important to focus on the positive things. By keeping a list of the things you’re grateful for, every time you feel the negative thoughts overpowering your mind, you can simply read your journal and skim through the list and be reminded of the positive things in your life.
2. Track any accomplishments
No matter how big or small they might seem, keep track of your life’s triumphs. It’s good to acknowledge your personal milestones. Being a caregiver is full of exhausting battles that might overshadow your successful moments. Write a list of accomplishments you or your loved one have experienced and keep them updated on your journal. Whenever you feel like you’re in a losing battle, turn to the journal and be reminded that in the end, it’s all worth it.
3. Give yourself advice
Strange as it might seem, writing in the third person can be extremely beneficial as a caregiver. You’re often in a position where you might doubt yourself due to frustration. When faced with an issue, write it down in the third person as this allows you to look at the situation as a spectator rather than a participant in the situation at hand. Sometimes, the solution might come to you when you view it from a different perspective.
4. Make a list of things that make you happy
Write down a list of things that you enjoy. This can include hobbies, activities, your favourite books, or a list of music that makes you happy. When you’re feeling down in the dumps, take out the book and do one of the things you’ve listed down in your journal.
5. Get outside
Spending time outdoors might be the most therapeutic activities as a caregiver. However, it can be hard to spend a lot of time outdoors due to your more imminent commitments. By keeping descriptive notes of your favourite location, including what you see and how you feel, you can nearly imagine that you’re there whenever you’re feeling stressed out.
Needless to say, writing does not replace the actual experience of breathing fresh air. So why not combine writing in the great outdoors? Taking a few minutes to pen your raw thoughts and emotions while relishing a nice country view or fresh sea breeze works wonders and will help you keep in touch with your true self when times are hard.
Undeniably, writing in a journal brings with it its fair share of cathartic benefits. But why not seek for extra support, and consider taking advantage of respite care? At HILA we offer trustworthy respite services that you can rely on whenever you need to time to yourself, run errands, or find yourself caught in an emergency situation. Contact us today for more information about our services.