Start Your New Year with Self-care Journaling

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Today’s story was shared by an XMind user, Wendy. Thanks to the habit of daily self-care journaling, she was able to pull herself out of the swamp and get a better handle on herself during 2020. Wendy hopes this article would help more people who are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing through self-care journaling at the start of 2021.


"There was a period of time during the pandemic when I started to overlook my mental health, I began to constantly feel anxious, depressed and critical about myself, my work and my surrounding. One of my friends noticed my condition during a Facetime call, and she recommended me to try self-care journaling. At first, I was not into the idea of journaling and was foreign to the concept of self-care, but I still decided to try. After continuing this habit for a month, I felt something inside changed. My emotions became more stable and less intense, and I began to accept my imperfection and my mistakes, embracing the real self. In a word, I had a better handle on myself. I called to thank my friend and decided to write the following words to share this powerful habit with more of you who experience pain in life during the year 2020."

My Journaling Routine

After a busy day of work, I usually make myself a nice tea, bring it with my journal and sit in a quiet corner of my room. Make yourself comfortable – the key to a relaxing and reflective self-care process. Light a candle and play some lofi background music, you are good to go.

I then do a few sets of breathing process. It’s not a necessary step, but I like it. A breathing exercise scientifically stabilizes your emotions and reduces your body’s tension and stress levels, preparing you for a smooth and healing journaling process. Follow a list of reflective journaling prompts to write down your responses. If you are looking for technical assistance, DiveThru and Jour are great applications to try out, according to my friend.

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My Journaling Pages

Journaling is a personal thing, and it is a free space for you to answer the prompts and write anything about your feelings and thoughts. However, I do have some additional functional pages in my journal in order to complement my self-caring process. I am introducing my pages below in case you would like to adopt one in your journal as well.

Joy List / Self-care Ideas

A page created for your very own self-care ideas is extremely helpful when it’s time to recharge yourself. Similar to a joy list, the self-care idea list includes everything, every event and habit that entertains and heals you whenever feel stressed and depressed.

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Mental Health Tracker

A mental health tracker (in a month) allows you to input your daily mood. Many people find that this tracking behavior and results show weekly/monthly patterns in their mental health status and give them more control over their emotional management. I use an XMind Mental Health Tracker template to record my mood over a month, using different colors to represent different feelings of a day – a very direct visual presentation of how I feel mentally throughout a period of time.

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Thanks for your time in reading this article. The habit of self-care journaling has supported me throughout a tough 2020, and its power in calming and inspiring something inside of me makes me accept the imperfect self and fell in love with myself again. Start self-care journaling, or simply start caring and loving yourself, and I believe 2021 will be a wonderful journey for you. Happy New Year!

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