Life can feel overwhelming to all of us sometimes. You may have to juggle a job, kids, schoolwork, personal commitments, and more every single day. On top of it all, everyone has their own unique mental health struggles. But you don’t have to cope with it alone. There are numerous resources, coping strategies, and tools to help you prioritize your mental wellness.
One tactic that can significantly benefit your mental health is daily journaling. Taking just five minutes out of your day to check in with yourself and your feelings can help you become more grounded, present, and mindful. Journaling is beneficial for connecting with yourself, unleashing your creativity, and identifying trends and triggers.
“Journaling can help deal with stress, manage anxiety, and decrease feelings of sadness or depression. It can help process through negative thoughts and feelings and monitor symptoms of mental illness. Journal writing can help identify triggers and increase insight into stressors and how they might be impacting the person. It is an effective tool to maintain a healthy lifestyle and engage in effective coping.”—Bisma Anwar, LMHC
Benefits of journaling for mental health
- Reducing stress
- Calming anxiety
- Relieving depression
- Improving memory
- Increasing optimism
- Coping with trauma
And that’s not all. There are even more benefits to journaling for mental health, some of which you may not consciously recognize.
How to get started with daily journaling
Never journaled before? That’s okay! There’s never a wrong time to start. These small steps will help you build journaling into a daily habit.
Surround yourself with positive energy
Journaling isn’t just about what you write, but how you feel when you write it. So when you get ready to journal each day, situate yourself in a comfortable location surrounded by positive energy.
Choose a place where you feel comfortable, whether that’s your bedroom, living room, or somewhere else in your home. You may prefer to journal in a coffee shop or in the park. Wherever it may be, set yourself up in a distraction-free space where you can take a moment to yourself.
If you’re in your own space, it helps to have motivation and inspiration around you. We’re not talking about those cheesy “You can do it!” posters, but anything that you feel brings out the best in you. Maybe you’re in your room under your favorite blanket or sitting in your reading nook surrounded by books and art. Wherever you are, surround yourself physically and emotionally with positivity.
Being in a comfortable physical environment is a great start, but where you keep your thoughts should also be a positive space. Choose a journal that brings you happiness––a physical one in your favorite color or a virtual one customized to your aesthetic. It can also help to write your thoughts down using your favorite color and add stickers or images to help you visualize your thoughts.
Power tip: Make your Home background in Evernote an image that brings you joy, grounds you, or motivates you. You can choose art you enjoy, a favorite quote, or even a photo that brings you happiness. Click Customize in the upper-right corner of your Home dashboard, then, under ‘Background,’ click Change and upload your image. Now, every time you open your Evernote, whether it’s to journal or just check in on other things, you’ll be greeted with an image that brings you joy and positive energy.
Set aside time for journaling every day
Building a habit takes time. But to make a habit more likely to stick, you’ll want to set aside specific time to practice that habit. For journaling, it’s helpful to choose an amount of time that works best for you, whether it’s five minutes, an hour, or more.
Try to keep that time block at the same time every day so that you can build it into your calendar. By setting up a designated time to journal every day, you’re more likely to prioritize your journaling time, allowing you to build it into a habit.
Power tip: Connect your Google Calendar with Evernote to keep your journal and your calendar all in one place. Set aside time in your schedule each day to capture your thoughts, and link your journal note to the event. Then, when it’s time to write, just click the notification and journal away!
Lean on journaling prompts
Some days you might not know what to write, and on others, the words might flow onto the page. If you don’t know exactly where to start, try using journaling prompts. Some days, those prompts might just give you the push you need to spill everything out onto the page.
Ready to get started? Download our Daily Mental Health Journal template, built in partnership with Talkspace!
This template is designed to help you make journaling a daily habit to improve your mental health, decrease daily stressors, and help you feel more grounded.
The importance of even a small daily check-in can make a big difference in your mindset and how you’re feeling each day. By checking in with yourself twice daily, you can see how your mood shifts throughout the day and what may impact your wellbeing.
This journaling template provides you with space to reflect, and prompts you to think about making actionable changes. You should also focus on the positives you experience daily. That’s why we’ve included prompts to focus on gratitude, goals, and highlights.
Power tip: Use the Daily Mental Health Journal template to build your own digital journal. To do that, simply create a new notebook, give it a name like ‘Daily Journal,’ and save the template. Then, for each day you journal, create a new note, copy in the Daily Mental Health Journal template, build your positive space, and write!
Make journaling a daily habit
According to experts, it takes an average of 66 days for a behavior to become automatic. Don’t let that number deter you from investing in yourself, though. The key to building a habit, and sticking to it, is following the right steps. Setting aside time for yourself to focus, creating a positive space, and leveraging journal prompts will get you closer to your goal of daily journaling, help you focus on your mental health, and ultimately, help your overall wellbeing.
Power tip: To help build your daily journaling habit, add a task in Evernote to check in with yourself once or twice every day. That way, you can quickly access the journaling template whenever you need it.
Download the Daily Mental Health Journal template and start journaling today!