When it comes to processing your emotions after divorce, journaling is often touted as a must do. But what if writing isn’t your thing? Or what if, after perusing the subject on Instagram or Pinterest, the pressure to create one of ‘those’ picture perfect journals makes you feel even more stressed? First, take a deep breath. Second, put what you think journaling is supposed to look like out of your mind. Third, check out these tips to help make the practice easy and beneficial even for people who don’t like to journal.
Benefits of Journaling
So why does journaling seem to be all the rage as a way to deal with divorce? There are actually a number of reasons starting with the rollercoaster of emotions you’re experiencing, as journaling is an inexpensive and accessible way to get those thoughts on paper in order to start to process them. It’s cathartic in that letting the anger, fear, sadness and guilt out is often the first step in letting go.
Plus, it’s a safe space. A journal won’t judge you so you can express it all, even those thoughts you don’t feel comfortable sharing with others. What’s more, the routine of it can help you to relax, to find perspective and it gives you an opportunity see how far you’ve come as you continue to heal.
Tips for Journaling After Divorce
Journaling in its traditional form is not for everyone, we get it! But there’s no rulebook that says you have to be traditional about it to gain the benefits of journaling after divorce. The point is that you’re expressing yourself consistently, whether you’re writing in an actual journal or not. Here’s how:
- Talk It Out – Journaling can be as simple as talking into the voice recorder on your phone each day. Talk as little or as much as you’d like while going for a walk, relaxing in the bath (keep the phone at a distance, of course) or while having your coffee each morning, for example. Then, simply upload the files to your computer for safekeeping.
- Doodle Your Feelings – Some people express themselves more easily through drawing than through words so instead of a journal get yourself a notebook and draw each day. You could illustrate your feelings, something that happened or just scribble with colors that align with your emotions and see where that takes you.
- Scrapbook – Yes, scrapbooks are typically thought of more as a way to preserve memories of your kids or your vacations, but they really are a great way to chronicle any specific period in your life. Collect photos, cut out words or images from magazines the relate to how you’re feeling, keep receipts from experiences with friends, family or nights with the kids; whatever you want to express.
- Video Journal – We’re so visual these days that this could be an ideal way express yourself. Words are powerful yes, but to be able to look back at your face and to hear your own words can be even more so. You don’t have to be YouTube official or anything, just you talking into your webcam about what you’re experiencing throughout the divorce.
- Make a Word Collage – Here you could commit to writing down one word a day that captures how you feel or cut out/print words as well as quotes that speak to you each day. Then, simply paste them in a journal, stash them in an envelope, pin them up near your desk; wherever you can remain connected with them to use for reflection and inspiration.
If you need additional support and guidance as you navigate divorce, we’re here to help! Our experienced team offers fully virtual coaching and mediation services. Contact us today to learn more or for a free consultation.