When we face challenges in life, we need an outlet.  A place to put those events and thoughts so that they don’t become all consuming.  Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be a great release, a safe place to put them, and leave them.  Clearing your mind will give you the ability to focus on the things that really matter.

When journaling, some people prefer to use their computer or a plain notebook.  Others prefer to select a special notebook that might have a saying or a picture on the cover they connect with.  I personally like the latter – leather (or pleather) bound with a meaningful saying on the cover that resonates and motivates me.  My current journal has “The World is Hers for the Taking” on the cover, reminding me that what is out there is mine if I want it.  It tells me there are endless possibilities.  

  1. Go out and buy a notebook specifically for journaling.  One that will make you smile, give you hope or heck, is just cute.  Whatever.  It’s for you!
  2. Set aside time every day to write, whether it’s 5 minutes or 30, make time for you and your thoughts.  To assess, review, balance and release.  If you are a morning person and find your time then, reflect on the prior day.
  3. Jot down a few events from the day, making sure to balance the good with the bad.  And if there’s nothing bad from the day, write that down and celebrate it!  Know this, you have to have least one good thing that happened and work to find it if you have to, no matter how small.  Bullet points are fine – it does not have to be a book every time!
  4. Of your list, choose one bad and one good event to focus on.  Start with the bad event.  Write what happened, the details around the event, how you dealt with it in the moment and what you would do differently next time.  End with the good.  This will force you to have a more positive outlook as you move on in your day.
  5. Take a minute when you are finished and write down a goal for the day.  Something you want to accomplish that will feel good.  It can be as simple as ‘Smile More” or “Make sure to Laugh”.  Smiling and laughing are the best medicine that can turn things around in the moment.  Reminders that we are okay, and we have control of our moods and lives.
  6. Be sure to take time to note what you are grateful for.  In this very moment, I am grateful for the breeze and my coffee.  Without either of them, I know my mood would be very different! I do not like to be hot.  Ever.
  7. Keep your journal in a safe place or on your person.  This is for your eyes only.  Do not leave it laying around for prying eyes.

When coaching someone through divorce, getting a journal is the first thing I advise.  Focusing on the good things in your life will help maintain a positive attitude while tackling one of the worst.  I read last night that Divorce was #2 in the top 10 most stressful life events.  Second to death of a loved one and just before getting married.

When going through a separation and or divorce, our thoughts can get the best of us. Worrying about being alone.  Thoughts of ‘how am I going to get through this’.  What does life look like afterwards?  Am I capable of going it alone?  There is so much that is unknown about the process as well as what life looks like afterwards, our thoughts and worries can be overwhelming.  

You are not alone.  You will get through it.  You are capable.  You are going to be ok.  Trust me. 

Getting in the habit of journaling and focusing on the good will change your mindset so that no matter what you encounter, you will have a more positive attitude and outlook on life.