When you have a chronic illness, if you are like me, you are always looking for ways to make living with it a little easier. Whether is is supplements, dietary changes, or accessibility aides, anything that makes life easier is a blessing. Just as important as our physical health is our emotional health. The benefits of journaling, when you have a chronic condition, on your emotional health are absolutely amazing.
Journaling provides an outlet
There are so many types of journaling available today that you are bound to find one that suits your needs and what you like to do. Some people like guided journals with clear prompts and ideas to reflect on. There is also the popular option of bullet journaling where you can have a nice mix of structure and free-form journaling. In addition to that, there are also art-journaling options, and the traditional diary forms of journaling.
Journaling provides a judgement free place to put your thoughts which allows you to make sense of the myriad of emotions that come when you have a chronic illness. If you are feeling angry, lonely, or sad, a journal allows you to record your thoughts and feelings to better make sense of what might be going on in your head and heart. If you are struggling with the pain and looking for answers, journaling can lead you.
Journaling keeps you organized
For many of us living with a chronic illness like PsA or fibromyalgia, brain fog is a very real symptom as well as a side effect of many prescribed medications. If you keep a bullet journal, it helps keep you organized and you can make task/habit trackers for literally ANY types of tasks or habits. You can track your medications, monitor your symptoms, or even plan out your doctor appointments. All in a way that allows you creative freedom to make it exactly as you want and exactly what works best for YOU.
Journaling provides something productive to do when you are feeling badly
When I am down and out with a flare, one of the things that drives me insane is feeling like I am getting NOTHING accomplished. (Which in fact, I’m not!) Even though I am bed-bound, I can use that time to plan, work through any feelings, and feel like I’m actually being productive despite feeling badly.
Journaling provides a way to monitor your emotional health
Living with a chronic condition day in and day out can really change you. There is a very obvious reason that instances of depression and anxiety are much higher in the chronic illness community. It is very hard to see these changes in yourself and often we rely on close friends and family to notice changes in our personality.
If you keep a journal, of any kind, over time you can look back and see how you’ve changed. If you notice clear indications of a change in perspective or behavior patterns, it can be a major clue to not only the emotional changes, but physical changes in our health as well.
It’s simple to get started journaling
If you’ve never considered journaling before, it’s super simple to get started. There are no real rules and you can make it whatever YOU want it to be. You can do it as often as YOU want. How many things in life can you really say that about?
I’ve been working on a little gift for y’all. If you are overwhelmed by everything that journing can be when you have a chronic illness, I’ve been putting together a few printables to help you get started. Habit trackers, weekly layouts, and coloring inspiration printables are all in the works to help you get started.
In other news…
Don’t forget that we are working our way to a GIVEAWAY of a 1,000mg bottle of CBD from CBDistillery once the Smiles and Sundays Facebook Page reaches 1,000 likes and and we reach 1,000 followers on Pinterest. We are SO CLOSE! Thank you so much for helping spread the word that living with a chronic illness doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. We can have an inspired and faith-filled journey. I’d love to have you along for mine.