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Printable Self Care Journal Tips to Create a Routine You Can Stick With

woman holding pen writing on papers at a table

With everything going on in our daily lives, it's more important than ever to take some time for ourselves. But sometimes it's hard to know how to get started. That's where a printable self-care journal comes in. It can help you develop a simple way to take better care of yourself with helpful journaling prompts, self-love exercises, self-care ideas, and sleep and mood trackers to help you focus on managing stress, set goals, and incorporate some form of daily self-care. Using these with a specific self care planner or your usual daily planner makes it easier to regularly incorporate a new self-care habit into your busy schedule.

Self-care is something that is often put on the back burner, especially when we’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed. However, it’s more important than ever to take some time for our personal development and physical health, which includes taking time to relax and recharge!

Self-care plays a vitally important role during stressful times because it allows you to change your focus to your own needs and emotions, rather than struggling with negative thoughts about things that are out of your control.

When you're generally stressed, tired, and overwhelmed, you’re probably more likely to experience negative emotions and less likely to be able to think clearly. Taking time for self-care can help you manage your stress in your daily life and improve your mood. Using a printable self-care journal is one of the easiest and most effective self-care activities and an easy way to help you focus on your own well-being.

There are many different types of self-care, but some of the most common include eating healthy foods, getting enough exercise, weight loss, taking breaks throughout the day, getting enough sleep, and spending time with friends and family. Self-care is important because it helps us stay healthy and energized both physically and mentally, which allows us to be our best selves both at home and at work.

There are a variety of benefits to using a printable self-care journal.

First and foremost, having a designated space for reflection and self-care can be incredibly helpful in maintaining and improving mental health. There are so many good reasons for having a designated space for self-reflection. Other than it being a safe place for exploring your emotions, one major benefit is that it can give you a better understanding of yourself. When you have a space to reflect on your thoughts and feelings, you can start to see patterns and trends in your behavior (without the defensiveness that comes with other people pointing out the types of things you should address). This can help you identify issues that you need to work on, and it can also be a powerful way to develop strategies for dealing with them.

A self-care journal can also be the perfect place to keep track of your physical and emotional health. Using a self-care journal, you can document how you are feeling on a given day, what activities you enjoyed, and any symptoms you are experiencing.

The best way to get the most out of your printable self-care journal is to use it every day.

Dedicate a few minutes each morning and evening to writing in your journal. This will help you to stay mindful of your self-care goals, and it will also be an easy way to keep you accountable. If you find that you're struggling to make time for yourself, try setting a reminder on your phone or computer to prompt you to write in your journal. And if you're ever feeling overwhelmed or stressed, take some time out for yourself and flip through your journal for a little bit of self-care inspiration.

Journaling is something that is most beneficial and effective if you do it on a regular basis.

After all, it’s a practice and an act of self-care that’s meant to become part of your daily routine. You won’t gain as many insights or find as much success if you only jot down your thoughts once in a while. The momentum of regular journaling is what leads to the best results.

Ideally, it’s best to put something in your journal each and every day. A few times a week, as long as you’re consistent, will do. The key is consistency. You want your journaling to become almost a ritual, something that is sacred. Rituals involve order and expected actions. So should your journaling sessions.

Develop Your Self Care Journey Rituals

Your journaling ritual should lead to positive outcomes for you.

Your journaling ritual should lead to positive outcomes for you. Many choose the mornings because it’s a great way to start your day with positive intentions. Others may choose to journal at night as a way of closing out the day and reflecting upon the events that occurred. You can clear your mind of clutter, which may lead to improved sleep.

Perhaps you’ll want to have short journaling sessions both in the morning and at night. Maybe another time of day is better for you when you’re feeling more refreshed and have ample time to dedicate to your practice. The choice is yours. Remember, journaling is meant to be your own personal ritual. Do what’s right for you. There’s no one right or wrong way.

Next, you’ll need to choose a great place to journal that feels comfortable for you.

You want this space to be quiet without interruption, if possible. After all, journaling requires reflection and concentration. Anywhere that’s quiet and comfortable will do. Having somewhere to sit with a desk would be nice, but it isn’t necessary. A cozy armchair or even your bed is just fine as long as you can concentrate on your journaling and do not want to just curl up and go to sleep.

You may want to incorporate small accents into your journaling ritual, as well.

A soothing beverage such as a cup of herbal tea can be ideal for nighttime journaling or a glass of wine to help you unwind. A warm cup of coffee to start your day is also good if you choose to journal in the morning. Candles for ambiance are also a common part of many people’s journaling habits. You could incorporate aromatherapy into the mix with scented candles or add an oil burner if you’d like. Different scents create specific moods. They can also aid in concentration or energy.

Some of us like to add music to our journaling sessions. Quiet music playing in the background can help set the mood and is helpful for some. You may find it distracting. Perhaps listening to a particular song or a playlist of your favorite songs before beginning your writing or creating might be useful to put you in a creative or reflective mood.

Finally, consider anything you can do to make your journaling time easier or more special.

If you use a paper journal, choose one that speaks to you and that you love. Consider choosing a printable self-care journal for the most flexibility in design and personalization. Get your favorite pen so that writing feels good. Choose colored ones to make the experience more fun, if you like. You may want to keep your journal laid out on your desk, ready and waiting for you in the morning so you see it when you wake up. Small things like this can make a big difference when it comes to creating self-care practices that motivate and sustain you.

How to Create a Journaling Habit

Change is hard. Our minds work in the subconscious for the great majority of the time. That means we act on autopilot for much of our days, doing much of what we did the day before. So, starting something new requires a bit of work to overcome the resistance of our usual routine.

In order for journaling or any other new activity to become a habit, it must be repeated regularly.

You’ll have to strive to overcome your initial resistance and avoid the temptation to just skip it for the day. You must pass what scientists refer to as the "line of automaticity" in order for something to become routine or second nature.

Creating a ritual for your new activity will help to make it stick.

It teaches your brain that now is the time to get to work on this task. Once you start to sit down to your journaling ritual in the same space, at the same time, and with the same tools, you’ll actually begin to rewire your brain in a way that the task at hand will become easier.

As you get into the habit of practicing your self-care journaling ritual, you’ll begin to gain momentum.

Not only will it be easier to sit down to journal, but you’ll also notice that you actually look forward to this sacred time. A ritual is something that has spiritual importance. You’ll begin to crave this time of solitude alone with your thoughts in a quiet surrounding you’ve created just for yourself. The positive feelings you get from the experience will fuel your motivation to continue with the practice. Soon, you’ll probably wonder how you managed to get by before journaling.

How long it will take for journaling to become a habit for you is subjective.

It’s different for each individual. Some may fall into the routine fairly quickly, while others may struggle. It will be easier if you commit to journaling each and every day. Doing so will help you gain the momentum to overcome resistance to a new activity your brain isn’t accustomed to. I’d recommend at least a month of daily journaling at the same time and in the same location in order to ensure your best chances of establishing a strong ritual you can stick with.

The Benefits of Journaling Often Change as Well

A surprising benefit that can occur with journaling is how your self care journey changes with time. For many people, just the act of writing out their thoughts and feelings is beneficial enough. This is especially true for people who tend to live in their heads a lot, and don’t have a positive way to express feelings. But you might find that your personal journaling helps you change and evolve as you do. Maybe you start noticing that you naturally feel more positive, or that journaling is helping you to set priorities, develop healthy boundaries and see what areas of your life need your focus.

The best digital and printable self care journals generally include:

  • pages for a weekly reflection

  • positive affirmations

  • self-care activity ideas

  • habit tracker

  • routine tracker

  • self-care tracker

  • sleep tracker

  • mood tracker

  • writing prompts

  • brain dump

  • vision board exercise,

  • blank pages to design your own daily self-care routine

  • Instant download

A printable self-care journal is usually a personal use digital file that includes pdf files of printable journal pages that you will be able to print out at home or take to a print shop (office supply stores, UPS, FedEx, etc.) to print and also hole punch and bind if you want.

Self-care is vitally important in order to maintain both physical and emotional health. Taking care of yourself before helping others is the same as putting on your own oxygen mask on an airplane. When your mind and body are healthy and functioning well, you have more energy and patience to deal with the challenges of life. Self-care is essential for everyone! Using a digital or printable self care journal as a form of self-care is one of the most effective ways to start taking better care of yourself!

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