Self care can take many forms, from a moment of meditation and guided body scan to a simple fruity face mask to spruce up the skin. Others might enjoy making a full meal from scratch while elsewhere some may prefer a long walk in nature. One often overlooked self care for the mind and soul is the long running tradition of journaling. 

Famous journalists have been with us throughout history. The diaries of these ordinary people living extraordinary lives have been one way for us to see a subjective interpretation of some of the world’s most historic events. From the young to the old, historical figures such as Anne Frank, “Che” Guevara and even Charles Darwin have provided a personal approach to understanding both political and scientific developments of yesteryear. Others such as Anis Nin and Jean Rhys give a sensitive understanding of lived experience and a chance to see into the personal and private lives from the past. 

Journals can also be used effectively to understand oneself better, and as a result through the writing process as a tool for reflection, provide insight into our own unconscious and motivations. Using journals as a way to reflect on what we are grateful for or to explore the emotional processing of our daily experiences can be an effective self care mental exercise to help reduce stress. 

Journaling can take on many forms and it’s best to try a few variations to find the right fit for your personality. Those that enjoy structure and organisation may benefit from a bullet journal technique that helps lay out tasks in a clear and manageable fashion. Others might want help to focus on the positives in their life and decide to keep a gratitude journal, laying out what they are thankful for each day. The more adventurous of us likewise may wish to keep a dream journal as a way to explore their unconscious further. 

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