Why Weekly Journaling Helps Me Stay Positive

It’s not a secret that I’ve been out of sorts for a few months. Yes, I suffer HARD from the winter blues (or seasonal depression, whatever you want to call it), but it has never taken a toll on me like this before. I basically don’t feel like my normal self most days. It’s a challenge to get motivated, stay focused, do anything without feeling like I’m running around with my head cut off … not to mention the roller coaster of emotions and mood swings. I think you get the picture. πŸ˜‰ Writing always has been my ultimate coping mechanism, so when the new year rolled around I decided to start keeping a journal again. It’s kind of incredible what the simple act of putting pen to paper can do for someone, so I want to share a little bit about why weekly journaling helps me stay positive.

Why Weekly Journaling Helps Me Stay Positive

P.S. don’t you love my dog hair-covered joggers in this picture? I can’t get away from it. #dogmomlife

I had seen and read about Moorea Seal’s 52 Lists journals before, but the idea of a guided journal never really appealed to me. My journals always had been treated as a winded train-of-thought. Anything and everything that came to mind went into my childhood journals. Why would I change that now?

Well, turns out when you’re feeling anxious/stressed/overwhelmed, it can be difficult to translate that into words that make sense/bring a sense of relief. Plus, the last thing I need is another daily “chore” to keep up with. Nope.

I took a chance on ordering 52 Lists for Happiness – it’s like $12 on Amazon, so why not? Six weeks later, I’m hooked. A guided journal is not at all what I thought it would be. Rather, each week’s list forces me to think and evaluate things that are or aren’t occurring in my life that in turn could be enhancing/blocking happiness and positivity.Β I sometimes write down things that I don’t even realize I’m thinking or feeling! It has been a little eye-opening, to say the least.

Most of all, these six weeks of lists so far provide a weekly reminder of just how lucky I am. Sure, I don’t have everything I want. Life certainly hasn’t always panned out how I expected. I’m not happy all day, every day (I mean, really – who is?). But you know what? THAT’S OKAY! I’m still grateful for those constant sources of happiness in my life, even if I’m not always showing or recognizing them.

Anyway, the point is that if you’re struggling with emotions or just generally feeling down these days, maybe a guided journal is worth trying. It’s not a miracle worker, but you just might get to the bottom of what’s really bugging you. Or, help you recognize all the good and happiness that does surround you. That’s why weekly journaling helps me stay positive! All Sunday mornings now begin with a cup of coffee and the journal prompt for the week. I can’t wait to look back at the end of 2018 to see how the 52 weeks of happy lists helped me to grow, learn and give myself some grace.

Do you journal? Have you tried the 52 lists?

Also check out tips to spark creativity when you’re in a rut.

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55 Comments

  1. Caroline wrote:

    Love this and I think that I am going to do this too. It can definitely be difficult especially right now to not feel the way that you’ve been feeling. I completely relate and understand. Hang in there girl and hey if you ever need a little break come to Chicago! πŸ™‚

    Posted 1.28.19 Reply
  2. The Adored Life wrote:

    This is amazing! I love that you’ve found another way to express yourself and it seems like it’s doing so much good. Also, thank you for sharing with us!!

    The Adored Life

    Posted 1.28.19 Reply
    • It’s definitely helping me to clear my head at the start of every week. I need that as much as I can get right now!

      Posted 1.28.19 Reply
  3. I definitely need more journaling in my life STAT, and I love the idea of the 52 Lists project. I used to keep a diary when I was younger and it’s so hilarious looking back on it, but it’s honesty so cathartic and a great way to focus on the positive rather than all the BS throughout the day πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the reminder that I need to get back on the journaling train! xx

    Posted 1.28.19 Reply
  4. Biana Perez wrote:

    That’s wonderful that you have found something that works for you! I started a “one good thing a day” list for me and G this year and we write down one good thing that happened every day – it forces you to look at the positive! xo, Biana – BlovedBoston

    Posted 1.28.19 Reply
    • I remember you mentioning that in one of your posts – I absolutely love that idea! It’s good to have those positive daily reminders.

      Posted 1.28.19 Reply
  5. I’ve never tried this before! Sounds like a great idea!
    ~Samantha
    http://goldcoastgirlblog.com

    Posted 1.28.19 Reply
  6. Love this, and I need to start making lists too when I need a reminder of how lucky I am. But girlllll seasonal depression is for real. I used to have such a hard time in the winter when we still lived in CT. Sending lots of sunshine your way sweet friend <3

    Green Fashionista

    Posted 1.28.19 Reply
    • I’m glad it’s not just me! I know that seasonal depression is a very real thing, but nobody close to me experiences it or the same way that I do so I kind of just feel alone in my feelings most of the time. I swear I’m a happy person otherwise, lol. πŸ™‚

      Posted 1.28.19 Reply
  7. Debra Stachelski wrote:

    I know writing has always been therapeutic for you and I hope it helps over the coming weeks, although I’m sad to hear you’ve been so out of sorts. Hopefully a little vacation therapy will help too!

    Posted 1.28.19 Reply
  8. Okay this sounds really great! I have been affected by this season more than normal, and I think I would really like this.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    Posted 1.28.19 Reply
  9. What a great way to help out with your winter blues! I was never a journaler which kind of surprises me that I started blogging at all. I’m glad that you found a way to help you to see the glass half full instead of maybe half empty. It’s too easy to get sucked in that direction these days.

    Posted 1.28.19 Reply
    • You’re so right, and I just wanted to try something to help me from leaning toward that perspective of things all the time. That’s so funny that you didn’t journal – I never would’ve guessed that based on your blog! πŸ™‚

      Posted 1.28.19 Reply
  10. I haven’t tried the lists yet but I’ve heard lots about it and I’m soo interested and definitely gonna start!

    Posted 1.28.19 Reply
  11. Julie wrote:

    An outfit isn’t complete without a few dogs hairs on it. πŸ™‚ Have a lot of black in my wardrobe and we got a yellow/white puppy…And now I’m noticeably covered all. the. time. But it’s so worth it!
    The 52 Lists for Happiness sounds great…Always good to have little reminders that you really *are* lucky. Will definitely have to check that out.

    Posted 1.28.19 Reply
  12. This sounds awesome and I think I might be ordering this for myself. So glad you’ve found a way to create more positive energy for yourself- that’s golden especially in the depressing winter months.

    Posted 1.28.19 Reply
    • It really has been helping me get through these winter blues. Some of the prompts force me to take a tough look at reality, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!

      Posted 1.28.19 Reply
  13. I need to get this. Winter is so hard on me. Sometimes I need a little reminder.

    Posted 1.28.19 Reply
    • You probably would enjoy this then! The prompts aren’t always easy to answer, but it is a helpful reflection tool.

      Posted 1.28.19 Reply
  14. That really does sound like an awesome way to get started. I’d love to hear some of your favorite prompts over time, to get an idea of what it’s like! I can imagine that would definitely be creativity-igniting!

    Posted 1.28.19 Reply
  15. That really does sound like an awesome way to get started. I’d love to hear some of your favorite prompts over time, to get an idea of what it’s like! I can imagine that would definitely be creativity-igniting!

    Posted 2.6.18 Reply
    • I’ll definitely share some of my favorite prompts as time goes on! They really do make you think and take a look at certain aspects of your life as it currently is. I’ve been enjoying it!

      Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  16. This sounds awesome and I think I might be ordering this for myself. So glad you’ve found a way to create more positive energy for yourself- that’s golden especially in the depressing winter months.

    Posted 2.5.18 Reply
    • It really has been helping me get through these winter blues. Some of the prompts force me to take a tough look at reality, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!

      Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  17. Carrie wrote:

    This sounds so interesting. I’m heading over to Amazon to check it out. Thanks so much!

    Posted 1.28.19 Reply
  18. Carrie wrote:

    This sounds so interesting. I’m heading over to Amazon to check it out. Thanks so much!

    Posted 2.5.18 Reply
  19. I need to get this. Winter is so hard on me. Sometimes I need a little reminder.

    Posted 2.5.18 Reply
    • You probably would enjoy this then! The prompts aren’t always easy to answer, but it is a helpful reflection tool.

      Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  20. Okay this sounds really great! I have been affected by this season more than normal, and I think I would really like this.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    Posted 2.5.18 Reply
  21. What a great way to help out with your winter blues! I was never a journaler which kind of surprises me that I started blogging at all. I’m glad that you found a way to help you to see the glass half full instead of maybe half empty. It’s too easy to get sucked in that direction these days.

    Posted 2.5.18 Reply
    • You’re so right, and I just wanted to try something to help me from leaning toward that perspective of things all the time. That’s so funny that you didn’t journal – I never would’ve guessed that based on your blog! πŸ™‚

      Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  22. I definitely need more journaling in my life STAT, and I love the idea of the 52 Lists project. I used to keep a diary when I was younger and it’s so hilarious looking back on it, but it’s honesty so cathartic and a great way to focus on the positive rather than all the BS throughout the day πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the reminder that I need to get back on the journaling train! xx

    Posted 2.5.18 Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by, Maya! Oh my gosh, reading through my childhood journals gives me some of the best belly-aching laughs. I wish we could still have “troubles” like we did when we were younger. Life would be so much easier. Writing is definitely cathartic, though and I’ve been enjoying this new approach!

      Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  23. Love this, and I need to start making lists too when I need a reminder of how lucky I am. But girlllll seasonal depression is for real. I used to have such a hard time in the winter when we still lived in CT. Sending lots of sunshine your way sweet friend <3

    Green Fashionista

    Posted 2.5.18 Reply
    • I’m glad it’s not just me! I know that seasonal depression is a very real thing, but nobody close to me experiences it or the same way that I do so I kind of just feel alone in my feelings most of the time. I swear I’m a happy person otherwise, lol. πŸ™‚

      Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  24. The Adored Life wrote:

    This is amazing! I love that you’ve found another way to express yourself and it seems like it’s doing so much good. Also, thank you for sharing with us!!

    The Adored Life

    Posted 2.5.18 Reply
    • It’s definitely helping me to clear my head at the start of every week. I need that as much as I can get right now!

      Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  25. Julie wrote:

    An outfit isn’t complete without a few dogs hairs on it. πŸ™‚ Have a lot of black in my wardrobe and we got a yellow/white puppy…And now I’m noticeably covered all. the. time. But it’s so worth it!
    The 52 Lists for Happiness sounds great…Always good to have little reminders that you really *are* lucky. Will definitely have to check that out.

    Posted 2.5.18 Reply
  26. Caroline wrote:

    Love this and I think that I am going to do this too. It can definitely be difficult especially right now to not feel the way that you’ve been feeling. I completely relate and understand. Hang in there girl and hey if you ever need a little break come to Chicago! πŸ™‚

    Posted 2.5.18 Reply
    • It’s extremely helpful, especially during these cold, winter days! Hope you enjoy it if you get it.

      Posted 2.6.18 Reply
  27. Debra Stachelski wrote:

    I know writing has always been therapeutic for you and I hope it helps over the coming weeks, although I’m sad to hear you’ve been so out of sorts. Hopefully a little vacation therapy will help too!

    Posted 2.5.18 Reply
  28. I’ve never tried this before! Sounds like a great idea!
    ~Samantha
    http://goldcoastgirlblog.com

    Posted 2.5.18 Reply
  29. Biana Perez wrote:

    That’s wonderful that you have found something that works for you! I started a “one good thing a day” list for me and G this year and we write down one good thing that happened every day – it forces you to look at the positive! xo, Biana – BlovedBoston

    Posted 2.5.18 Reply
    • I remember you mentioning that in one of your posts – I absolutely love that idea! It’s good to have those positive daily reminders.

      Posted 2.6.18 Reply

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