5 Reason Caregivers Should Keep a Journal

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Journaling has long been known to be helpful for alleviating stress, and caregivers are often told to put their thoughts down on paper. Whether you’ve always loved writing or are ready to try anything, you can expect to enjoy the following five benefits when you choose to journal about your role.

1. Defuse Anger and Frustration

Throughout the day, you encounter situations where it isn’t appropriate to yell, scream, or cry. However, your trusty journal is a silent confidant that allows you to write what you want. Whether you scribble angrily or choose to write in all capital letters, there are no limits to the amount of emotions you can let loose in the pages of your notebook. Writing about your frustrations helps you get them out of your head so you can approach each new day with a clear mind that’s ready for the tasks at hand.

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2. Find Solutions for Problems

Sometimes, writing about a problem is the best way to find a solution. Journaling allows your mind to enter a state of relaxation and work out issues that plague you through the day. The process of keeping a journal is similar to how your mind works when you sleep. If you’ve ever woken up from a dream with an answer to a problem, then you understand how powerful journaling is for helping you arrive at a solution to an issue.

3. Gain Personal Insight

One of the best things about a journal is that you can read through your earlier entries. As you do, don’t be surprised if you discover things that make you slightly uncomfortable. For instance, you might notice a pattern of frustration with a specific task you handle every day. Alternatively, you might discover you’re not as patient as you thought you were. When you gain new insight about your approach to caregiving, consider it a good thing. Gaining personal insight from your journal allows you to see things in a new light and make plans to address issues you haven’t noticed before.

4. Practice Self-Care

Although you shouldn’t make your journaling time feel stressful, you should try to make it a habit. Whether you write for 10 minutes or 30, sitting down every day to journal serves as a brief form of respite. You can also use your journaling time as an opportunity to practice deep breathing or light a scented candle to further enhance the relaxing sensations of writing.

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5. Share Your Lessons with Others

Your role as a caregiver is valuable to your loved one, and you can use your experiences to help others who may find themselves in your shoes. While you don’t have to let people read all of the pages in your journal, you can take out excerpts to give new caregivers an opportunity to learn from your triumphs and mistakes. Knowing your experience can help other caregivers learn how to manage their role serves as additional motivation to continue journaling.

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