Counselor Emily made this video to discuss how journaling for mental wellness. A transcription of this video can be found below.

Video Transcription:

Hi, my name’s Emily Tester, and I’m a counselor here with Garrett Counseling. And I wanted to talk to you today about journaling. So journaling is a really good coping skill and just a way of taking care of yourself in general. So a lot of times when you think journaling, you think you’re going to have to sit down, write about how you feel, spend lots of time doing it, and that is the only way to journal, but in reality, there’s a lot of different ways that you can journal.

So yes, you can sit down and you can write about your entire day every day if you want to. That may be helpful for you, and you definitely have that option. Sometimes it may be hard. You might sit down and you might think, “Well, I don’t even know what I would even write about.” And if that’s the case, then you can look up different prompts. You can Google journaling prompts, and there are so many options out there. And you can do that as a daily prompt if you would like to. Weekly, every other day, however often that you want to do it, you have that option, whatever works best for you. And so that’s a good way just to get yourself thinking and looking at different parts of your life as growth if you want to. So that’s about writing.

Another way that you can journal is you can photo journal. So when I think about photo journaling, I think back to my scrapbook days. So this can be where you take all of the different photos that you have, and you put them together in a book, and it creates a different story. You can paste them in there. You can add captions about what they were. Maybe even a little bit of note about how you felt during that time, or however you want to do it. That’s one way of photo journaling. They make old school Polaroid cameras. They make a new school version of a Polaroid camera and you can get that and you can capture different, important moments of your day, of your week, special events. However you want to do it, that’s another way that you can keep track. So those are different ways of doing some photo journaling.

Another way is you can also do a drawing journal. So maybe you’re not really a writer, but you don’t really want to take pictures, but you do like to draw. So you can draw about your day, how you felt during the day, what was the important moment that you took away, or weekly, again, however often that you want to do it. And so maybe you have a hard time even thinking about what you would even draw, again, you can go on Google and you can find different prompts or things like that you could just spark your interest about what you would draw about. So those are different ways that you can do journaling. So you can write, you can take pictures, you can draw, or paint, or color, any of those different ways. Those are all different ways to journal.

So what is important about journaling is the fact of it gets those thoughts out of your head. So if you’re constantly sitting there thinking them over and over, and you just feel trapped in that space, when you sit down to journal, it’s a way of getting it outside of yourself and really helping you being able to stop thinking about it so much, to put it on some paper, and be able to look at it more objectively. Also, it’s a really great way of just keeping track of the important memories and important parts of yourself that maybe sometimes we forget those small details, but when we journal them, we remember them. And also, of course, in therapy, we love keeping track of progress. And so journaling is another way of just tracking your progress. It’s another way that you can go back and look at, where did I come from? And how did I get here now? So are all just really great ways to journal.

And I want you to keep in mind, there is no right or wrong way to journal. It’s what works best for you. And you can even mix it all up. You can write, draw, and put pictures, however you want to do it. There is no right or wrong way, just the way that makes you feel good. So that is one of the really good coping skills that I definitely would recommend.