Although most often associated with recording dreams, hopes and desires, journaling is also a beneficial coping tool for exploring grief. Used to make us more aware of our emotions and thoughts, journaling provides an opportunity for self-insight and to gain a new perspective on our lives. Here’s how to incorporate journaling into your own journey through grief.
#1) Choose a Journal that’s Right for You
Before you can begin journaling, you need to choose a medium to record your thoughts in. Ranging from blank, simple notebooks to journals that feature structured, open-ended prompts to books that encourage artwork, the choice is entirely up to you.
Most important tip to keep in mind when journal shopping? Choose a journal that you look forward to opening up and using every day. Even choosing one that is your favourite colour can help bring a little bit of joy to the grieving process. If you prefer typing, there are many digital journal software options available.
#2) Let Your Pen Flow Freely
When you open up your book (or laptop) to begin journaling, allow yourself to write imperfectly. Don’t get hung up on spelling, punctuation and grammar – remember, this journal is a private sanctuary for your own thoughts. It isn’t being judged or graded by anyone, so just keep your hands moving and resist the urge to edit your work.
#3) Use it For Your Own Needs
Whatever you need to record, your grief journal will be accepting of your thoughts.
Maybe some days you want to record memories of your loved one. Other days, you may want to simply record lists of your emotions, plans and ideas in an attempt to calm your mind.
When going through grief, it’s common to experience memory issues, so keeping handy to-do’s or reminders right in your journal can help with daily living.
#4) Remember: There Aren’t Any Rules with Grief Journaling
Grief journaling can be as structured or as flexible as you need it to be. Sometimes, you may feel like jotting down your thoughts more than once whereas other days may pass without any journaling completed at all. Either way, that’s okay!
You’re journaling for your own purposes – nobody else’s. Do it when you want, as often as you want and while giving yourself permission to write whatever comes to mind.
When you’re knee-deep in grief, it’s difficult to imagine that anything can help you navigate the road ahead. At our funeral home in Hamilton, Ontario, Circle of Life Cremation and Burial Centre Inc. offers plenty of grief support resources. Contact us today to learn more about our services.