Journaling for Seniors - Tips from Our Independent Living Communities

Create Gratitude and Self-Care Practice with Journaling

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You may have heard the term self-care crop up often over the last few years, and it’s no wonder why. In an age of constant stimulation, socialization, expectations, and sheer drive, it can be hard to take time for ourselves to rest and take care of ourselves. But by prioritizing self-care, we can actually be better support systems for our friends and family.

One of the simplest ways to care for your mental and emotional well-being is by journaling. For our residents at our Sunshine Retirement Living independent living communities, we encourage self expression in many ways, including journaling. Reflecting on daily ongoings, feelings, and interactions are an incredibly important way to stay connected with one’s self. There’s no one way to start a journaling practice, but we thought we’d share some of our favorite tips. Check them out below!

Finding the Right Journal

Think journaling is simply writing down what you did during the day? It can be! But there’s so many other options out there. Maybe you want to spend some time creating a more positive outlook. If so, a gratitude journal might be the right choice for you. These journals can have spaces for positive affirmations, lists of what you’re grateful for, what may have made the day wonderful, and so on. Or perhaps you just want a way to lose yourself in a creative space. An unlined blank notebook might be the right fit, as it would allow you to write, draw, doodle, or notate anywhere in the book. Do your research and find the right fit for you. It’s okay if you have to try a few options before finding the one that sticks!

Schedule Time

As with any new routine, it’s important to set parameters that work for you. If you’re not a morning person, perhaps journaling in the morning is not the right choice. If you find yourself reflecting on life or needing some time to yourself at lunch time, maybe block off a few minutes for a small session with your gratitude journal. The important thing is choosing a time that really works for you and sticking with it. Set an alarm on your phone and set aside 10-15 minutes at first. This is a long enough time frame that you’ll be able to get thoughts onto paper, but not so long that you will feel pressured to write the next great American novel. As your practice progresses, you might shift timing, but this is a great place to start.

To Prompt or Not to Prompt?

While many people can free-write their journals easily, some might need inspiration from outside sources. This is where journaling prompts can come in handy. From meditations to questions, introspective to existential, there are so many topics and tools that can help you kickstart your journaling practice. If you are exploring journaling as a tool to help you sort your thoughts and emotions, consider one of the following prompts:

  • When do you feel most free?
  • Describe what you are physically feeling right now in conjunction with your emotions.
  • What is a memory that brings you peace?

Or perhaps you’re looking to unlock your potential to do great things. One of the following prompts might help:

  • When do you feel most powerful?
  • What was your childhood dream and do you think you could achieve that today?
  • Write down all of the reasons you are proud of yourself.

There are so many benefits to starting a journal practice, and we hope our simple tips have given you a little guidance where needed.

If you are interested in learning more about our amazing independent living communities at Sunshine Retirement Living, please give our friendly team a call today!

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