I started keeping a diary when I was a kid and never grew out of the habit. My writing moved from a diary, to notebooks, to journals. To single sheets of paper, to word documents, to Pages (for my Mac users). These days I go back and forth between analog and digital journal keeping.
I use my journal to reflect on the day, write down my thoughts, explore ideas, vent or express emotions. I use it to draft blog posts and newsletters, & explore book ideas. Words are one of my favorite forms of expression and the main tool I use to make sense of my world.
Writing or talking it out is probably my favorite self-care strategy because it speaks to my introvert heart.
We all have moments when we experience a build-up of too much “stuff” or all the things” as I like to call it. That time when everything needs your attention at once. When you have the external pressures of other’s expectations fighting with internal pressures of the expectations you’ve placed on yourself. When these things collide it can create a build-up that becomes overwhelming and can lead to shutting-down and tuning-out.
In order to help us combat this, writing or talking it out is a wonderful strategy to use. This is a way for us to get “all the things” out of our heads and onto the page (or digital recorder). Once everything is out, it’s often much easier for us to return to a state a calm where we can move forward in clutter-free way again.
This strategy is particularly helpful for my soulful introverts who struggle with mental clutter or overthinking.
To get started we are actually going to borrow some steps from our 3rd strategy.
- Stop— Whenever you find your mind becoming cluttered and shutting-down, stop!
- Breathe— Remember our first strategy? Now is the perfect time to take 3-5 slow deep belly breaths.
- Set a Timer for 3-5 minutes— By setting a timer, you create a container for your break. This provides a sense of security, making it easier to take your “self-care” break, without feeling guilty.
- Write or Talk it Out— Use paper and pen, your computer, iPad, or phone to do a little stream-of-consciousness journal writing. This is simply writing whatever comes to mind. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling, just write until the timer stops. If you’re not a writer, turn on the recorder in your phone and talk it out!
- Get Back on Task— Now that your mind is clear from mental clutter, you can return to your previous task.
If mental clutter & overthinking is an ongoing challenge for you, I encourage you to practice this strategy a few times a week and see what you notice.
Did you find this strategy helpful? If so I would love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Thanks so much for stopping by today!
Wishing you more peace than your heart can hold.
P.S. Did you find this strategy helpful? If so, I invite you back to the blog, as I’ll be sharing the my final favorite simple self-care strategies next week. If you missed the previous ones, you can find them all here.