As creative or empathetic individuals we are often encouraged to journal about anything and everything. You're sad? Journal. Happy? Journal. Stressed? Journal. Feeling a like of inspiration? Journal.
Journaling, especially in many online spaces, is considered one of the best tools you can utilize and implement into your routines. Journaling is prescribed for most issues and is used largely in the spiritual and self help communities.
I am not here to discredit the power or the effectiveness of a journaling practice! Everyone has something that works for them, and if journaling works for you or someone you know, that's GREAT. I am super happy that journaling supports you!
I just know that in my personal experience, being told to constantly journal as if it was always the solution to my problems was harmful. I love to write, but journaling somehow just felt off for me. I wanted to move through what was happening and not stew in it. When I journaled I found myself fixating on things and it kept me from moving through the emotions or situations I was in. I knew that I couldn't be the only one and I knew that there had to be alternatives to journaling and there are!
You don't have to journal to receive the kind of benefits that journaling provides. Below I have collected a list of my favorite activities to do as a creative instead of journaling.
Listen to your Favorite Song-- the purpose of journaling most times is to help your process or release something. When we listen to our favorite music you would be amazed at how much you can process or release by singing the lyrics and allowing yourself to just be with your favorite song for a couple minutes!
Drink some Water-- drinking water is one of the most underrated daily activities that is supportive for us. Taking time to just sit and drink water can help alleviate fatigue, clear up brain fog, and spark creativity! If you are feeling drained or uninspired, take a few minutes to drink some water and just relax. You'll feel at least a little better afterwards.
Dance it out-- Movement can be so helpful when we are looking to process or release something. Movement can also help us alleviate fatigue. Take a few minutes to dance it out to your favorite song, take a quick walk, do some jumping jacks, do something to get your body moving! Gentle movement can help us feel supported.
Color or Color Journal-- Journaling doesn't have to just be writing! You can journal my coloring, by painting, by drawing, etc. Using coloring utensils to journal can be super fun and can feel super therapeutic. Coloring journaling is by far one of my favorite activities and one of my favorite journaling alternatives! I often just allow myself to color on a blank page without trying too hard to make it into something. Coloring just for fun.
Brain dump on your phone or laptop- Journaling often serves as a way for us to get everything out of our brains! Many of us feel pressure to write fully when it comes to journaling, but a brain dump on your phone or laptop can be just as effective to help clear your mind and feel you feel grounded. A quick brain dump can help alleviate pressure or stress that comes from the mind when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Make a Thought List- One of the things that doesn't always appeal to people with a brain dump is that it isn't tasks in their mind but it is just different thoughts! Instead of brain dumping, make a thought list. You can do this on your computer or on your phone, but take a few minutes to write out all of the different thoughts you are having to just get them out of your mind so you can release some of what you are carrying around.
Name 5 things you are grateful for- A gratitude practice can be so helpful in the place of journaling. A huge reason many people invite us to journal is to practice gratitude for what we have and what we are aspiring for. Implementing a simple gratitude practice where you name 5 things you are grateful for can be a great alternative to journaling that is simple.
Record a voice memo for yourself.- for some people, journaling or writing of any kind is just not going to work for them. Instead of trying to find a way to make it work, record a voice memo for yourself! Some of us process things easier when we are able to talk them out, recording a voice memo for yourself that you can listen back to! Talking things out can be so supportive for us and our brains.
Have any other suggestions to add to this list?
Let me know in the comments!
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