A decade ago, I started journaling. It helped me navigate one of the most challenging periods of my life, my divorce. The suggestions in this post can apply to anyone feeling lonely, misunderstood, working through a problem, and of course, going through a divorce. If there was ever a time for journaling, it is today. Journaling is my therapy. Journaling is my meditation. I hope it will be yours. 

I held onto the seven journals I wrote during my divorce because I knew someday I would have the courage to start this blog. It may sound a little out there, but at times I believed the old journal’s presence brought negative energy into my space. I frequently imagined burning them. If I wrote this blog today without them, I would never be able to tap back into the raw emotions I experienced during the first few years of this life-changing process. If you are in the beginning, middle, end, or just thinking of a divorce, I have great news for you. Someday your memory will fade and the flood of negative thoughts and emotions will subside. It’s going to take a lot longer than you expect, but it will happen. Until then, journaling is the answer. 

Are you new to journaling? Welcome! If you are anything like me, you may be worried about someone reading your journals, poor grammar, mis-spelling, and the list goes on and on. No one will grade this. A date is helpful to give you an indication of time, but it’s only a suggestion. If you hate old-school writing, open a doc and just start typing away but do me a favor, ignore any red underlines. You won’t want to kill the momentum by acting like your middle school English teacher and correcting every mistake you come across. This is real. This is raw.

For my pen and paper gals, treat yourself to a journal that speaks to you. Ordering on Amazon is incredibly easy and always fulfills our desire for instant gratification; however, I suggest that you either buy one you can return or seek one out in the wild. Turns out, I’m very particular about how my pages turn and the feel of the journal in my hands. Bound journals are beautiful, but if I find it awkward to write when I turn the page, I’m going to ditch it, hate the process, or give up easily. Brands like Moleskin offer a simple and elegant option. Just don’t forget to make sure it’s lined. As for a writing tool, find one that is smooth keeps up with your writing. We have no time for slow drying ink during a vent session! 

When I am journaling, aka ranting and raving, I skip a line and write an “ah-ha moment” that I want to come back to or a question I want to explore later. Here is where the underline and circle function of your hand comes into play. It’s an incredible tool. Anything you can do from stopping the momentum helps. What I found is once I started being honest with myself, the flood gates opened, and the words poured out. Be patient. Breathe. It took a long time for you to become so tightly wound, and it will take time to unravel all these thoughts and feelings. 

Hate writing and typing? Try voice dictation and recording. Create an audio version of a journal and let it all out, sister. What I love about this method is that you will be able to hear the inflections and tone of your voice. Just remember, don’t be surprised when you play it back. We always sound a little different than we think we do in our heads.

Throughout the years, I find myself journaling during times of distress and trauma. Experiment journaling during the highs in your life as well. Oprah works with a gratitude journal each day, and she has said that it changed her life. When Oprah speaks, I listen. 

Here are a few summarized tips for your journaling practice:

I wish you the best in your journaling adventure. 

Do you have a tip or prompt that might help someone? I would love to hear it. Until then, stay safe and healthy.