The Advantages of Keeping a Family Journal
Published: May 6, 2021
Photo by Sara Haley
Life gives families countless opportunities to make beautiful memories together. Some moments can be so unforgettable that it becomes a need to capture fleeting experiences in various forms to look back on down the road. There are those who prefer to film or take photos, but wordsmiths take up the pen and chronicle their stories on paper. Journaling is a classic practice that has transcended time, and modern research reveals that not only does it keep records of a family’s past alive, but it also does wonders for the body.
According to health and wellness site PsychCentral, there is increasing evidence that points towards the positive impacts of journaling on a person’s physical well-being. A study from the University of Texas shows that regular journaling can strengthen immune cells, decrease symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, and reduce the impact of stressors that threaten one’s physical health.
Diaries are not just for children. Even parents can benefit from pouring their hearts out through writing. Start chronicling life today and try one of these different ways to journal:
What are you most thankful for? List at least three things that you are grateful for each day. This would make for a great reminder that despite life’s struggles, you have been and are blessed beyond compare.
Who needs enlightenment or guidance in their lives right now? Whether family or friend, write down the name of the person who you want to offer a prayer for. Enumerate the things that you want to pray about, and keep this close as you seek for divine intervention.
What activities do you want to participate in with your family? Dream destinations, adrenaline-pumping hobbies, mouthwatering food — nothing is off the table! Let these serve as motivations for you to work hard towards ticking each item off your bucket list.
Is there anything that you wish you were able to say to someone who is now out of your life? It may be a family member who has passed away, or a special person who you have no contact with anymore. Let go of the chains that bind you to sadness and find closure in writing a letter to the ones you used to know and love.
Do’s and Don’ts
Having trouble focusing on things that you need to do? Set boundaries and get a better handle of how you manage your time by listing down tasks that require your attention and those that you can delegate to other members of the family. This way, you can teach your kids the value of accountability while making sure that you are keeping up with your responsibilities as a parent.
Is there so much going on inside your head? Declutter and reboot by writing freestyle. For a set amount of time (around 5 minutes), jot down anything that comes to mind. Get thoughts and ideas that weigh you down out of your system so you can feel lighter and more prepared to take the day!