A caregiving journal can be a powerful tool for a caregiver, meaning you are providing support to an individual who is ill, injured, or disabled. Being responsible for another can take a toll on a person’s mental health. Feelings of anxiety, depression, and resentment are all possible.
There are ways to reduce your stress and cope with emotional strain. Taking daily steps to care for yourself, with activities like keeping a caregiver journal, may help. To learn more, connect with a personal support counselor.
Use Paper or a Digital Device to Start Journaling
When deciding to journal, know that whatever form works for you is appropriate. Too often, an individual will believe they need to get up early and sit in a specific spot for an hour and write longhand. While this may work for some, others find themselves journalling throughout the day on a digital device. Or jotting down thoughts in a notebook before they go to sleep. Your journal is your own and you make up the rules, if you choose to have any at all.
Stream of consciousness writing can be a fruitful way to get started. This means you simply write continuously, without worrying about grammar or sentence structure. The point is to get your thoughts down, however they come.
Benefits of Keeping a Caregiving Journal
Many find writing down their thoughts helps them solve problems in their daily life. There are times when you think of solutions as you write through what is worrying you. You may find yourself recording patterns. For instance, if you are writing each day about how upset your ill husband gets when you leave for your late morning walk, you may think of another way to handle the situation. Maybe if the two of you have lunch and then you leave he will be calmer. This is a simple situation, but the point is you may be able to identify ways to add activities or eliminate stresses.
Letting feelings out can bring relief. Writing about your sadness or anger can help to alleviate the pull these emotions have on your wellbeing. Health professionals have even noticed physical benefits to keeping a caregiving journal. Writing about difficult emotions can help to boost immune system function and improve a person’s ability to sleep and heal.
There are also times when a caregiving journal can help you resolve uncomfortable feelings you are having with individuals outside of your home. Older adults may be upset because their adult children are not assisting them with caregiving responsibilities as often as they hoped or expected. When you write through those discomforts, you may be able to approach upcoming conversations about the topic with clarity.
Whether you are a caregiver or not, journaling can be a powerful tool to understanding yourself and your feelings. If you are feeling upset and stressed, solutions are available.
Kendall Van Blarcom is a senior helping seniors. Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today for help with your personal problems. Or, reach out to provide support for an older adult in your life.