The past two-and-a-half years have come with a whirlwind of changes looming at every corner. From welcoming triplets to my husband’s lay off from work and all the events in between and after. There really hasn’t been a dull moment.
Although we remind ourselves daily how very blessed we are to have five healthy children, our life is far from easy. We plan every aspect of our day, scheduling helpers, appointments, and extracurricular activities.
The thing is, managing a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old was difficult enough as is, but bringing three infants home from the hospital can rapidly trigger some very high levels of stress and anxiety. I have to admit, I didn’t really know how to process all the change.
My husband and I would frequently meet other couples while stocking up on diapers at the store. The wife would tell me how blessed I was, while the husband muttered under his breath, “better you than me.” I know this wasn’t meant to be hurtful, but it was pretty clear no one wanted to be in my shoes. And while being called a “supermom” or “superwoman” is a nice sentiment and would briefly put a smile on my face, I think the best word to describe me was “defeated.”
However, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many diapers I’ve changed, bottles I’ve washed, or meals I’ve prepared, I was allowing my feelings and emotions to bottle up. I never made ‘me time’ a priority or practiced any self-care. I had to be at home. So I needed something to help me cope and manage the stress.
Whether I have a good or bad day, I journal. It only takes a few minutes of my day. It has helped me a great deal to reduce my stress and achieve my goals, as well as helped me heal through some really bad times. Going back to some of those journal entries has shown proof of my accomplishments and the goals I have reached -- how far we have come, both individually and as a family. I, for one, have always been intimidated by change. I no longer can think that way. These changes have made me a very different person and not in a good or bad way, just a very different person. I have seen that through my journals.
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, “one of the ways to deal with any overwhelming emotion is to find a healthy outlet in which to express yourself, which makes a journal a helpful tool in managing your mental health.”
Journaling can help:
Journaling helps control your symptoms and improve mood by:
Personally, journaling has not only become a self-care practice but a lifestyle. I encourage anyone struggling through stress to journal.
According to Psychology Today, there can be good and bad in journaling. Follow some suggested items to stay positive and focused and to have it be beneficial to your mental well being.
Human Resource Director
Clarity Clinic NWI
Ballas, P. and Fraser, M. Journaling for Mental Health. urmc.rochester.edu.
Stosny, S. Ph.D. Psychology Today. The Good and the Bad of Journaling.