Caregiving is deeply fulfilling, but there’s no denying that it is also heavy emotional and stressful work. Many caregivers caring for Hospice terminally ill family members often forget to take care of themselves among the plethora of daily tasks.
One way to relieve stress and practice self-care for palliative caregivers is to journal. Journaling allows caregivers to write down their worries, vent, doodle, and keep track of their blessings. A caregiver’s journal can be a private space for them to express themselves and cope with everything that’s going on around them.
You don’t need to purchase a fancy journal to jot down your thoughts; however, if you want to enjoy the experience, find a journal book that matches your style. You can set some time aside from each day to journal in your journal book and write a minimum of one sentence. This method can help you develop a slow and steady rhythm if you are prone to procrastination.
Don’t worry too much about what you are writing, or try using complex vocabulary, correct grammar, or the proper spelling. Treat your journal as a diary where you can jot down your most private thoughts to help you make sense of your day and how you feel. Some days you might feel angry, or some days you might feel gratitude for all you have been blessed with.
The main goal of journaling is to push out all of the negativity from your mind on your journal page. It won’t work if you are constantly reading your journal entries and replaying a specific moment in your head repeatedly. If you are compelled to read your past entries, allow yourself a fixed time after which you can look back at them (after a week, month, or more). This will help you put some emotional distance between yourself and the event, and you can look at the situation to detect patterns.
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