Why Everyone Should Be Journaling…With a Twist!
Journaling is a healthy habit every nurse could benefit from. There are many positive mental and emotional outcomes that are the result of a journaling practice.
Journaling can decrease stress and reduce distraction. A person that journals on a regular basis may enjoy more creativity and be in greater touch with their intuition.
And nurses, who are often great writers, can benefit from the journaling process!
Journaling with a Twist
Now, when you think about journaling you may be getting a picture in your mind of someone sitting down with a pen and notebook. Kind of like writing in a diary as a little kid.
Those of us who may not enjoy writing as much as others may be thinking to themselves, “Journaling… so not for me!”
Well, that’s why I am here to share some ideas for journaling with a twist!
Get Creative, Based Upon Your Wants and Needs
In today’s age of technology, you don’t have to feel stifled by journaling the old-fashioned way. That’s right – there are options available to you!
Journal online. To me, this is a two-parter that you can decide if you want to keep private or even make public.
If you hate to write because your hand gets cramped or you cannot even read that chicken scratch that’s called your handwriting… you don’t have to miss out!
Why not open up your laptop or tablet and journal in a word processing program?
You could date the page header and save the documents in chronological folders so that you can go back and find journal entries easily.
Or, as nurses become more and more innovative and start up online blogs and businesses, I am seeing many nurse writers journal online!
That’s right. Some nurses are turning their personal journals into public blogs.
That’s one way to keep up your healthy habit!
Journal without even writing a thing.
Who would have thunk it? I don’t have to write or type!! Show me the way…
Well, our phones, applications and technologies are getting so savvy that you can journal by voice.
That’s right. Why not pick up your phone and speak to it?
This way, you can get your thoughts out of your head quickly and save “journal” entries that are transcribed.
Now, don’t ask me exactly HOW to do this one. Full transparency here – I am not that tech savvy. Nor, do I want to be. I still enjoy the good old-fashioned pen and paper kind of journal.
However, if anyone has ideas on how to digitally journal, please share them in the comments below! I am quite positive that it can be done. I do use my “voice to text” feature on my phone… and LOVE it! Definitely saves me time. So, I am sure that we can do the same with a journal experience.
Why Should Everybody Journal?
As a nurse, you have a lot going on. You get to work and are filled up with information on your patients. During the day, you likely keep a check list handy, making sure that you complete all tasks.
And then, as a human being, you have thoughts, feelings, conversations and interactions all day long. We are getting stuffed with content. So much so, you may start to feel like your brain is about to explode!
Rather than keeping it all inside, a journaling practice is an excellent tool to help you get your thoughts out of the brain. This gives you more head space so that all that content can be jammed back in on another shift.
Additionally, journaling can help you process negative emotions and allow you to heal. If you are experiencing a difficult coworker at your job, you may want to journal about how you will handle the situation before you have to have that challenging conversation.
A Testament of Growth
So often, we are hard on ourselves. We think that we aren’t good enough or we feel that we aren’t ready to take on certain roles.
Journaling can be a true testament for how much you actually have grown as a nurse along the way.
If you do keep paper journals or even online documents filed in a folder – you can go back and review.
I have done this before and it was quite an eye-opening experience! Reading back on how “past Elizabeth” thought or felt about something was interesting. I could see right in front of me how much I had grown or changed for the better over time.
It really is true that time does heal those brutal wounds. Journaling can be an excellent healer and a safe place for us to express ourselves. Then, going back and re-reading what was wrote in past years, can allow you to celebrate yourself and just how far you have come as a nurse!
Would love to hear your thoughts on the above list and what you’d add to the docket? Tell us by commenting below, how has journaling benefited you and your nursing career?
About the Author: Keynote speaker and podcaster, Elizabeth Scala MSN/MBA, RN, HNB-BC partners with hospitals, nursing schools, and nurse associations to transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the host of the Your Next Shift podcast, Elizabeth supports nursing organizations in celebrating and recognizing their staff in a meaningful way. Elizabeth received her dual master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a certified coach and Reiki Master Teacher. Elizabeth lives in Maryland with her supportive husband and playful pit bull.