The holiday season is a time of great celebration, but if you have recently lost someone who was very close to you, the holidays can be painful and hard to endure. You are grieving, yet everyone expects you to join in the good times.
Similarly, if you lost a loved one at a holiday time in a previous year, the season can be a difficult challenge for you ever thereafter.
If this describes you, remember first that it is perfectly okay for you to have conflicting feelings and ups and downs. Trying to suppress or mask your grief doesn’t help, as it will surface eventually. Fully experiencing your feelings is the best way to work through them.
A safe and effective way to work through your grief and find a way to enjoy the celebrations again is by using your journal.
Journaling, by nature, is a solitary exercise. And since we are often concerned with our deepest secret selves in our journals, we rarely share these writings with others. So it’s a special treat when we’re allowed a peek inside someone else’s journal. The cinema is one place where we can occasionally enjoy the journaling lives of others.
Here are a few examples of journal-based films.
Committed journalers know that maintaining a daily journaling practice is an excellent way to open new channels of self-discovery and self-expression.
When you keep a journal in which you write regularly, if not daily, you have the opportunity to process all the experiences in your life and gain a greater understanding of yourself and others.
Sometimes, though, problems arise.
You may open your journal one day and find that the blank lines stare back at you, daring you to sully them with your unedited thoughts.
You begin to feel overwhelmed and come to the decision that you just don’t have the time to “properly” journal. You run into a journaling brick wall and eventually your journal just dies from lack of attention.
If you’ve ever had this experience, or are having it right now, here are three simple tips to get back into journaling:
On January 1st, some people start off the year with a bright new notebook.
“This is the year I’m going to write my journal every day,” they think. Then, around January 6th – and, co-incidentally, Epiphany – they find their journaling has ground to a halt.
There’s too much to do. They have too little to say. Or so they think.
Here are some tips for this New Year – starting this very day. These techniques are drawn from life-long journaling (by me and other people including everyone from Virginia Woolf to Bridget Jones). Although not an exhaustive list, they will get you started and keep you going:
Keeping a journal can produce many positive and personal effects. One of these effects deals with healing the emotions.
If you take the time to make journal entries on a regular schedule, follow the thoughts presented here, and put a plan into action, you will most definitely experience improved mental and physical health.
A family memory journal is a fun, easy way to preserve family memories.
A couple of years ago I was sorting through a pile of unused journals (many given to me as presents!) and was trying to come up with a way to put them to good use.
Oprah has said it and so will I, keeping a daily journal is an excellent way to help yourself to a generous dose of Happiness.
In studies conducted, it has been found that writing the events of the day in a journal drastically increases your powers of recall and memory.
It also helps to ‘unload’ all the baggage you’ve collected during the day.
Divorce emotions are hard enough one time, so you want to do everything you can not to repeat the same mistakes. Even if it looks like your ex is the one who made mistakes, it did take two to tango.
If you journal about the divorce, you will discover your role and not make the same mistake twice.
If there every was a time in your life when emotions run rampant, it’s when you’re going through a divorce. Wouldn’t you agree? There you are – you think your life is totally working when the rug gets pulled out from under your feet.
Don’t be surprised if during your next office visit, your doctor hands you a prescription for a journal with instructions to write a minimum of 30 minutes a day!
That’s right. Medical science has discovered what we writers have known for a long time…the benefits of journaling.
According to research documented in the Journal of the American Medical Association, April 14, 1999, persons suffering from asthma and rheumatoid arthritis significantly reduce symptoms by “expressive writing.”
Writing about (stressful) life events helps to put things into perspective!
However, important events in your life, at the time they are fresh, provide a link to your children and grandchildren. Memories fade, but a dated notation of your thoughts just before your wedding, at the birth of a child, a new house, or a cross-country move can enhance your family relationships in later years.
About three years ago, my mother at age ninety-one, decided to recall special events in her life. She asked me to compose a journal. Memories of her early life were fairly vivid. However, when she was a busy wife and mother, she could not recall many events. I solicited information from my siblings, but their memories had faded as well. Sadly a gap appears in her journal.