Perspectives Monthly Journal Exercise – May

Journaling can be a therapeutic exercise.  In therapy, Johanna may encourage you to journal or keep a diary in a specific way, to raise awareness of specific activities, thoughts, or feelings.  This monthly journal exercise is in no way individually prescribed, but meant to offer food for thought that may be useful for anyone.

May’s monthly journal exercise:

Write a letter to your future self.  What do you hope your future self will be doing?  What strengths do you have right now that will help your future self?  What do you want your future self to keep in mind that you find important right now?  Write down these thoughts.  It does not need to be a polished piece of writing, but rather a brief exercise to get yourself writing and thinking about yourself in a new way.

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Perspectives Monthly Journal Exercise – March

Journaling can be a therapeutic exercise.  In therapy, Johanna may encourage you to journal or keep a diary in a specific way, to raise awareness of specific activities, thoughts, or feelings.  This monthly journal exercise is in no way individually prescribed, but meant to offer food for thought that may be useful for anyone.

March’s monthly journal exercise:

What would you say if no one could hear you?  Write a paragraph or two of the thoughts you would share if you knew there could be no consequences.

What would you say if everyone could hear you?  Write a paragraph or two of the thoughts you would share if you knew everyone would truly listen to your words.

Finally, compare the two sets of writing.  How are they the same, and how are they different?  How do they compare to the things you actually say (either in interpersonal interactions or via social media)?  Write down your thoughts on the exercise to process this activity.

Perspectives Monthly Journal Exercise – January

Journaling can be a therapeutic exercise.  In therapy, Johanna may encourage you to journal or keep a diary in a specific way, to raise awareness of specific activities, thoughts, or feelings.  This monthly journal exercise is in no way individually prescribed, but meant to offer food for thought that may be useful for anyone.

January’s monthly journal exercise:

It’s a brand new year.  What are your hopes for the coming year?  Take five minutes to free-write without stopping (unless your hand hurts, or you find yourself in emotionally distress, in which case you should engage in another form of self-care).  Consider what you are looking forward to about 2016, as well as what you might be worrying about.  Write it all down without pausing.  This is not meant to be a polished piece of writing or a list of New Year’s resolutions, but rather an exploration of your hopes and fears as we move into a new year.

Perspectives Monthly Journal Exercise – November

Journaling can be a therapeutic exercise.  In therapy, Johanna may encourage you to journal or keep a diary in a specific way, to raise awareness of specific activities, thoughts, or feelings.  This monthly journal exercise is in no way individually prescribed, but meant to offer food for thought that may be useful for anyone.

November’s monthly journal exercise:

The holidays are coming.  What do the holidays mean for you?  Take five minutes to free-write without stopping (unless your hand hurts, or you find yourself in emotionally distress, in which case you should engage in another form of self-care).  If the holidays are a difficult time of year for you, use this time to write down the things that will help you to get through them.  This is not meant to be a polished piece of writing but rather an exploration of your thoughts on the holidays and your own coping skills.

Perspectives Monthly Journal Exercise – October

Journaling can be a therapeutic exercise.  In therapy, Johanna may encourage you to journal or keep a diary in a specific way, to raise awareness of specific activities, thoughts, or feelings.  This monthly journal exercise is in no way individually prescribed, but meant to offer food for thought that may be useful for anyone.

October’s monthly journal exercise:

Wherever you are, try to write down 2-3 descriptions for each of the five senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, hear).  Now turn your attention internally, and write down 2-3 descriptions for your thoughts, your emotions, and how you are feeling physically.  Try to do this without judging your observations as good or bad.  You may use this writing exercise for mindfulness work as well, since mindfulness is rooted in observation and awareness.  This is not meant to be a polished piece of writing but rather an exploration of yourself in the current moment and your current surroundings.

Perspectives Monthly Journal Exercise – September

Journaling can be a therapeutic exercise.  In therapy, Johanna may encourage you to journal or keep a diary in a specific way, to raise awareness of specific activities, thoughts, or feelings.  This monthly journal exercise is in no way individually prescribed, but meant to offer food for thought that may be useful for anyone.

September’s monthly journal exercise:

September tends to be a time of transition.  Kids go back to school, and we begin to head towards autumn.  Take five minutes to do a “free write,” where you write without stopping.  Only stop if your hand hurts or if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed emotionally.  Write about transitions in your life, and how you connect to the transition of the season from summer to autumn.  This may be through personal events in your life or through your connection to nature as it changes.  At five minutes, stop and put down your pen, wherever you are in your writing.  This is not meant to be a polished piece of writing but rather an exploration.

Perspectives Monthly Journal Exercise – August

Journaling can be a therapeutic exercise.  In therapy, Johanna may encourage you to journal or keep a diary in a specific way, to raise awareness of specific activities, thoughts, or feelings.  This monthly journal exercise is in no way individually prescribed, but meant to offer food for thought that may be useful for anyone.

August’s monthly journal exercise:

For a week, try to write down at the end of each day three things you did during the day, and what emotion you felt while doing it.  See last week’s post on emotional awareness if you get stuck for ideas on what emotions to use.  At the end of the week, look through the journal and notice what emotions tend to go with which activities.