The Benefits of Journaling and Monthly Tracking

Has anyone else been trying to enjoy all the regular fall activities? Because I certainly have! This time of the year can be full of fun and pumpkin spice, however, it can also get very busy and stressful. Thanksgiving is coming up, and shortly after that are the winter holidays, but between all that, many students are drowning with a considerable amount of work on top of midterms.

This time of year can be overly stressful to the point of procrastination. However, procrastination only leads to more stress! There are many different ways that people relax after a long day. One way is through journaling and daily tracking. 

Journaling is writing down your thoughts, questions, and ideas. Daily tracking is noting down certain things — such as your mood, money spent and specific habits — on a daily basis. Both journaling and daily tracking are very effective tools to manage stress. With journaling, you put your daily thoughts on paper, regardless of whether they are negative or positive; it can really help you relax and get stressful thoughts out of your head. Daily tracking can help you manage stress as it keeps you on track with certain habits that you are trying to attain.

Photo by Madison Inouye from Pexels Both journaling and daily tracking allow you to self-reflect. With journaling, you can always go back and reflect on how you handled a situation or how you dealt with a major change in your life. Those are really good for you because they give you the opportunity to be raw and honest with yourself. That’s the best part of the journaling process. Once you are open to being raw and completely honest with yourself, that’s when you grow. The possibilities of self-growth are endless when you accept that no one is perfect and no one ever will be. With daily tracking, self-reflection is the whole idea. You can sit down and look back at your day and answer questions like “How did you feel today?”, “did you get ____ done?”, or, “how much money did you spend today?” Keeping track of the things that are important to you is key in self-reflection.

When you take the time to relax, your day may not seem so long and stressful. If your day continues to feel like this, you just might not have a proper output for the way you’re feeling. This seemingly small addition to your routine can have a drastic positive outcome on your mental health.

notebook flat-lay with flowers Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels Journaling and daily tracking are also great tools for people who want to be held accountable. I know I personally “fall off the wagon” and get stuck in a place where I procrastinate, only to have it come back later and stress me out more. Keeping yourself accountable is a great way to steer clear of procrastination altogether. The thing that keeps you accountable is the routine of it all. By setting aside 15–20 minutes every night to write in your journal and/or complete your daily tracking, you already keep yourself accountable. It’s amazing when you see a difference in yourself when you just take a small amount of time out of your night to accomplish one or two tasks.

mental health scrabble tiles Photo by Wokandapix by Pixabay

Now, if you’re anything like me, you want to make your daily trackers aesthetically pleasing. I like to fancy them up because it makes me so much more inclined to fill them in at the end of every day! If this is also you, put that creativity hat on and get going! However, if you're having trouble coming up with an idea, hop over to Pinterest and Instagram. There are so many inspirational posts surrounding journal entry pages and daily tracking templates on both of these platforms.

A woman looking at the Instagram sign up page Photo by from Pexels I hope this article helped you in some way, whether you already journal and/or daily track and just learned some of the benefits from doing so, or if you’ve never tried either and are now inspired to give it a go! At the end of the day, it’s all about finding something that works for you, as long as it's working positively for your mental health, that’s all that matters.