By our count, it’s been a year since our world went upside down, normal life ceased, the calendar cleared, the news went on 24/7, and for the first time in our lifetimes all of humanity was having a shared experience. To help you process your experience, we are sharing 6 journaling prompts we’ve found helpful.
When we were doing research on resilience for a talk we gave a few months back we stumbled upon the work of James Pennebaker and Robert Smyth. In their book, Open Up by Writing it Down: How Expressive Writing Improves Health and Eases Emotional Pain, they show how expressing our emotions through writing is scientifically-proven to improve our mental and physical health.
As someone who has been journaling consistently from a young age, I didn’t need convincing. But at a presentation I gave last week on creating healthy habits, I fielded a question on how to journal. It reminded me that not everyone has this tool in their tool belt and that even if you do, perhaps some journaling prompts might help you dive into and release some of the distress over the last year.
These 6 journaling prompts are meant to spur your thinking. You can complete them over a series of days or all at once. You certainly don’t have to use them all or you can create your own. Take this as a gentle nudge to simply sit down and write and see what comes up.
- What have I learned?
- What have I lost?
- What have I gained?
- Knowing what I know now, what would I have done differently?
- What would I keep the same?
- What do I want to remember about this experience?
Set aside about 20 minutes and let whatever comes up flow. It’s an excellent practice and even though you might feel heavy at first, remember this is a resilience practice.