I’ve been getting back into daily journaling during this pandemic (I’ve actually filled 4 whole notebooks), and the ritual of pouring my thoughts onto paper again, reminds me of the many reasons why I decided to create a journal to gift to those battling cancer.
Earlier this year, I was talking with my dear friend who was recently diagnosed with cancer and one of his biggest fears was not knowing what would happen next. Although I've never had cancer, I’ve had 3 very important people in my life diagnosed, and if I’m being honest, sometimes it feels like I have it too (emotionally, I mean). Fear, anger, confusion, and anxiety seem to rip through me at any moment, and I always go back to my journal to write things down and to work it out.
Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be helpful – especially if you’re living with cancer in some way. It's scary, confusing, and completely chaotic with all the different emotions that come with a diagnosis, and we are all affected differently.
Putting pen to paper is a great way to sort it all out, or just get it all out, and either way, writing helps. Keeping a journal, even if it is only for a few minutes a day, will give you the chance to slow down and let out all that is happening inside of you.
Your journal can be both a therapist and a dear friend who listens without judgement or interruption and is open 24 hours a day. You can tell your journal things you wouldn’t dare verbalize to someone else. Writing it down takes the edge off more toxic feelings and emotions and helps you better understand what you’re feeling, freeing up thinking space to gain clarity on what to do next.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Write in a private and personalized space that is free from distractions – For me, it's usually in the morning. I like to call it quiet time.
- Write at least three or four times a week, and aim for writing consecutively (i.e., at least once each day) - The more you write, the more you will want to write.
- Write about your feelings – I understand that feelings aren’t everything, but they also aren’t nothing. Write about them!
- Give yourself some time to reflect and balance yourself after writing – For things to get worked out in your head or heart, sometimes you need to put them on paper.
- Journal about what feels right in the moment – There are no rules to journaling, and if there are, you get to make them.
- Structure the writing however it feels right to you – It's yours!
- Keep your journal private; it’s for your eyes only—Not your spouse, not your family, not your friends, not even your therapist (although you can discuss your experience with your therapist, of course!).
Whether you are just putting a pen to paper or have been journaling for years, I invite you to join this workshop, hosted by a dear friend of mine, on the benefits of writing…
My friend, Amanda, had to cancel her honeymoon and head straight to chemo when her soon-to-be husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. When she found herself struggling with the well-intended, yet standard surface-level responses from some of her friends, she turned to writing to help sort through her new role as caregiver rather than newlywed.
“I’d found my place to put the pain, and through that authentic voice, I’d connect with thousands of others who were feeling the same. Writing saved my life and now I want to share this same healing tool with anyone who will listen.”
By the way, if you would like to gift my LOVE HEALS Journal to a friend, or even use it yourself (it's great for caregivers too), you can shop it here.
P.S. STILL LOOKING FOR A GIFT TO SUPPORT SOMEONE BATTLING CANCER? SHOP