As college students, we tend to have a lot going on. We overwork ourselves and oversaturate our schedules in an attempt to “have it all.” We try to balance classes, homework, a social life, a good night’s sleep and sometimes a job as well. We are under the constant pressure of obtaining good grades, passing our classes and building an impressive resume in the hopes of bettering our future. On top of that, we also commonly have worries in our social lives and our home lives. This can lead to a lot of stress, and if you’re not careful, it can overwhelm you and become a gateway to other issues like anxiety, eating disorders and even substance abuse. Taking breaks from your responsibilities and caring for yourself is very important. Self-care has a huge impact on your mood, stress levels and mental health. I have found that keeping a journal is the simplest, easiest and most effective form of self-care. It is also perfect for the busy college student. Here are 5 reasons why you should keep a journal.


1. Keeping a journal can help you clear and organize your mind.

When you’re writing down all of your thoughts and feelings, it becomes easier for you to see patterns in your thinking; which can help you to better understand how you feel. This is especially important for those who feel overwhelmed by the amount of thoughts and feelings in their mind. Once you write everything down on paper and look at it, it becomes less intimidating. This can help lessen anxiety and stress. It also frees up space in your mind so you can focus on what you deem important.


2. Journaling helps you work through difficult situations.

I have solved many issues in my own life by writing about them and then using what I wrote to find a solution. You will be surprised by how much simpler a problem becomes once you write it down and understand how you feel about it.


3. Journaling also helps you better understand your thoughts and put them into words so you can confidently communicate to others about how you feel.

Communicating your feelings to others is very important because it lets you connect with people on a deeper level and create a better understanding of each other. Working to understand your thoughts is especially helpful if you commonly have a lot of thoughts running through your mind. I, personally, overthink most of the time. All of the thoughts running through my mind can become extremely exhausting and overwhelming to keep up with. Writing everything down and accounting for every single thought is a very calming and awakening experience, and you’ll learn more about yourself in the process. 


4. Writing in a journal is not a huge time commitment at all.

In fact, it can be very easy to fit into any kind of schedule. You can write in your journal for as long or as little as you want. Depending on the day, I typically spend anywhere between a couple minutes to a couple of hours writing in my journal. It all depends on you how you feel and what’s going on in your life at that moment. This is very important because most people are too busy to meditate or take a yoga class, but everyone can spare five minutes to dump their thoughts out on paper. This makes journaling a great method of self-care for busy college students.


5. Journaling is a relaxing and therapeutic exercise. 

I am a huge advocate for therapy and other types of professional help, but I am also a huge believer in the power of writing. Whether you’re someone who goes to therapy every week or you’re just someone wanting to blow off a little steam, writing is the perfect exercise. It can be a useful addition to therapy, but if therapy isn’t for you, then it is still a beneficial practice. Journaling opens your mind and creates a better understanding of yourself and your feelings. I believe that the power to better understand your own mind lives in you, and you just need to tap into it, which is attainable through writing.

To sum it all up, you should keep a journal because it can help you clear your mind, work through your problems, and organize your thoughts and feelings. It’s also a small time commitment and a therapeutic exercise that will teach you more about yourself. Regardless of what you decide to do for self-care, everyone should find something that works for them. Whether you’ve found that habit or not, journaling is always worth a try. 

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