Journaling is probably the most recommended self-care and recovery practice, but not without reason. It provides a completely safe and private space to dive into emotions, situations, or perspectives with freedom from judgement. Journaling helps us to process good and bad times, to reflect and learn from our pasts, and think about ourselves more deeply.
That being said, opening a notebook to a blank page and having it stare back up at you can feel daunting. Sometimes it feels like there’s so much to say that it’s hard to know where to start, or your mind goes blank. Either way, a journaling prompt may solve your problem. It helps channel your reflections and writing to a more specific sect of your mind or memory, but always with room to stray.
Below are a series of thought-provoking journaling prompts for you to try out. Most have been pulled from other online sources and tailored for women in recovery. Also, note that it takes 21 days to develop a habit, so if you intend to journal daily, you could tackle a new prompt each day for 3 weeks.
- Make a map of your setbacks or areas of your life you were disappointed in, indicating the rough date they occurred. Write beside each one what you learned.
- Talk about something you grew out of that meant a lot to you at the time.
- What is one reality you need to come to peace with? Why?
- What are some of your limiting beliefs that might be holding you back?
- What do you fear most? Have your fears changed throughout life?
- Write down the positive ways you’ve changed over the past five to ten years.
Relationships and love
- What is one relationship that you have let slip? What is the reason?
- Complete this sentence and then keep writing: “I owe an apology to ____.”
- What boundaries could you set in your relationships to safeguard your own well-being?
- How can you better support and appreciate your loved ones?
- Do you feel your life is in balance? Is there something you should be doing more (or less) of?
- How have you chosen yourself recently? How will you choose yourself, today?
- How do you show compassion to others? How can you extend that same compassion to yourself?
- What are three self-defeating thoughts that show up in your self-talk? How can you reframe them to encourage yourself?
- What three ordinary things bring you the most joy?
- What compliment makes you the happiest or makes you feel proud of yourself? Give yourself that compliment!
- What activities sets your soul on fire? (If you aren’t sure, then think back to your childhood. What did you love to do as a kid?)
- What is your most perceived weakness? How can you turn it into a strength?
- Complete this sentence and then keep writing: “I got to where I am today because I am ____.”
- How would you describe yourself to someone who has never met you before?
- When do you trust yourself most? When do you find it hardest to have faith in your instincts?
- What if the only way to add to your life was to subtract from it? What would be one or two things that you would remove?
- Do you enjoy what you are doing today? If not, how long has the answer been no?
- If you find yourself having anxiety, what is the 20% of things in your life that is causing 80% of your anxiety?
- What’s the first thing you turn to when you feel sad? Is it a healthy thing?
- Whose approval do you want the most, and why?
- Where would you be if all of your goals were accomplished?
- What are the unifying characteristics of the top 3 people you most want to emulate?
- Describe a mistake you made recently, big or small. How did you deal with it?
- What’s one thought that has been getting the best of you lately? How has it been influencing your behaviour?
- What is something you’ve been wanting to do but have been too afraid to try? (Why are you afraid?)
Journaling can feel like a daunting task, and we hope these prompts helped elicit some valuable self-reflection and learning. If you find it hard to get started, maybe ask some friends or other women of Avalon to join a journaling club with you. Like recovery, the hardest part in getting started is always taking the first step, but the effort is worth it!
To help you utilize these journaling prompts in your regular routine, we’ve created a PDF version that you can download and print to keep with you. Click here: Journaling prompts. Happy journaling!