There is so much to love about fall—the weather, the food, and the obvious one, Thanksgiving—which means it’s the perfect time for reflection, sharing, and gratitude. Studies show that gratitude positively affects our mental health and also helps our immune system remain healthy. This means when we are optimistic and thankful, our life seems to take on new meaning.
Journaling is the perfect way to record your gratitude. By just starting with five minutes a day, you can experience the unexpected reward of perspective. When you read your entries later, you see your life with a fresh point of view, as well your writings will offer a valuable keepsake for your children.
When first beginning your journaling experience keep these writing tips in mind: choose a time when you won’t be interrupted, don’t judge what you write, write anything, and if you skip a day, or even a week, you can always pick it up and start again.
Unlike some hobbies, journal writing does not require expensive equipment; all you need is paper and a pen and a little bit of time.
Right on? Write on!
Don’t know where to begin? Start here!
Journal Prompt #1
Begin by writing the date at the top of the page and complete one of the following sentences, letting your thoughts take you in any direction.
- Today, the most joyful moment I had with my children was…
- My spouse (or kids, or friend) made me feel loved by…
- I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to…
Journal Prompt #2
Choose a Thanksgiving writing starter.
- What is your best and worst Thanksgiving memory?
- What traditions do you and your family have around Thanksgiving?
- Write out five things you’re grateful for. Why do they matter to you?
- How have your family’s Thanksgiving traditions evolved over the years?
Journal Prompt #3
Use this list of 30 journaling ideas and begin writing the first thing that comes to mind when you say:
Day 1 My Spouse
Day 2 My Children
Day 3 Pancakes
Day 4 Nephews and Nieces
Day 5 Kind and Generous People
Day 6 Fridays
Day 7 Pampering Myself
Day 8 Clean Water
Day 9 Hiking Trails
Day 10 Fresh Air on a Beautiful Day
Day 11 Sunshine
Day 12 First-Time Experiences
Day 13 My Family
Day 14 Great Teachers
Day 15 My Faith
Day 16 Favorite Foods
Day 17 Vacation Plans
Day 18 Fun in the Snow
Day 19 Laughter
Day 20 Art
Day 21 Emergency Responders
Day 22 Funny Pictures and Movies
Day 23 Our Home
Day 24 Chocolate
Day 25 Memories that Christmas Ornaments Conjure Up
Day 26 Thanksgiving Day Feasts
Day 27 Shopping
Day 28 My Job
Day 29 FaceTime
Day 30 An Awesome Thanksgiving Weekend