5 Types of Beautiful Journals for Women

Check out these five beautiful styles of journaling in my favorite collections for women and experience, calm, clarity and creativity!

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best journals for women

ADDICTED TO JOURNALING

My first diary was given to me by my aunt when I was seven years old. It had a slick, squishy cover with music notes on the front and cursive lettering to spell out MY DIARY. The pages were pink and the book came with a lock and a heart-shaped key.

I loved that diary. I filled it out quickly and bought another. And another. And another.

I progressed from childhood diaries and high school gossip to prayer journals and personal growth trackers. My journals cover everything from field trips in elementary school to the birth of my children.

Every few years, I pile them around me and sift through memories of summers spent rollerblading and trips to my grandparents’ lake house. Of winter blizzards in Virginia and days off school, building snow forts and organizing sledding competitions.

best journals for women

Journaling is my way to express creativity, savor treasured memories and vent or analyze a situation. Most times, I finish with a sense of calm and peace when I’m stressed or the gusto to get started on a personal project.

Here a few of my favorite types of journals:

best journals for women

5 BEST JOURNALS FOR WOMEN:

1. BRAIN DUMP

These are the classic books you think of when you think about journaling. These allow you to explore emotions and feelings without restraint and provide an opportunity to analyze a situation. I also tape in letters, photos and small keepsakes. There’s no limit to what you can do write on these blank pages!

Brain-dump journals are usually kept private so make sure you keep them in a safe place.

Best journals for women

Best journals for women

2. GRATITUDE JOURNAL

When life starts to spin out of control, it’s hard to see the good in the everyday. Gratitude journals are useful when I’m creating a habit of negative thinking. These journals change my attitude from self-pity to self-motivation.

Entries can be as short as a word, or as long as a story to tell what went well in your day, or what you’re thankful for. They are an excellent record to reflect back on when you’re overwhelmed by the monotony of a chronic illness or a reoccurring problem.

best journals for women best journals for women Best journals for women

3. GUIDED JOURNAL

Guided journals are my favorite because they inspire me to be creative and each one is unique in its focus.

Best journals for women Best journals for women

4. BULLET JOURNAL

These trendy journals are a blank canvas for right-brained creative types as well as left-brain methodical types. There is no limit on what you can track with these and there is an enormous wealth of ideas online on how to construct your own.

Use them to track anything from a list of your favorite quotes, to how much water you drink each day to tracking your moods and reaching work goals.

5. PRAYER JOURNALS

These are becoming more popular and a great way to grow spiritually! Some just have pretty covers and allow you to create your own format, while others guide you through the process.

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Happy Writing!

best journals for women

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How to Ease Anxiety with Meditation

Meditation helps ease anxiety by allowing you to reboot your mind and relax your body. Step back and breathe to assess your day.

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. The following information is for general informational and educational purposes only and it is not intended as, and shall not be understood or construed as, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Before taking any actions based upon such information, I expressly recommend that you seek advice from a medical professional.

MEDITATION IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK

When I first heard about meditating, I imagined a bunch of hippies sitting around chanting, and frankly it weirded me out.

My ignorant mind had made assumptions of something I really knew nothing about. However, as I dealt with anxiety from my chronic pain, the practice of meditation kept coming up. I had already been a fan of yoga and was doing it regularly for years.

When you cool down in yoga, you end with a few minutes lying still on your back, eyes closed, focused on slow, deep breathing. Turns out, I was already doing a form of meditation–and honestly, this relaxation time at the end of my yoga practice was my favorite. It was the time when I could focus on completely relaxing every part of my body and calming my mind to prepare for the rest of the day.

Meditation anxiety

Eventually it was the claims that meditation can help people deal with anxiety and chronic pain that kept me interested. 

According to The Mindfulness Journal,  pain in the body is also felt in the mind, and meditation can be used to lessen your discomfort. Meditation “can help decrease some of the stress and inflammation that often makes the hurt worse, while giving you some control over your reaction to pain and discomfort.”

Mindful Magazine states that “science has confirmed that slow, deep breathing calms by reducing heart rate and activating the parasympathetic (calming) nervous system. The result? Your body relaxes and your mind quiets.”

LET’S GET STARTED!

It’s best to start with a guided meditation than to figure it out for yourself. Try some free sessions with my favorite mindfulness app, Headspace.

Remember, you’re new at this, so be nice to yourself. Not every session is going to be successful. Many times you’ll feel relaxed while others you’ll feel frustrated that you were distracted or that the mediation didn’t completely take away your anxiety. You can’t force yourself to have a quiet mind, it takes practice. Don’t try to change your thoughts, just acknowledge them and let them pass on by.

Here are a few tips when meditating: 

  • Use sounds: You may prefer silence when you meditate, while other times you may enjoy listening to music or nature sounds. Studies have shown that music therapy can reduce depression and boost your mood.
  • Use scents: Try experimenting with different scents during meditation. This extra distraction is beneficial for me especially if I’m anxious or in pain. If you use essential oils, you can put them on your body or diffuse them. If you don’t have any, try spraying perfume or lighting a scented candle.
Meditation anxiety

1. OBSERVE YOUR THOUGHTS

Pretend you are sitting at the edge of a river and your thoughts are like leaves passing by in the stream. Observe them and then let them pass. Nothing more. Don’t engage them, don’t analyze them, just refocus on the stream when you find your mind wandering.

You can use the same concept with watching the clouds float by. Try to envision a sky full of clouds. Place your stray thoughts on the clouds as they pass. The more you are aware of your thoughts, the more you’ll notice them jumping from one thing to the next. Use your awareness to bring yourself back to the present. Close your eyes and continue to focus completely on the moment.

Meditation anxiety

2. VISUALIZATION

Sometimes I use my meditation time to come up with a plan and visualize it instead of trying to clear my mind of passing thoughts. It’s so rewarding to visualize success and then watch it play out in real life.

Other times I just want to chill out at the beach. So I envision my favorite vacation, drink in hand, sun on my skin, toes in the sand…and then go back to cleaning the bathrooms.

For days that you are feeling anxious about a situation, you can even repeat a mantra, which is a word or phrase set to focus you on your goals and attitude for the day.

Some phrases could be:

  • I am safe and loved.
  • My body is healing more every day.
  • Others can depend on me.
  • I am organized and self-disciplined.
  • I am a leader and visionary.
  • My hope is in Jesus.
  • I am positive and encouraging.
Meditation anxiety

3. FOCUS ON YOUR BREATH

In guided meditations about pain, you “breathe into the spot that has pain” so that you relax. I combine visualization with deep breathing. I envision my blood vessels, heart and lungs being coated with a red color while I control my inhales and exhales. With each inhalation, my breath fills my body with a beautiful green color and then pushes out the red more and more with each exhalation. I envision strong healthy breaths transforming my body and strengthening it more everyday.

According to Breathe Magazine, “Taking time to learn how to breathe effectively can help to alleviate stress, reduce anxiety, and maintain focus. Breathing is the link between body and mind just as your breath is influenced by your thoughts and emotions. They, in turn, are influenced by the pattern and speed of the breath. For example, anxiety, worry and upset cause the breathing to become faster. If you consciously slow your breathing to a gentle wave-like pattern, you can soothe your nerves, settle your thoughts, and begin to calm yourself down.”

4. BODY SCAN

Many times we don’t realize the origin of our stress or tension until we lay still for a minute. When I use guided meditation body scans, they help me relax even tiny places that hold tension. Until I practiced with guidance, I wasn’t able to fully relax. I am now aware of tension even in my eyes, lips, jaw, nose, forehead, fingers, shoulders, wrists, ankles and toes. If you just give yourself five minutes to breathe, regroup and assess what your body needs, you can make better choices for yourself.

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So call me a hippie, but I’m all in on this meditation for anxiety thing. If you take the time to soften your thoughts and slow down, I promise your mind will thank you for it. I’ve created a Printable Bible Study on Fear and Anxiety to help direct your thoughts back to the One who knows you best. You can purchase it here:

Have a relaxing day!

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How to Slow Down Your Day

Stop the glorification of busy and take care of yourself. You’ll be surprised that by slowing down, your productivity will increase! I teach you how to slow down with 5 tips.

NEEDING MORE TIME VS TAKING A TIME OUT

Most of us are not even sure how to slow down. You have a million things to get done but not sure where your to-do list is, and you haven’t sat still for a minute to even eat lunch. Sound familiar?

After I started doing so much better with my health, the overload from multitasking and trying to “do it all” led me to a new problem: exhaustion and burnout. Which led to more frequent flare-ups and frustration.

I depleted my energy resources into every task that appeared before me and forgot to do what was most important for my own productivity: rest.

Most of us aren’t even sure how to slow down.

The glorification of busy is a real problem in our society, and mental health issues are on the rise. While multitasking has it’s benefits, it also has its downfalls. Are you surrounded by half-completed projects? Or are you finishing projects only to find your health is suffering for it? Have you become a workaholic, or someone who’s constantly saying, I don’t have time for this?

What if I told you that you would actually be more productive if you took more breaks and time for yourself? I’m telling you, re-prioritizing and taking care of yourself can do wonders for your productivity.

Whether you’re an unorganized mama, dealing with drama at work or just simply tired all the time, mindfulness has a benefit for you.

Give it a try. Slow down, be present. How? I’ll walk you through 5 reasons why you need to practice mindfulness today.

5 REASONS TO SLOW DOWN YOUR DAY

1. SET YOUR PRIORITIES

Multitasking doesn’t not equal success. When you multitask, you leave a wake of unfinished projects if you’re not careful. You aren’t able to give your best if you can’t focus on the task at hand. I found that when I stop multitasking and work off a list, the laundry gets done, the game plays on without interruption and the person on the phone gets my undivided attention.

How are you progressing through the day? Are you putting off what needs to be done and distracting yourself with menial tasks? Set your top three priorities for the day and tackle those first. It will free up so much room in your mind for calm and clarity.

2. RELAX YOUR BODY

I feel like a multitasking machine only to crash and burn right before school gets out and dinner needs to be made. Scheduling gentle exercise each day to check in with my pain level has had major benefits on my physical health. Do a quick 10 minute yoga session to focus on slowing your breathing and to quiet your mind.

3. CALM YOUR MIND

Many times when we’re overworked and stressed out, our breathing is sporadic or too fast. Stopping to practice slow and steady breathing has multiple health benefits including lowering stress levels. Take a few minutes to calm your mind by meditating. Stop doing and simply be.

4. WORK THROUGH A PROBLEM

Not sure where to start on a project? Need to give advice to a friend? Take a break from the problem and get some good old sunshine. Revisit the problem in an hour or so when you’ve given yourself some much needed space and vitamin D.

5. TAKE A “ME” BREAK

One thing I work into my schedule each day since I got sick is rest time. Sometimes I take a nap, sometimes I watch a show. My body can’t keep up like it used to and I pay for it at night if I haven’t intentionally scheduled breaks. Don’t like to sit still? Relax with a hobby.

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Take a moment and slow down today with this free mindfulness cheatsheet I created just for you!

For more posts on mindfulness, read:

Hope this encourages you to take a minute to slow down today! You’ve got this!

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