Let’s get cozy! Curl up with your journal and use these 30 reflective fall journaling prompts to explore your feelings.
Fall is such a lovely season. After the scorching days of summer, who isn’t ready for crunchy leaves, bonfires, football and pumpkin spice everything? Fall is always an emotional month for me. I start craving family time and the fresh outdoors. Here in South Central Texas, we don’t have a lot of changing of leaves. We end up driving to Marble Falls or Lost Maples, TX to see the red and gold foliage that other states get so easily.
But Autumn also brings some other deeper feelings. For instance, as we enter the Fall and head towards holidays, it also conjures up other feelings that are just beneath the surface. It’s the time of year I experience grief. The holidays usher in thoughts of the people who are gone and are no longer here with us. It always seems to catch me off guard even though it happens every year. I miss my grandmothers, particularly in the months of September and November. Also, if I am being really honest, it makes me contemplate the time I have left with my parents and those around me. I told you it was deep stuff!
Fall is a great time to reflect on change, the necessity of family and friends and for Americans in particular, it’s a time to reflect on gratitude. So today I decided to come up with some Fall journaling prompts. Hopefully, they help you explore your feelings privately and give you some perspective.
Will 2020 Be Different
You know, it always seemed to me like more people died in the Fall and Winter than any other time. My mom used to say it was God’s harvest season. That may sound silly, but apparently it’s true. Deaths slightly escalate during the Fall and Winter months mostly because of the sicknesses that are prominent in colder months like Influenza and inclement weather which can cause more accidents.
2020 has been an exceptionally hard year for the world. When I heard about the virus in Wuhan, China back in January, I never would have guessed it would sweep the globe and cause all the hardship it has. So far, I have buried two people from it. I wonder how the colder months will affect the transmission of the virus. I anticipate spikes in cases again.
If I start thinking about it too long, I can become anxious. It has been hard to be apart from the majority of my family this year. The hardest part is my children. They are too young to really understand why we don’t see much family and friends anymore. This year I plan on coming up with lots of activities we can do at home. By the way, if you’d like some ideas on things to do in the Fall as a family, be sure to read my post, The Best Fall Bucket List. Also, one thing I love to when I’m journaling in the Fall is to make a pot of my Slowcooker Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s so good and uses pumpkin puree instead of artificial flavors.
In the comments below, tell me what you love most about Fall. Thanks for reading.
30 Reflective Fall Journal Prompts
What is worrying you right now? Don’t censor yourself.
As a relaxing exercise, doodle things that remind you of Fall.
Give yourself permission to look forward to things. Write a list and don’t worry about whether or not they will actually happen.
Write a letter to your anxious thoughts.
Of what do you need to let go? What would happen if you stopped holding onto it?
Describe a favorite Fall memory.
What do you do when you are feeling lost?
Write a letter to someone who has passed away.
How do your Autumn traditions differ now from when you were a child?
How can you be closer to friends and family this Fall in spite of the Coronavirus pandemic?
Write out a playlist of songs that remind you of Fall then give yourself to listen to it.
Create a happy list. Write out a list of activities or places that lift your mood.
Write a letter to someone who has made your life better.
How is your life different from one year ago today?
How does Fall inspire you?
If you could travel anywhere to experience Fall where would you go and why?
Describe a perfect Fall evening.
Where do you see yourself this time next year?
Will your Fall traditions change because or Coronavirus? Why or why not?
What can you do to reconnect with nature this Fall?
What has been the worst part of this year?
Be your own best friend. Write an encouraging letter to yourself.
If today was your last day, what would you do?
What do you need more of in life? Less of?
What are the silver linings about this year so far?
Think back to your favorite Thanksgiving. Describe the scene.
If you are struggling to make sense of quarantine, why not work through those tough emotions in a journal. Here are twenty-five quarantine journal prompts for deep reflection.
Are you as baffled as me about what has happened this year? This time last year we were facing job loss and doing through those struggles. By September our lives had quieted down. I can’t even imagine explaining this to my past self from a year ago. It is surreal to think about where we are right now. Like most people, I have some pretty strong, complex emotions about all kinds of topics surrounding quarantine. So that got me thinking that it might be beneficial to work through some of the emotions and even logical reactions I’ve had to some of this quarantine business. I felt better after having journaled about these things. Maybe you will as well.
For me, the hardest thing about quarantine was not seeing my parents and my family. It was very hard to be away from them particularly when it came time to celebrate birthdays. But it also made me appreciate how important it is to have meaningful relationships. For example, although I am very grateful that we had Zoom and social media platforms to use as a lifeline for social interaction, it also made me realize just how valuable the human social experience really is. I promised myself that when this started to settle down, I would stop relying on social media to make me feel connected to others. The truth is, it doesn’t. In fact, it provides only the illusion of connection. Seeing what someone had for lunch or where they went on vacation does nothing to bond with another person. In fact, some research suggests that this actually creates the fear of missing out and even emotions of jealousy. Today, I decided to take a break from Facebook in lieu of more personal connections. I plan on taking about a month-long break and see where it leads me. If you’d like to take a break from social media, be sure to read my other posts Living Without Likes and Social Media Detox.
Has Social Media Become the New Journaling?
I also needed a break from opinions. I am as opinionated as the next person, but scrolling through my Facebook feed was beginning to feel like a constant heated debate or like watching a 24-hr news cycle. It was just exhausting me mentally and emotionally. One thing I have noticed is just how polarizing opinions are when it comes to quarantine. I have seen blatant disrespect and sanctimony on both sides of the argument.
Some citizens are concerned that basic rights are being stripped away under the guise of “protecting us.” Others are concerned that the virus is deadlier than the government officials report. There is evidence that suggests news outlets are being less than honest about a wide range of information. There are real, intense emotions that come with isolation, job loss, and death. Regardless, of how you feel about these things, I want to challenge you to perhaps try reflecting and processing some of these thoughts in a journal and not on a social media platform.
Trying Taking Opinions Offline
I’m not saying you shouldn’t express your opinion publicly. But I do think that it is healthier and less damaging to relationships to first work through (and perhaps release) your emotion to a journal which is benign instead of your friend’s newsfeed. Honestly, that is probably one of my biggest pet peeves about Facebook. Many people use it to express every thought they have almost like a journal and it is very hard to take words back once they are published publicly.
I think as we work through emotions our views may even evolve. I know I felt one way in March and differently in May. However, this process is interrupted when we do this online. People challenge us, criticize us, and condemn us, for our viewpoints which then causes us to defend our position. This defensiveness then stops us from challenging our own perceptions and arguments because we go into defense mode.
Either way, I think that the events around COVID-19 and quarantine have been unlike other events. Take some time and express how you feel and what you think without the consequences of personal attacks.
Quarantine Journal Prompts
How has quarantine changed your world view?
What can you learn from this experience?
Describe three quarantine memories.
How do you feel about things reopening?
What was the hardest thing about quarantine?
How am I connecting with friends and family right now?
How has quarantine made you more grateful?
What are you afraid of right now?
Will you continue to practice social distancing? Why or why not?
Where have you seen the good in people during this?
Looking back, do you feel like quarantine was necessary?
What did an average day in quarantine look like?
What is one thing you wish the world would learn from this?
How has social media affected your attitude during quarantine?
How will you describe this event to future generations?
Describe what you will do when this is over?
What gives you hope about this situation?
Write down some positive plans or goals for the future.
How do you feel about the political landscape right now?
Did anyone you know become sick with coronavirus? What was that experience like?
If you had been President of the United States, how would you have handled the situation?
What were your initial feelings about Coronavirus during January and February? How have your feelings evolved?
How do you feel about China’s handling of the virus?
Describe any self-discovery you experienced.
How have you been financially affected by the pandemic?
Other Journaling Prompts
Before you leave, be sure to take a look at some of my other journaling prompts.
The COVID-19 quarantine has forced us all into our homes. It’s not uncommon to feel a little bored at home. Here are 100 things to keep yourself busy at home during the Coronavirus shutdown.
Coronavirus has turned all of our lives upside-down. We are spending lots of time at home right now and if you are like me you may be wondering how to stay busy at home. During the first couple of weeks of quarantine, it was actually a little nice. My husband was working from home. We were all together as a family and spending lots of quality time together watching movies and relaxing at home. But after the initial honeymoon, I began to feel really bored. I’m kind of a homebody, but I never realized how often I get out during the week with the kids.
There are lots of reasons why we feel bored. It could be that we may not feel intellectual stimulated or challenged. Sometimes boredom comes from not socializing enough or simply not doing things that bring enjoyment. If you are feeling bored, stop and evaluate exactly what is driving it. For me, it is all three.
Finding Focus and Projects
This is a perfect time to focus on projects. Maybe you’ve been wanting to landscape your backyard. Many nurseries are doing curbside shopping. Now is the perfect time to design your dream yardscape and work outdoors. Perhaps you’ve been wishing to learn a new hobby like knitting, drawing, hand lettering or woodworking. Now is a great time to learn how to do those things. Maybe you are like me. Over the six months, I have totally let the house get out of control. It’s time to do some serious reorganization and some deep cleaning. Since there are fewer distractions right now, it’s the perfect time to dig in and create organization projects.
If it is socialization that you miss, there are ways you can do it virtually. If you haven’t checked out the Zoom app, you don’t know what you are missing. The Zoom app was created for businesses for video conferencing. Zoom has a free package that allows you 40 minutes of conference time. Personally, I think it is better and more stable than FaceTime. They also have paid packages which allow for more time. Lots of people are utilizing the app to do group events virtually. I have some friends who have used it for a virtual girl’s night. One of my friends is hosting a virtual book club while another friend is meeting with other mamas in the mornings for coffee and chit chat. A dear friend of mine is utilizing it for group bible study. I used it to celebrate my son’s second birthday so he could see all of our family while we sang “Happy Birthday.” If it is socialization you are missing, consider harnessing the technology we have available to fill the void.
In the comments below, I would love to hear what you are doing to stay busy and productive at home. How are using your time during the COVID-19 quarantine? What have been the silver linings in your life during this downtime?
Are you struggling to stay happy during the COVID-19 outbreak? You can still find peace and contentment even during these tough times. Here is how to find joy during social distancing.
Fear Is the Real Infection
I don’t fear the virus so much. I have a father who has major heart disease and complications from that. I have a son who has severe reactive asthma. I certainly fear it for them. I will be secluding myself in my home for likely the next twelve weeks. But that isn’t what really scares me. The truth is, many will get it and the great majority of us will be just fine.
To be honest, I fear people. I fear their hysteria and panic. Already videos are starting to emerge of people fighting in stores over toilet paper. Toilet paper! The world is not ending. At least not by a virus. People need to calm down. The biggest threat to society is not the virus, it’s panic.
Like all pestilence, Coronavirus will run its course around the globe. In fact, most of the world is already fully involved. Let the bug do its thing. Social distancing will flatten the curve so as not to overwhelm our healthcare system all at once. This bug will never go away. It will make its rounds every year now, much like the flu. Get used to that idea.
Don’t forget that out of all the countries in the world, we in the U.S. have a great advantage. We have a robust health system, some of the top minds, ingenuity, and some of the greatest resources. In twelve to eighteen months, we can even expect to have a vaccine. Already some medications like those used to treat HIV and Malaria look promising in treating Coronavirus. We will be just fine. This will pass. It will not last forever. Stay calm.
Focus On What Really Matters
That said, I want to share how to find joy during social distancing. You know, in some ways, there are silver linings in all of this. I’ve lived in other countries before. Americans are very busy! At the very least, this is causing our busy lives to slow down. Over the next few weeks, we will all be forced to take note of the things that really matter in life.
When this is all over, we will appreciate a lot more. We will appreciate being able to go straight into a store and being able to pick up a pack of toilet paper. Every restaurant will be packed with people. Pews in churches will be full. Things like this show us what we take for granted.
How to Find Joy During Social Distancing
Turn Off the News
Seriously, turn it off. I found myself doing that this week. This will only bring on feelings of doom, panic, and fear. You already know what you need to know about the virus. You really don’t need to know much more than that. If you want to start feeling “normal” again, turn off the news. The media has already poured gasoline all over this and lit this thing on fire. They’re responsible for inciting the panic we are seeing. Reject it. Choose calm.
Don’t Panic Buy
Like I said, I don’t fear the virus, I fear the hysteria. Most people don’t think of themselves as being hysterical. Hysteria is really just acting out of extreme emotion. Its letting emotion determine your actions instead of common sense, logic, and reason.
You see things disappearing from the shelves and you think, “I better buy some now or there won’t be any left when I need it.” So you grab one. Then you think, ” I better grab two or three. There won’t be any for me.” This fear of missing out is a self-fulfilling prophecy. People overbuy because they fear there will be a shortage. Shelves are empty. So they attempt to buy more fearing there is nothing more coming. Now a shortage grows and it drains supply chains. And the cycle continues. Stop the madness. Decide that from now on, you will only buy what you would normally buy. The only way this cycle stops is when people decide to return to normal.
Don’t just do your part to flatten the curve. Do your part to end the insanity. Choose which emotion you will feed – peace or fear.
Connect With Someone Everyday
Text your friends. Reach out to relatives. Take advantage of FaceTime and other video chats. Connect through Facebook or IG Live. Utilize the tools we have to stay in touch virtually. I even took some time this week to write some letters to family. I challenge you to reach out to at least one person every day. Check up on people. It’s very important to maintain socialization even though we are physically distant. Its the heart of what it means to be human. Now is a great time to focus on maintaining and investing in relationships.
Did you know your body’s brain chemistry responds to sunlight? When your body detects sunlight through the optic nerve, your melatonin levels decrease (the neurochemical that makes you feel sluggish and sleepy) and your serotonin increases (the neurochemical that elevates mood). If you have a backyard, spend as much time as you can in it. Go for a walk around your neighborhood. If you are in an apartment, take your laptop on the balcony and work outside. We aren’t stuck indoors. We are just trying to stay physically distant from others. Take a hike in nearby hills. Grill out and eat dinner outside. Have your kids ride their bikes. Garden. Spend some time outdoors and you won’t feel so cooped up. Remember we aren’t avoiding the outdoors, we are avoiding crowds.
Move Your Body
Staying active can do wonders for your mood. Try to stay active even while we are at home these next few weeks. Take a walk. Exercise. Just move your body. It increases serotonin levels, makes you feel refreshed and gives you more energy. These days, there are lots of home workouts you can stream. You can even find free ones on YouTube.
Part of the panic buying is because we are afraid we “do not have.” One way to stay grounded during a time when others are fretting and worrying is to remember all that we already have. We have already been given much. I challenge you to take five minutes out of every day and write down five things for which you are grateful. Alternatively, you can do my Gratitude Journal Prompts and answer one question a day. Staying grateful helps you stay positive. Focus on the positive!
Over the last couple of days, I’ve seen people on Facebook asking for posts that aren’t virus-related. The constant bombardment of the panic, hysteria, and fear-mongering posts is stressful. I admit I was sharing a lot of that stuff. But as I scrolled through my newsfeed and saw people begging for something else – anything else – I decided that I will start turning the tide. I’m going to start posting normal, everyday things. Happy things. Encouraging things. I’m going to be a light in the darkness. I will remind people that it’s going to be okay. People need to hear that.
I challenge you, go out and be a light. Be encouraging. Be uplifting. Spread peace. Invite calm. Don’t engage the fear, the hysteria, and the madness.
Take Breaks From Social Media
That said, take a break from social media. I know it can feel like a lifeline right now, but its also flooded with virus-related negativity, debates, and fear-mongering news. I’m not purposing that we stick our head in the sand when I suggest avoiding this. I’m suggesting balance. Take breaks and get your mind off coronavirus for a little while. The truth is, social media hasn’t connected us the way we’d hoped. If anything it made relationships more hollow. If you really want to know what is going on in someone’s life right now, pick up the phone and call them, FaceTime, or text them. Today I avoided social media and it felt amazing! I had no idea how much anxiety was being driven by Facebook.
I once read something that described anxiety as a fear-centric TV show that we produce and direct ourselves. We take snippets of images and themes in our head and turn it into a fear-centric show with ourselves as the star. We imagine and play out our worst fears over and over again as if it is really happening. Prayer is effective because it makes God the star and not us. God becomes the hero. Exactly one year ago, I created a 30-day scripture reading for anxiety and fear. You can follow along by doing one verse per day.
I highly encourage you to pray when you start feeling overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety, worry or fear. God promises never to leave us in times like these. More than any other phrase in the bible, the “do not fear” mantra appears more than 300 times in scripture. God knew how scared we would be about the unknown, but he tells us over and over again that we are not to fear, not to panic and he is always with us. Scared? Pray. Worried? Pray. Anxious? Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit for his peace.
Create & Stay Busy
Most people don’t idle well. When our brain isn’t engaged, sadness and boredom can set in. Stay busy. The biggest silver lining in all of this is that we are being forced to slow down. We are normally so busy and this is forcing us to cut out obligations and events. Take a week or two just to rest. Then get back to keeping active. Treat it like a staycation. Attitude is everything!
Find a way to volunteer virtually.
Try new recipes in your cookbook.
Bring out your craft supplies and create something.
Play virtual games with friends.
Declutter / reorganize your home
Mix cocktails at home.
Play games as a family.
Read or Host a Virtual Book Club
Write short stories
Stream exercise videos (there are lots on youtube)
Get some DIY projects done. Fix things you’ve been meaning to fix.
Take virtual tours of museums, national parks, etc
Put your Christmas lights back up to add some cheer.
I’ll write a separate post on all the things you can do at home, but here are some ideas to start with.
Helping others has a dual effect. Obviously, it helps someone in need, but it also makes us feel all warm and fuzzy. It feels good to help other people. The panic buying? That”s selfishness. Reach out to those around you and see how you can help each other. Barter supplies. Do small acts of kindness for people you know. Check in with elderly neighbors. See if they need anything. In moments like these, the world needs our humanity, kindness, and mercy. If you are looking for a more corporate way of giving back, there are websites online that allow you to volunteer virtually.
I didn’t really get to celebrate my birthday because of all of this. Normally I’m not a big birthday person, but it was a milestone this year. I turned 40. So this week, I decided to treat myself to some art supplies that I wanted. A couple of nights ago, for example, I made a few dozen chocolate chip cookies for absolutely no reason. These days, you may feel very worried. Make sure to take opportunities to be kind to yourself. Treat yourself here and there to small, simple pleasures.
If you are feeling stressed over this, remember to take this one day at a time and reject worrying about the weeks ahead. Keep busy with your family and remember that this will all end soon. We will survive this.
Spend time before Easter Sunday reflecting on your relationship with Christ with these 40 Lenten Journal Prompts.
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Welcome friend. Today, I’m sharing 40 Lenten prompts. Lent is typically acknowledged by Catholics as the 40 days before Easter in the church’s liturgical calendar. For example, in the Catholic church, this is a time to give alms and we fast on Fridays (abstain from meat) to align ourself with sacrifice. This small sacrifice serves as a reminder of what Christ did for us.
I think this goes beyond doctrinal differences of Christians. The forty days before Easter is also a good time to reflect on the health of your relationship with God.
I love journaling. I’ve been doing it for years and really feel like it’s a beneficial tool of introspection. First, journalling helps document where you are emotionally and spiritually at a given time. Next, it serves as a timeline, gracefully depicting an arc of your emotional growth. Once you become accustomed to journaling, I know it will become a great tool for self-therapy.
Additionally, if you’d like more ideas for journaling, please read my other posts:
All you need to get started is a notebook and pen. If you hate writing, don’t worry. There are plenty of digital options these days. Day One, for example, is a great digital diary that even allows you to post photos with your writing and is available in the cloud for all your devices.
Lenten Journal Prompts
How can you help your spouse become closer to God?
What do you feel God wants you to change?
How can you help your children become closer to God.
Describe a recent situation where God was clearly present.
What verse gives you comfort in hard times and why?
How can you better serve God?
What do you need to leave at the cross?
Who or what needs forgiving?
For what are you asking God?
With what do you need patience?
Name three things you are grateful for this week.
About what are you most fearful?
What does the cross mean to you?
What mysteries do you wish you knew?
Delight in the Lord and give praise.
How can you better serve others?
Which bible character inspires you most and why?
How can you be a better steward with money?
Describe a prayer God has answered recently.
Which deceased friend or family member are you still grieving? Which bible verse give you the most comfort?
Who do you find hard to love and how can you pray for them?
How can you become more humble?
Have you ever evangelized? How did you feel doing it?
What is your favorite verse in scripture and why?
How can you make time for more prayer?
Of the gifts of the spirit, which do you most like to possess and why?
Describe a time God answered your prayer in a better way.
In what situation do you need to praise God instead of complain? Why do you find it so hard?
We all have a role to play in God’s world. What do you think your purpose is?
The enemy loves to attack our joy and hope. Where do you feel like you’re being attacked and how will you fight back?
What does “following Christ” mean to you?
When you reflect on your life, what hard time are you most grateful for?
When do you feel God most distant?
Why do you love God?
From what do you need healing?
Write a prayer for your enemy (I know this is a hard one).
Confess something to God.
For what God-given gifts are you most grateful?
How do you think God sees you?
Before You Leave
I hope these forty lenten journal prompts help you understand your relationship with Christ better. Lastly, don’t forget to pin this post, so you can use this year after year.
At least once a month, I post a Christian themed post, usually rooted in Bible study. Finally, I invite you to join me by subscribing to my blog so you never miss a post. Thanks for reading.
Stuck on what kind of self-care routine fulfills your emotional needs? Today we’re talking about discovering your self-care love language.
Self-care is not about being selfish. It’s about being kind and gentle with yourself. It’s about recharging your soul, mind, and physical health so you can be there for others and keep up with responsibilities. Self-care refills your well! So today we’re going to talk about discovering your self-care love language.
What Is a Love Language
Dr. Gary Chapman wrote the book, “The Five Love Languages.” In this Christian-themed book, Chapman explains that people have five ways that they give and receive love. These are ways that we feel loved and appreciated. All people experience all five. However, there is normally one or two that really resonate with you. More specifically, you may feel unloved or that your emotional needs are not being met if you don’t receive love in your primary love language. When people have different love languages, there is often a disconnect. Knowing the love languages of your spouse, children and other close people help to make them feel loved and encouraged.
Chapman also suggests that we tend to give love in the way we want to receive it. For example, one of my primary love languages is words of affirmation. I want my husband to tell me he loves me, tell me I’m pretty and verbally thank me when I do something. Receiving this makes me feel secure, respected and cared for. My husband needs no such praise. He is unmoved when I tell him how handsome he is. His value and love are not wrapped up in words they way mine are.
Let’s take a moment and learn about the five love languages.
The Five Love Languages Explained
TOUCH – Touch is the sensory experience of love. Hugging, kissing handholding, massage, and otherwise being physically affectionate
QUALITY TIME – Spending uninterrupted, undistracted quality time together, having fun / creating memories
ACTS OF SERVICE – (e.g. showing love rather than telling) Serving and otherwise showing practical physical gestures of service. For example, doing the dishes after dinner, gassing up your spouse’s car for them, preparing their morning coffee, or taking care of responsibilities)
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION – Verbal affirmation, praise, and verbal appreciation, compliments, encouragement.
GIFTS – this is not always about being spoiled or even materialism, but rather the gift tells them they were thought of and the more personal the gift, the more meaningful to the recipient. Additionally, the gift should not be an attempt to cover up past failures.
In all languages, the recipient also doesn’t want to have to ask for what they need, otherwise, it proves less meaningful. Ask yourself, what makes you feel loved and special? What do you need most out of relationships?
Discovering Your Self Care Love Language
So today, we’re going to talk about applying these principles to yourself. This is how you can meet some of your emotional needs on your own and treat yourself the way you want to be treated. Here is what self-care might look like in your love language.
Make a budget to give yourself more financial freedom
Book a therapy appointment
Change your scenery and redecorate / rearrange furniture
Create a routine for things you find stressful
Words of Affirmation (Mental)
Write a love letter to yourself
List out your positive qualities
List your favorite physical qualities (challenge yourself)
Write a gratitude list
Listen to a positive podcast
Avoid toxic people and people who make you feel bad about yourself
Write a goal list
Keep a compliment list, refer to it when you’re blue
Read some inspirational quotes
Invest in your dreams
Treat yourself to something special
Dine al fresco
Give yourself a facial
Take a vacation
Get a mani/pedi
Treat yourself to dinner out
Take a staycation
Enjoy a spa day (Pamper yourself)
Buy some fresh flowers
Buy a new outfit
Go wine tasting
Enjoy a cocktail at a swanky bar
Treat yourself to dessert
Hire someone to clean your house
If you want to be loved, it starts with you. Others notice how we treat ourselves. Self-respect, giving ourselves permission to rest, and developing a positive image of ourselves are all forms of self-care. Make yourself a priority so you can be there for others.
What if you put aside excuses and self-loathing? What if you stopped giving yourself leftovers? What if you devoted this year to loving yourself more?
The Big Question
I have a question for you. As we depart from 2019 and make our way into the new year that lies ahead, I want to ask you something.
Now let me be clear. I don’t mean that in a self-centered way. I’m not suggesting that we inflate our ego or shirk our responsibilities. I’m talking about our attitude. How we treat ourselves.How we talk to ourselves. Whether or not we accept who we are, flaws and all.
I’m going to be completely vulnerable with you. I am mean to myself. It’s true. I say things to myself, I’d never say to anyone else. Here are just some of the ways I’m unkind to myself.
I used to never leave the house without makeup. I have barely worn it in the last three years because I’m fat and don’t think I’m worthy of wearing makeup.
I feel unattractive and therefore don’t groom or dress myself the way I once did
I feel old and tired
I make excuses about losing weight
I tell myself I’m failing as a mother
I base my self-worth on accomplishments and what others think of me
I tell myself no one wants to be my friend and seclude myself at home so I can’t be rejected.
I can’t receive a compliment without putting myself down in some way
I can’t forgive myself for a mistake I made last year
I tell myself that my dreams surrounding this blog are a silly fantasy
I hold myself to rigorous, impossible standards (perfectionism)
I tell myself I’m not enough (e.g. good enough, talented enough, pretty enough, young enough, etc.)
I tell myself the house needs to look perfect so I feel valuable as a stay-at-home mom
Does any of this sound familiar? Maybe you don’t say these exact things, but something tells me you can be harsh with yourself. What unkind things do you say and do to yourself? Take a piece of paper and write them down. I’ll wait.
Now, ask yourself – “What if you devoted this year to loving yourself more?” What might that look like? Let’s talk about it.
Be Compassionate With Yourself
Has a friend ever come to you looking for reassurance after they’ve completely failed? Of course! At some point, a friend of ours said, “I need to talk,” then sobbed to us about how they totally blew it. He or she needed a pep talk and a helping hand to get their butt out of the trenches. I don’t know about you, but I’m all about supporting my friends when they are down and out. And yet, I struggle to do that with myself. Something tells me you can be that way too. We all can! But what if, over this next year, you made a commitment to yourself to be your own best friend? That is, to treat yourself as lovingly as you would your most loved companion.
Negative Self Talk
Let’s start talking to ourselves the way we would a good friend. Encourage yourself, but most of all we need to make a habit of comforting ourselves.
For example, when it comes to body image, accepting your flaws isn’t giving up on improving yourself. Instead, it’s being approving of yourself even if you aren’t exactly where you want to be. You aren’t denying your body has flaws. This isn’t about denial or even justification. It’s about learning to love the journey your on, with all its ups and downs. Big picture. It’s about learning that our body changes, ages, gets sick and goes through trauma. No matter how good you think someone else looks, they too have insecurities and flaws. It’s about remembering that no body is perfect, no matter what the fashion magazines say. Friends, love yourself. Embrace the curves, the mom pouch, the less than toned arms. Love yourself, no matter what shape you are. And if you are choosing to eat right and exercise, do it because you love your body, not because you hate it.
Let me ask you, and think about this deeply. “What would happen if you made changes because you love yourself, not because you hate that about yourself? What would happen if you become your own personal cheerleader?
Quitting perfectionism isn’t about giving up. Nor is it about not trying to be better. Rather, it’s about realizing you are on an ever-changing journey. One that never really ends until we leave this earth. It’s about knowing we will always be flawed to some degree and that we are still worthy of love even while we are imperfect.
You may not think of yourself as a perfectionist. But I’m willing to bet that in some area of your life, you impose rigorous, nearly impossible standards for yourself. Maybe it’s around your body image, at your job, or surrounding a relationship, but we all have some area in our life where we can’t stand to fail.
What if you readjusted your standards? What gave yourself more time and space to grow? How much happier would you be if you learned not to be so harsh with yourself? What would that look like?
Failure is the Best Teacher
I’m a failure. I failed at my first marriage. I failed as an actress. I failed at publishing my first magazine. Last year, I failed as a friend. I have failed at a lot of things in my life. Failure hurts. Falling on your face in front of everyone – hurts! But rising up afterward is one of the best feelings in the world. If you fall down, don’t stay down. Failure helps shape us and mold us. It helps to teach us. It forges us and makes us stronger.
Embrace your failure. It has made you who you are today. You are stronger, wiser, more competent because of your failures. Failure isn’t final, but then neither is success. Fear of failure makes dreams impossible. It snuffs hope out. Push past that fear. Learn from mistakes and move on.
Don’t Be a Fascimile
You know, when I first started this blog, I had lots of seasoned bloggers tell me that what I was doing was wrong. They told me that as a mom blog, I shouldn’t have Happy Planner posts and a mod podge of recipes, crafts, and homeschooling. They told me to pick one of those topics and stick to it. They also told me I was too serious. I needed to be funnier, sillier, more entertaining. But you know what? My blog is about finding my own voice. Would I make more money if I narrowed my niche and made people laugh more? Probably. But I don’t want to be a facsimile of what everyone else is doing. I love Rachel Hollis, but I don’t want to copy her as tempting as that may be at times. When I started this blog, I vowed to be authentic and genuine. I promise to always be myself. I promise to filter my photos, but never my words.
Friend, if you are trying to be like someone else, stop! Seriously. The world needs who you were made to be. Not a copy of someone else and especially not a substitute for someone else. No, it needs you. Whether you believe you are special or not doesn’t matter. I’m telling you, you are! You have something no one else has and you don’t need the world’s validation to approve of yourself. You are enough. You are qualified. You are made different on purpose, for a purpose. Now go out there and be you!
You Aren’t Too Old or Too Young
We’ve all heard that age is just a number, but is it? Is your age stopping you from enjoying life to the fullest and seeking out your dreams? In case you are unfamiliar there is a famous vlogger named Ryan who is only eight years old. The little tyke now has his own line of toys and novelty items. He (and his parents) have made more than twenty million dollars in the last few years doing nothing more than filming toy reviews on YouTube. Now you and I may wonder if his parents are exploiting him, but my point is that no one cared that the reviews were coming from an eight-year-old. Quite the opposite. People wanted reviews from an actual child that used them – not adults! You may think you are too young or old for something, but I promise you there is a niche for your knowledge, wisdom, or talents. Somewhere, someone needs what only you have!
Maybe you think you are too old or it’s too late to start something. Wrong! There are so many people who succeeded after 40. Samuel L. Jackson didn’t become famous until he was 46 in the movie Pulp Fiction. Henry Ford was an engineer under Thomas Edison, but he didn’t start his Ford Motor Company until his 40s. Ronald Reagan had a career in Hollywood, but he only entered the political arena in 1964 when he was 53. Even the queen of crafts and domestic living, Martha Stewart didn’t become successful until her 40s.
What would happen if you chose not to limit yourself because of your age? What if, you stopped waiting for tomorrow, for more money, for more time, for more experience and instead just started where you are right now? If you start towards your goals right now, will your dreams come true? I don’t know. But if you don’t start, they never will! That is a guarantee.
Make Time for “Me Time”
I remember when I was a teenager and I wanted a summer job at my dad’s laboratory. He said no because “once you start working, you’ll never stop.” To some degree he was right. Once you step up and take some responsibility, it never lets go of you. There are bills to be paid, chores to be done, obligations to meet and all are never-ending. There will never be a time when your job is done. Work will always be calling you. That’s why you need to set boundaries. Believe me, I learned that the hard way. You can only burn the candle at both ends for so long.
If you search this blog, you’ll notice I’m enthusiastic about self-care. That’s because I have learned through my mistakes that recharging mentally, physically, and spiritually is immensely important. Seriously, take time for yourself. Before you become too burnt out to function. There lots of ways to do that. In the past, I created a 30-day digital detox challenge and a 30-day Self-Care / Wellness Challenge.
You’ll need to make it a priority like anything else that is important to you. Just like work, church or a doctor’s appointment. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it. Vow not to give yourself crumbs anymore.
How Will Loving Yourself Change You
I’d love you to join me in devoting the next year to loving yourself more in the ways I’ve described. I’ll be documenting this journey on my Instagram account and I’d love for you to join me and share your journey too.
Christmas evokes a a wealth of emotions. Today, I’m sharing 25 Christmas Journal Prompts to discover how you feel about the holiday season
Christmas is a special time of year. But for many people, it brings a myriad of emotions – some happy and some not so happy. The holiday blues is a real thing and they can leave us pining for those we’ve lost in death. We may mourn old traditions that are no longer continued. Or we may have a renewed love for the season as we watch Christmas magic overtake our children’s hearts. Sometimes you may feel all the above. Today, I encourage you to go through the list of 25 Christmas journal prompts and discover how you feel about the holiday season.
25 Christmas Journal Prompts
What is your favorite childhood memory about Christmas?
Did you believe in Santa? Was that a good or bad experience?
What does Christmas mean to you?
What does your ideal/perfect Christmas look like?
If money were no object, what would you want for Christmas?
What is the most special Christmas gift someone has given you?
Holiday blues got you down? You aren’t the only one. I’m launching the reconnect challenge, a 30-day commitment that will not only help others but fill your heart as well.
No matter what your religion, the holidays seem to inspire love, warmth, and gratitude to people everywhere. But for some people, the holidays are also combined with feelings of loneliness, isolation and even stress. The holiday blues are real and more than ever in this commercialized, digital world, we need the human connection. (Cue Charlie Brown Christmas special)
Feelings of loneliness can creep in during the holidays and there are a lot of reasons for it. Many people live far away from family. For others, the holidays call to mind all the people who have passed away. The holidays can become quite sad when you’ve lost a loved one. Holidays are forever changed without them.
Loneliness sets in when we feel disconnected from people. This is why you hear people say they can feel lonely in a crowd. It’s not always about being around people, it’s that there is little or no intimacy. People can feel lonely because they may feel no one truly cares about them or listens to them.
For some people, it isn’t so much sadness as stress. There are lots of pressures around the holidays. Seeing difficult or toxic family members, gift-giving, lack of money and lack of time are always stressors. For some, it is work bogging them down. Long hours and increased workloads can zap the joy right out of the season.
The Reconnect Challenge
That’s why I’m starting the reconnect challenge and I’d love for you to join me. I’m going to commit to reach out to one person for the next thirty days. I’m excited to see what it does for others as well as for me. What people need most is love, compassion, and kindness and I want to spread buckets of that over the holidays. It’s going to be hard with the hectic schedules of the holidays, but that’s precisely why I think people get disconnected. We get so busy, we lose touch of what really matters – relationships.
Create a list of thirty people (friends, acquaintances, co-workers, fellow churchgoers, neighbors, or relatives)
You can arrange a physical meetup, write a letter, Facetime, or make a phone call. Refrain from texting, which doesn’t lend itself well to intimacy.
You may reach them via direct message on social media if you have no other way of contacting them. But commit to asking for a phone number to stay in touch in the future.
Your list can include people you’ve lost touch with or perhaps people that you’ve seen several times, but never really taken the opportunity to know. Maybe there is an old co-worker on
I included letter writing as a way to connect because I think it bears special weight today. People don’t write letters anymore. Because instant messaging, texting and social media is so easily and readily available there is something special about knowing that someone took the time to write you, buy a postage stamp and walk it to the mailbox. Plus it is so nice to receive something thoughtful in the mail instead of just a stack of bills.
You can even get creative with your letter. If you can keep your letter short and instead tuck some treats in your letter like a tea bag, a bible verse, seeds, poems, crossword puzzle, stickers or even a self-addressed stamped envelope so they can write you back. Even a simple postcard to let someone know you are thinking of them is a great way to reach out.
How to Instantly Connect With Someone
Show genuine interest
Make them feel important (valued)
Listen (and don’t interrupt)
Learn from them
Show compassion and empathy
Refrain from judgement
My advice is to be intentional about this commitment. In other words, make a list of the names of people. Write their phone numbers beside them and mark them off as you go through the month. Make it a priority.
A Ripple Effect
I’m so excited you’ve decided to join me on this journey. I would love to hear how this 30-day reconnect challenge has affected you! Please share this post with others and let’s get a movement started!
Looking for a new way to spend some spiritual quiet time? Try these Christian journal prompts to help explore your Christian walk.
Hello friend. I hope you’re having an awesome day. Today, I’m sharing some Christian journal prompts that I hope will help you fine tune your relationship with Christ. These are some of the topics I’ve written about in my own journal this past year.
I like to think of Christian journal prompts as a personal assessment about your spiritual life. So many times we are just trodding along not even realizing they we are off track somewhere. Using these journal prompts help me to stop and evaluate just where I am on my spiritual walk.
I will add one disclosure though. The Bible should be your guide through this. My degree is in Psychology and journaling can often be associated with that because Psychology is all about finding answers within yourself. But that isn’t what I’m promoting. I’m asking you to listen for God’s voice with scripture as your guide. Personally, I like to pray before I do spiritual journaling. Ask God to reveal His will for your life and ask Him to impart wisdom.
Christian Journal Prompts
Describe a time in your life where God has rescued you. Do you believe He’ll do it again?
Write a scripture that brings you peace. What is God saying to you?
Describe a time where you believed God spoke to you.
Write a prayer of surrender to God.
How can you be bold and courageous for the Lord.
Be still. What is God telling you now?
How can you serve God better?
How can you be a light to others in a dark world?
Describe a time when God used a bad situation for your good.
What do you feel God is asking you to change?
What do you imagine heaven will be like?
When do you feel most distant from God?
How are you hurting others with your pride?
Ecclesiastes tells us there is a season for everything. What season are you in right now?
Write out the lyrics of a Christian song or hymn that brings you joy.
Write a scripture that brings you joy. How can you apply it to your life?
Describe a blessing that happened this week.
Write a Psalm of worship to God.
Do you find it hard to apologize? If so, why?
The bible specifically speaks of joy, not happiness. In what way are they different?
Are you self-righteous about something? What can you do about it?
What are the character attributes you think a Christian should have?
When you get offended by something how does your pride react?
Pick a bible character. What can we learn from his/her life?
What do you need to confess to God?
Write a letter of forgiveness to an enemy.
Is there something that you haven’t forgiven yourself for? How can you receive the healing of the Lord?
Write 5 scripture verses that make you feel strong and courageous.
What does forgiveness look like?
If you are struggling though something, what do you think God wants to you to learn?
List all the needs God is currently meeting.
What do you love most about your church family?
What does God say about pride (see the scriptures)?
Describe someone in your life who exemplifies humility.
What are your God-given gifts and talents? How can you use them to advance the Kingdom?
Who or what do you need to forgive?
Before You Go
Don’t forget to PIN this post for later. Also, take a look at some of my other scripture related posts.