Journaling can be a great activity for seniors to explore and integrate into their lives.
Keeping a Journal is a simple activity, but one that can have a meaningful impact on seniors’ understandings, reflections, and experiences of their day-to-day lives. Sitting down every day, or however often feels like the right fit, to just let things out and express oneself by committing words to paper can be an incredible exercise for seniors.
There are many things that seniors can get out of the process of Journaling. As each senior approaches the practice of keeping a Journal, they have the opportunity to reap the following benefits, among many others:
- Understanding of Oneself: Sometimes, upon sitting down to write a Journal entry, things just flow out without a lot of thinking or planning. The process of sitting down with a pen in hand and a blank page waiting allows thoughts and feelings that aren’t at the forefront of the mind to come flowing out. Other times, a lot of intentional thought goes into picking the right words to string together on the page, and that can take some real reflection and introspection. Writing a Journal, and reading back over the things that have come out during the writing process can provide seniors with an opportunity to understand themselves and reflect on the thoughts, feelings, worries, joys, and everyday things that make up their lives at any given stage.
- Healthy Outlet: When difficult things are going on in life, it can sometimes be challenging to know how and where to express things in an appropriate way. Writing a Journal creates an opportunity for seniors to vent and let things out without any interruptions, arguments, or pushback. A Journal can be a sympathetic ear that is always there when seniors need to get something difficult off their chest, need to work through some thoughts and feelings, or just need to express some joy or talk about their day.
- Records for Memory: Having a Journal means that seniors can look back on other dates throughout the years and see what they were thinking and feeling at that time. When memory gets a little trickier, it can be so magical to have special moments and little thoughts on a page to remember always.
- Records for Health: Having a record of what is going on in daily life can be beneficial for seniors’ health. If seniors are writing down how they are feeling and what they are experiencing physically on any given day as a part of their Journal entry, they have a record of symptoms and health-related experiences that they can use to notice trends. These types of self-reported records can be helpful for understanding one’s own body, but can also help when communicating with doctors.
- Something to Leave Behind: The words that seniors write out on Journal pages can exist forever, and can be something to leave behind for loved-ones long after writing the Journal is no longer possible. Seeing a loved-one’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences laid out in their own words can be a great way for family members and friends to feel connected and to grow in their understanding and respect for the journey that seniors have been on through their lives.
Each and every individual approaches the practice of Journaling with their own perspectives and understandings about what they want to get out of the exercise. A Journal can be a place to vent about life’s hardships, to outline what happened during the day, to reflect on poignant thoughts, or to relive personal histories from the present all the way back to the beginning. Journaling is an incredible way for seniors to express themselves and to interact with their own thoughts and feelings in a wonderful way.