There are a wide range of strategies that can be used to support addiction recovery. Some people find exercising, yoga, meditation, listening to music, painting, or running to be effective ways of curbing cravings, reducing stress, boosting mood, and staying focused on recovery. Journaling can also be a wonderful strategy to try, even if you don’t feel like writing is your strong suit.
You don’t have to be an exceptional writer to journal, because that is not the purpose. It’s an opportunity to write for yourself; no one else has to ever see it or read it. It can be your own personal outlet for your thoughts, feelings, goals, accomplishments, or challenges. It can be whatever you want to be and may change over time.
Writing can be very therapeutic. It allows you to get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Sometimes just writing them down can help to reduce your stress because you don’t feel as overwhelmed with things swirling around in your mind. It also allows you to look at things from a different perspective. Once you write your thoughts down, they are there for you to see and you can make more sense of what you are thinking and feeling. Sometimes, when you’re not sure how to say what you want, or who to say it to, writing in a journal can be a good option.
You can use your journal for a variety of purposes:
- To keep a list of things you are grateful for each day
- To write down goals and accomplishments
- To reflect on challenges, fears, and successes
- To track progress
You can also use your journal to keep a free stream of thought. That means that you write down whatever comes to your mind, regardless of if there is a specific rhyme or reason. It’s just a way to clear your mind of whatever you may be thinking about. Some people refer to this as a “brain dump.”
Another benefit to keeping a journal is being able to look back and see how far you have come. It can be very motivating to see how you handled things previously, what you were worried about, or what you were celebrating, compared to where you are now. You can often see a lot of growth and progress. If you’re keeping track of what you are grateful for, it can be a way to boost your mood when you’re having a rough day and help you have a more positive outlook.
Journaling is just one strategy for supporting recovery. It is a wonderful activity to incorporate into your routine along with other things you find helpful. You may want to set a specific time in your day to write – such as first thing in the morning, or before you go to bed – or just do it when you feel the need or inspiration. You can write for as long or as short of a time as you want to.
Crossroads supports clients in exploring a variety of different activities to support recovery including journaling, meditation, exercise, recreational activities, and more. Engage in a comprehensive treatment program at Crossroads and learn strategies and skills you can use throughout your recovery and life.
[cta]If you’re struggling with your sobriety and need support to keep moving forward, contact Crossroads today to see how we can help.[/cta]