Jackee Holder, guest on the Rocking Your Role Show, shares some tips on journalling, well worth the read.
If you’re reading this blog post then you’re more likely to be a woman who’s juggling and holding many things together including family and work. The role of the female breadwinner requires a certain amount of care giving and in the role of the caregiver you need to have your own space along with healthy ways of unpacking your emotions and feelings so that you can really rock your role.
One technique that has worked for me for the last twenty years is the writing practice of keeping a journal. If the word journal turns you off, no problem, just call yours a notebook. You’ll be using it in pretty much the same way, I want to share with you three ways you can start a writing practice as well as highlight the benefits you stand to gain by developing a writing practice and show you how keeping a journal or notebook can and does contribute to you positively and effectively rocking your role.
Research from the University of Minnesota shows that workers who write down the days events in the office lowered their stress levels. Other research benefits of journal writing include: Improved physical benefits, less visits to the doctors surgery and improved stress and immune functions.
There are different ways to embed a writing practice on the go. Journal writing is inexpensive, time smart and content rich.
Write Yourself Well Tip No 1
So lets start with time. Time is probably always going to be an issue in your schedule and one way around the lack of time is developing a writing habit. Recently whilst travelling on the tube/subway I sketched out the first drat of an idea I’d been sitting on for weeks. I scribbled away in a packed carriage on the Victoria line and almost missed my stop. The way to do this is to write quickly, without stopping with the intention to map out as much of your thinking on the page. What you write in that first download doesn’t need to make sense, you don’t need to know how things will work out and what you write doesn’t need to be grammatically correct.
This is one way keeping a notebook or journal can develop your projects and ideas at work whilst you are on the go.
Grab opportunities in your day to write where you might be waiting to see your doctor, you’ve arrived early for a meeting, you’re stuck waiting in a long queue, you’re travelling on public transport or waiting for your child to finish a class.
When you’re really pushed for time another technique is to write down one word that describes your day or how you’re feeling at the time. Next write about what the word means to you. This gives you an opportunity to reflect on your day creatively.
Write Yourself Well Tip No 2
It’s a myth that you need huge chunks of time to write. In the writing practices I’m encouraging you to engage with ten minutes blocks works wonders.
Writing in this way is reflective. Reflection enhances capability and productivity. It helps you activate a state of mindfulness all positive contributors to rocking your role. Writing gives you time and space to think. The writing prompts below provide a list of ideas of what to write about.
· Write about how you’re feeling right now?
· Write about what you’re noticing and observing about
yourself and about your interactions with others?
· Write down your observations about what going on in the
environment you’re in.
· Write about your interior world. What are you really
thinking and feeling?
· Write about an idea/ideas you have and want to develop?
· Reflect or review a meeting or conversation you just had?
· Write about the things you dream and desire
· Make a list of things you want to remember to do
· Write about how your inner mentor would advise you right
Write Yourself Well Tip No 3
When things get tricky, you’ve had a difficult meeting or conversation use your journal or notebook to release and as a space to siphon off your feelings and raw emotions. The blank page is paper therapy. The blank page won’t judge what you write and it won’t answer back. You’re actively developing a safe way to manage your emotions, relationships and well being without dumping or projecting on others,
When you listen to yourself in this way you’ll gain clarity and confidence about what you think and want to say to others. Use the pages of your journal or notebook along with the writing prompts to work through difficult and challenging scenarios to places of solution and resolution, all the while building self-confidence and self worth.
I really like this journal-writing tip I came across from writer and personal essayist Sheila Bender. The idea originates from the writer William Stafford. It’s an excellent way to use your journal to review your week. I’ve added a couple of points.
- Write about what you learned this week?
- Write about what you learned from your observations.
- Write about what you learned from your conversations this week.
- Write about what you learned from reading
- Write about what you’ve learned from reflecting
I hope you’ll be inspired to use your journal as a regular companion and ally to support and inspire you in rocking your role.
You can view Jackee’s interview on You Tube
Jenny Garrett is the Executive Coach and founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy. She’s also the author of Rocking Your Role, a how-to guide to success for female breadwinners.