Feeling Through Colors
Discover ways to help children of all ages identify and express feelings through a rainbow of colors and art.Read More
Journaling and reflective writing allow us to list our thoughts, emotions, and questions to gain a deeper understanding of what we are feeling and how we relate to the world around us. The best part about reflective writing is it can be adapted to include a group of people to build community, or it can be a completely private practice that is for you and only you.
Journaling can help increase our awareness of our emotions, how they affect our actions and give us space to reflect on how they inform or impact our interactions with others. Talking about feelings isn’t always easy, but journaling offers an alternative option to explore thoughts, feelings, and emotions in a private space.
Just like other mindful awareness practices, journaling looks different for everyone. Get creative try some of these activities below.
Choose or create a special journal. Whether it’s a journal created out of printer paper and a stapler, an old notebook in the back of the closet, or digital – give children an opportunity to make it their own. Paint, collage, doodle, or draw – creating a space that feels the most comfortable and unique to them.
Start by offering age-appropriate prompts. Begin with topics such as self-esteem, self-reflection, storytelling, etc. to help children get a jump start into their writing and reflection. Invite children/adolescents to utilize the prompts or journal on a topic most important or top of mind for them. Older children may want to stray away from the prompts and simply let their thoughts go as they bring pen to paper. Allow children to have the creative freedom to reflect in their own unique ways. Looking for prompt examples? Try out some of these:
Journaling prompts for elementary school-aged children and up:
Journaling prompts for middle school-aged children and up:
Journaling prompts for high school-aged children and up:
Support a multimodal approach. A journal doesn’t have to be filled with words. In fact, journals can take many forms and each form can offer a unique creative outlet. Alternatives to writing could look like:
Lead by example by offering to journal together. Modeling these practices helps children to formulate their own. Journaling together can be a great way to connect with others and explore empathy. Start by choosing a prompt. Offer to journal separately for a few minutes. Come back together and offer to talk about it. Make it clear that discussing what everyone wrote is optional and not necessary for those who do not wish to share.
Honor yourself by starting your own journaling practice. Journaling as an adult caretaker or teacher can be incredibly beneficial to your own self-awareness and emotion-management. Start by taking 5 minutes of quiet time to yourself to jot down current thoughts, emotions, and questions. Approach your journaling practice without judgment and allow the words to flow naturally. In a time crunch? Take just 30 seconds in between tasks to write a note of gratitude somewhere visible at your desk or in your bathroom. Revisit your gratitude note whenever you need a reset or a change in perspective.
Categories: Social-Emotional Health, At Home, At School, Digital Resource