As a writer, I’m constantly collecting journal prompts for self-care. When you’re an ambitious writer, prioritizing self-care is tough; sometimes it feels impossible. Going after goals like writing a book, starting a blog, or building a freelance writing business requires sacrifice. And oftentimes the first thing we sacrifice is self-care. 

But as the great Audre Lorde once said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

We must take care of ourselves especially during tumultuous times like these when we may feel as if we are in the midst of political warfare.

Waiting for election results, navigating a global pandemic, fighting for social change, and coping with everything else 2020 may be throwing your way means you must put on your metaphorical oxygen mask (along with an actual mask) before you take care of family, serve your community, and try to save the world. 

What is Self-Care?

Self-care looks different for different people. And it’s not all massages and bubble baths — though that definitely can be part of your self-care ritual. 
GG Renee Hill, author of the Self-Care Check-In, once told me that self-care is self-love in action. 

Related Reading: Self-Care Tips for Writers

See Jane Write Collective member Dareise Jones recently blogged about the importance of creating coping kits.  This is an idea from Therapy for Black Girls, a platform created by Atlanta-based licensed psychologist Dr. Joy Harden-Bradford.

Dr. Harden-Bradford describes the coping kit as a “collection of things, all together in one place, that can be useful to you when you’re feeling overwhelmed by emotions and need some ways to distract yourself.”

As Dareise explains in her post, your coping kit can be virtual. It can be a list in the Notes app of your phone that includes your favorite songs, quotes, or affirmations. Check out Dareise’s coping kit to get started creating your own.

Here are some suggestions from Therapy for Black Girls for your Election Day coping kit:

Image via Instagram

Why Journaling Should Be a Part of Your Coping Kit

As writers, it seems obvious that we would include writing in our self-care regimen, but oftentimes we don’t. If you write for a living as I do or if you’re trying to finish a manuscript, grow a blog, or send pitches to editors, writing for yourself, writing simply for the love of words, can get lost. 

That’s why it’s so important to set aside time to journal every day. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, journaling can help you  

  • manage anxiety
  • reduce stress
  • cope with depression
  • prioritize problems, fears, and concerns
  • recognize triggers and learn ways to better control them
  • practice positive self-talk
  • identify negative thoughts and behaviors

Journal Prompts for Self-Care

Here are 21 journaling prompts to add to your coping kit and self-care regimen:

  1. What makes you feel hopeful?
  2. Write about a goal as if you’ve already achieved it.
  3. Write a letter to yourself as your future self.
  4. Journal about a time you succeeded against all odds.
  5. What makes you feel powerful?
  6. Write about a time you followed the advice to “feel the fear and do it anyway.”
  7. What makes you feel joyful?
  8. Make a list of your favorite things and how you can include them in your daily life more.
  9. Make a list of 20 things you’re grateful for right now.
  10. What makes you feel calm?
  11. Write a love letter to your body.
  12. Write a love letter from your body.
  13. How do you define faith? Write about how faith has helped you navigate times of uncertainty.
  14. What makes you feel in control?
  15. Write about a time you surrendered and were thankful that you did.
  16. How can you be a better advocate for yourself?
  17. How can you put your needs first?
  18. Write a letter of forgiveness to someone who hurt you.
  19. What makes you feel safe?
  20. Write about how you can learn to accept things you cannot change.
  21. Write about how you can change the things you can no longer accept.