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Welcome to Mom Motivation Mondays where weekly contributing writers share their motherhood experiences to encourage you to find the joy in being a mom.
{This week: Guest Post by Jennie Jussaume}

Positive Journaling can be a stress relief for moms with a few simple tips to not get overwhelmed.

Have you ever found yourself yelling at your kids and wishing you could control yourself better?

Do you ever wonder why are you so stressed?

I wonder these things all the time.

As a parent you just want to be the best you can be, and that usually entails not yelling (or at least, yelling less).

I’m always looking for new ways to help me manage stress so that I can be the best mom possible. That is why I began my journey with positive journaling.

Through trial and error, I have found a method that helps me control my stress and hold back the yelling, at least most of the time.

While listening to a podcast, I stumbled upon the idea of using positive journaling as stress relief for moms. Before this I had never really journaled. Sure I dabbled in it in middle school (oh, woe is me…I wonder if [insert any boy name] noticed me today…blah blah blah stuff) but would only write for about a week and that would be that. Not really helpful to anyone, except maybe the companies making journals and selling them to tweens who want to start journaling but keep losing the journals they started a few months back…sigh…

Since I’m a stay at home mom of three, my days can get pretty stressful. I don’t know about you, but I am not really a fan of stress.

When I get stressed I become flustered, grumpy and yell-ey (not really a word, but that’s okay). Because my kids are usually on the receiving end of my stress (hello, mommy guilt) I am always looking for new ways to arm myself for the internal battle I endure each day.

You know the battle: the “trying to not yell at my kids, but at the same time they are not listening so I just want to be louder” battle.

When positive journaling showed up on my radar, I immediately jumped on board.

The information I was able to find about positive journaling surprised me.

Positive Journaling as Stress Relief for Moms

First off, I learned that there are actual physical results from daily journaling. Turns out that keeping a daily journal can strengthen your immune system, decrease the symptoms of asthma and arthritis, reduce blood pressure, improve lung and liver function, and can lessen visits to the doctor caused by stress.

Crazy, right?

Psychologically, journaling can aide you in coping with stressful situations (already said, but just pushing the point further), it can improve your daily mood (hello, positive thoughts!), clarify your thoughts and feelings, help you get to know yourself better, learn how to solve problems more effectively, and can even help with resolving disagreements you may have with others.

With all of this new information, I decided that I needed to try this.

At the beginning of my journaling adventure, I wanted to get every benefit I possibly could from it.

However, my first flop was when I read that in order to get anything from it, you need to write at least 20 minutes a day. 20 minutes?!?! That might not sound like much on paper, but with kids and cooking and cleaning and a husband and sleep and life in general, I just didn’t think I had 20 minutes to spare.

I then stumbled upon “The Five Minute Journal” on Amazon. It looked like just the thing I needed. Only five minutes a day with prompts on what to write about. Perfect! Except for one problem, I’m a cheap-o and did not want to spend over $20 on a journal. Thanks to Amazon, I was able to see a sneak peak of the prompts and I realized I could just do it myself.

I drove to Target, got myself a pretty and cheap notebook, and started writing.

Since I was sure this was going to be my savior with my daily stress I decided to put as much into it as I could (as long as it only took 5 minutes a day and not 20 though).

I took a cue from the Five Minute Journal and began writing once in the morning and once after the kids went to bed every day. This was my first step into journaling. My strategies and techniques changed as my journey progressed.

Journaling in the morning and at night had its advantages.

In the morning before I did anything else, I wrote down things I was looking forward to that day. I kept my wording positive and felt that this helped me start my day on a happy note.

It also gave me some incentive to make sure what I was looking forward to actually happened. For example, if I wrote, “I’m really looking forward to having some one-on-one time with my son” I felt my journal held me accountable. I needed to make sure that special time happened.

At night, I wrote down the things I was thankful for from that day. I tried to be as specific as possible. I wouldn’t just say, “I’m thankful for my husband,” I would write a specific thing he did that day that made me thankful for him (“I’m thankful my husband knows how to wash dishes and is willing to do them without being asked”).

I enjoyed writing and keeping my thoughts positive. I found that I was calmer during the day and was definitely yelling less (yay me!). I also found that I really was looking forward to the things I wrote about in the morning and was excited when they actually happened.

But after a while I started to struggle some. Not with what to write, but finding the time (even those 5 minutes) to write, specifically in the morning.

I knew this was helping with my stress, but my kids are early risers. Trying to write before they bombarded me was becoming impossible.

I found I was ignoring them first thing in the morning just to write about how I was looking forward to spending the day with them.


One morning it dawned on me that maybe twice a day was just asking for too much of myself.

I eventually threw out all of my journaling “rules” and just started writing in the evening about anything.

I gave myself the privilege to reflect on my day each evening or vent about something specific if I needed it. I just wrote what I felt I needed to get out of my brain at that time. Journaling became enjoyable again.

This summer though, with all the kids home, I started allowing myself to skip it sometimes.

Instead of writing at night I started keeping my journal next to my bed and picking it up first thing in the morning if I’m up before the kids.

If they woke up before me, then I would write tomorrow (or the next day).

Some mornings, I write my general plans for the day. Other mornings I write what I’m looking forward to. I write what I’m upset about from the day before and how I can fix it today.

I do try to keep my tone positive, solely because I feel that positive journaling has a larger impact on my life if I keep a positive voice when I’m talking to myself.

I find that if I write in a way that will help solve the problem (“I’ll do better tomorrow by…”) instead of beating myself up over mistakes made (“I’m such a bad mom”) journaling is much more beneficial to my heart and soul. I also try to end each entry with a positive affirmation. Something along the lines of “today is going to be a great day” or “I’m going to do better today.”

Throughout this journey I have found that in my life right now, this very minute, journaling only in the morning and only when I can is what works for me. I’ve learned that just because journaling one way may work for someone else, does not mean that it is right for everyone.

It is our job to find what works for us and what will actually help relieve stress, not cause more of it.

Maybe journaling in the morning is the perfect way to start your day. Maybe ending a frustrating day with writing out any concerns is what will lead to less stress in your life. Perhaps just saying out loud to yourself the things you would write if you had the time is the way to go for you right now.

The point is, don’t let something that is supposed to help you de-stress, become a stressor.

Have you ever tried positive journaling? What else do you do to help reduce stress?

A weekly series of motivation for moms brought to you by stay at home mom bloggers at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide.

Thanks for pinning this image so other moms can learn more about positive journaling as stress relief for moms!

Positive Journaling can be a stress relief for moms with a few simple tips to not get overwhelmed.

jennie-picJennie is a stay at home mom of 3 who’s goal is to help other parents remember what is truly important on this road called parenthood. She wants to share with others how she keeps her mind clear in the face of the craziness that parenting brings. She hopes to help people find their way to enjoying their families to the fullest. You can follow her at