Keeping a health journal gives you space and guidance wherein to write down things you notice about your health. By writing down things you observe about your health, it frees you from the stress of having to remember and recall things later on. Instead, you can refer back to your journal and know exactly the day, and maybe even the time of day, when you ate a particular food, did many repetitions of a certain exercise, or felt something specific in your body.
Things it might include:
Because a health journal should be a tool to support you in your health journey, make sure it is manageable and enjoyable rather than becoming one more thing adding the feeling of pressure to your to-do list. Your health journal is yours. Things to include might be:
- the foods you eat and how they make you feel or how they are helping you achieve your health goals
- the quality and length of your sleep
- in what ways your emotional state affects your overall health
- external factors that might be affecting your health such as a busy schedule
- when and what kind of exercise you do and how that particular exercise affects how you feel
What format works for you?
Choose a format that works for you, whether print or digital. A smaller size of journal can fit into your pocket or bag while a digital version can be an app on your phone, both of which you can take with you wherever you go. By being able to take your health journal with you wherever you go, it makes it portable and accessible at any time. Keep your journal in the same place so that you know where it is and it is easy for you to find.
In your journal, make plans for ways to make progress towards reaching your health goals. Include action steps to take as well as those you have already tried. Record books, podcasts, and webinars you read and listen to on health topics and jot down important points. Write down questions that come up and things you want to look into and research further.
Take the time to look over what you have written in your health journal. This is important so that you can determine what is working, notice any patterns of concern that need addressing, and change what is not working.
When is the best time to journal? Setting aside some minutes in the evening could be a good time to recollect things about your health that you remember from the day. During the summer months, that might mean enjoying the warmth and gentle glow of the setting sun while writing. Or choose the quiet time before everybody is up to record thoughts from the previous day.
Take the opportunity to write about your health in a journal. Give health journaling a try for a while to see if it is a fit for you and the ways in which it can assist you in supporting your health. Once you start journaling, you will discover the many benefits it offers to journal writers.