Keeping a journal and writing down your thoughts, goals, and feelings can help you in a lot of ways, especially if you are dealing with cancer.
With it, you can openly express yourself and say all the things that you can’t say out loud. More importantly, it can help you with your cancer journey.
According to breastcancer.org, writing the events and the emotions you are dealing with can help you feel physically better. Moreover, it can help you experience positivity, fulfillment, and overall improvement in your emotional well-being. There are other studies as well that proves journaling can reduce stress.
In this article, we’re going to share how to make a cancer journal. But before that, let’s first discuss what it is.
What is a Cancer Journal
When you were younger, did you also keep a diary and hide it under your mattress? Did you use it to confess who you were interested in? What you are struggling with? Your fears? If you did, then you know how nice and liberating it felt. You know that in that secret place of yours, no one will punish you or judge you.
Most people stop using their diaries when they reached adulthood. But the concept and benefits it offers still apply, especially if you are living with cancer. Since you’re older, it wouldn’t be appropriate to call it a diary anymore. It is now called a journal.
A cancer journal is where you write down your thoughts and feelings while going through cancer, such as when someone says something you don’t like or when a friend or loved one says something encouraging. By doing this, you’ll have a clearer sense of what is happening around you. This will also help you work out your emotions and help you find reasons to be more hopeful and happier about what’s to come.
How to Make a Cancer Journal?
To help you get started, here are some ways you can do to make a cancer journal:
The first thing you have to do is figure out your platform
Do you want to write in a notebook, a pre-made journal, or share it with the world through a blog? Some applications can help you create journals with your phone or iPad. If you prefer doing it on a computer, then that will be fine too. You can use any platform you think is best in bringing out the words in you.
Start small and slowly make it a part of your daily routine
If you’re not used to writing, you can just spend a few minutes of your day in the beginning with your journal. You can do it at different times of the day. This will help you find out what works for you.
Maybe you’ll see that writing in the morning helps you set the tone for the day. Or maybe you felt that writing before going to bed helped you wind down and sleep better. Ultimately, you decide when you want to write. If you don’t want to write every day and only do so when you’re in the mood, then that would be fine too.
Keep in mind that this is not a requirement or an assignment
If you’re starting to feel like it’s too much of a task, you don’t have to make yourself do it.
You don’t have to limit yourself
There are no rules in cancer journals and no one will grade you for it. So you can make as many grammar and spelling mistakes as possible and you have the freedom to draw and doodle all you want. You can also get creative and turn it into a scrapbook or insert some poems and quotes that you can relate to. Your cancer journal is about you and it can be anything you want it to be.
You are free to write and say whatever you want
You can write a list of your day’s events, your goals, share an amusing story, and what you think about your diagnosis and treatment. You can also write about your deepest thoughts about cancer, your hopes, and your fears.
Some people will also advise you to write down the things you are grateful for as this can help you redirect your attention to the more positive aspects of your life. What’s important is that you are writing about things that matter to you.
Some Things to Consider Before Starting a Cancer Journal
While journaling is generally considered a safe method in dealing with cancer, it is not meant for everyone. If you don’t enjoy writing and it feels like a chore to keep a journal, then you can try other ways to help you reduce stress and cope with your illness.
It would also be difficult to focus on your emotions if you are the type of person who worries about your penmanship and the quality of your writing. Additionally, writing only about your negative feelings can increase your stress. So if you do decide to start a cancer journal, make sure to include your thoughts and goals as well as any humorous words or events that occurred that day.