Journaling for Stress Relief: A Practice for Parents and Kids

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Life can get stressful for both parents and kids. Between school, work, extracurricular activities, and family responsibilities, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Finding healthy ways to process stress is important for maintaining mental and emotional wellbeing. Journaling is an excellent outlet that can benefit both parents and children, including foster children who may find it harder to cope with stressful situations.

For Parents

The responsibilities of parenthood come with many joys as well as challenges. From worrying about providing for a family financially to helping kids succeed in school and beyond, parents carry a lot of weight on their shoulders. Taking time for self-care is crucial, but often overlooked. Keeping a journal is a simple way for parents to check in with themselves amidst the chaos of daily life. If you are fostering children, chances are you’ll experience some stress too, so start writing a journal and ask your foster agency for help. Agencies like can provide support when needed.

Get Your Thoughts on the Page

Journaling allows parents to dump all their thoughts onto the page. Getting swirling concerns out of your head and onto paper can provide perspective. The act of writing helps process emotions, reduce anxiety, and uncover solutions. Journaling can also boost mindfulness, self-awareness, and mental clarity. It enables parents to pinpoint specific stressors and evaluate if any changes could be made to improve the situation.

Write about Everyday Stressors

Parents can journal about everyday stressors like conflicts with kids, workplace issues, money problems, health concerns, or relationship troubles. The journal is a safe space to be completely open and honest with oneself. Even 5-10 minutes of journaling can provide a mental and emotional reset.

For Kids

Kids have pressures of their own that can feel overwhelming. Schoolwork, peer conflicts, family issues, and growing up in general come with a lot of big feelings. Children also pick up on parental stress and anxiety. Having an outlet to process their emotions is extremely valuable for kids.

Journaling is a healthy coping mechanism that kids can utilise from a young age. Teachers often have students keep journals in the classroom. Parents can foster journaling at home too. Provide a notebook your child can decorate and personalise. Let them know it is a private space for getting feelings out on paper. Stress the benefits of writing or drawing to alleviate frustration, sadness, anger, or nervousness.

Freedom of Expression

Younger kids may draw pictures of things that worry them or make them happy. Older children can jot down thoughts and daily events. The key is encouraging kids to express themselves freely without judgment. Let them know the journal is always there to help manage overwhelming emotions. Make journaling a natural reflex when they feel stressed or upset.

Journaling provides a constructive release valve for both parents and kids navigating the pressures of daily life. It is portable, private and cathartic. Just putting pen to paper to unload frustrations, fears, and emotions can work wonders. The simple act of writing helps reduce stress and build coping skills over the long-term. Making journaling a family practice enables parents and kids to take control of stress – leading to healthier and happier lives.

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