When experiencing periods of sadness or anxiety it can be difficult to look past your current situation and have hope for the future. Of course when lasting sadness occurs, professional help should be sought after, but if you are looking for an extra boost when getting through a difficult situation or phase of life this may be of help to you. This is a journaling exercise that encourages mood improvement and making changes in your life for the better.
To begin, choose a day that is the least hectic for you- maybe a Saturday or Sunday. This will be the day you journal each week. On the day you begin, write about your current situation. Be completely honest about your struggles and include any difficult moments you have recently faced. Follow this with a section on what you would like to improve on in the following month (maybe negative thoughts you would like to focus on less, relaxing activities you would like to incorporate more into your daily routine, or a family member you would like to improve a relationship with). This process of journaling will greatly help you to release frustrations or anxieties and can soothe your mind.
The next step is to date this journal for a month from the date it was written. Repeat this every week so that you eventually have a letter to write once a week and a letter to open once a week.
The act of reading about your past struggles and how you were feeling in your toughest moments will allow you to track your improvement. Knowing you got through a situation that was of difficulty will give you hope. It will show you how strong and powerful you are and that you are able to overcome struggles. This way, what ever you are facing while reading the letter will seem more manageable. When you read this note, think about what has changed in your life in the past month and really focus on the positives so you know you are getting somewhere in your healing process. It is also important, however, to briefly think about what has not changed and future improvements you can make.
This exercise will help you to recognize both small and large victories in your life that you may not have thought about otherwise. It will encourage you to be proud of your improvements, see how far you have come, and have a sense of what can help yourself in the future.