Mindful Monday: Why Every MilSpouse Should Journal + 5 Prompts to Get You Started

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Sometimes Military Life is overwhelming. You may move every few years, have to say goodbye to your spouse for months at a time, and help your kids navigate several different school systems. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, a new challenge presents itself for tackling. All these ups and downs can create a lot of stress, which is where the simple tool of journaling comes in.

Journaling has been shown to help manage stress and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression to help the writer regain and maintain an overall sense of wellness. The practice helps you reflect on both frustration and gratitude, allowing you to release pent-up negativity and focus on the good. The best part? It’s inexpensive and easy to get started. Just grab and pen and paper, and dive into the 5 prompts below.

1. My favorite way to spend the day is…

Explore all the possibilities with this one. Include your favorite place to be, your favorite people to be with, your favorite things to do, eat, see, and more. How often do you get to be with those people, places, and things? If you live in an area far from them, think about how you can incorporate little aspects of them into your everyday, such as decorating your home with seashells from your favorite beach or cooking meals that your grandma used to make.

2. One moment I will never forget is…

You’ve probably made countless memories throughout the journey of military life, but try to focus on what sticks out the most. Describe the details of the moment in depth and what makes it so unforgettable. It may be a moment you will cherish forever, or this may be your opportunity to come to terms with a difficult moment you’d like to move on from.

3. What I wish others knew about me is…

Moving from place to place every few years requires you to introduce yourself a lot and reestablish new social groups in every place you move. If you could tell everyone you introduce yourself to one very important thing about you, what would it be? Consider if your current circle knows this facet of yourself and if you would like to tell them.

4. Dear Past Me…

This is your chance to reflect on all the ways you have grown and on all the things you have learned in the past few years. What was past you worried about that didn’t end up being such a big deal or what are some great memories past you should be excited to make? You could also write a “Dear Future Me” entry about all the things you’re wondering now.

5. My top 5 goals are…

Whether they’re short-term or long-term goals, this is your opportunity to lay them out. Maybe you just really want to unpack that last box from your most recent PCS or perhaps you’re planning for retirement. Big or small, now’s the time to set a path to achieve your goals.

These journal prompts are a great place to start, but the possibilities for your journal are endless! As you get into the habit of writing, you’ll find routines and topics that work best for you. And don’t forget to look back on old entries, either. Sometimes our most valuable insights come from looking back.

More Ways to De-Stress Every Day:

Dealing with Deployment Stress: 5 Tips for Military Spouses

Being Apart: Self-Care Boot Camp for Military Spouses

5 Ways to Stay Present Through a PCS, and Beyond


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