Every stroke survivor needs a stroke recovery journal.
No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
But when you start one, you might not know what else to put in it besides your daily dialogue – which is totally fine. But there are other ways to use your journal to strengthen your motivation while you write.
And if you don’t have the ability to write yet, then you can use a digital journal and type with that one mighty hand until you regain use in your affected hand (PS. MusicGlove can help).
So, without further ado, here are 7 ways to use your stroke recovery journal to promote better focus, motivation, and happiness.
5. Goals to Check Daily
We ALL need to have our goals written down somewhere that we look frequently. This part is obvious.
The not-so-obvious part, however, is to make sure you don’t stop reading your goals once you’ve finished creating them. Because forgetting is simply too easy.
To prevent forgetfulness, you need to look at your goals every day to remind yourself of your purpose.
4. A Gratitude List
Gratitude journals are becoming very popular – mostly because of the solid science behind it, which is this:
Each time you write down all the things you’re grateful for, it trains your brain to seek out things to be grateful for! The more you do it, the more grateful you will feel without even trying.
This is due to your brains amazing neuroplasticity.
So, each morning in your stroke recovery journal, write down a list of everything you’re grateful for. Then, watch the magic unfold.
Within a few weeks, you should find yourself with a stronger sense of gratitude, which is one of the best emotions to feel on a daily basis.
It will ignite your motivation and sense of purpose.
3. A Success List (Oh, Absolutely!)
During stroke rehabilitation, you make small gains all the time, and you shouldn’t let them go unnoticed.
By writing down all the little successes that you achieve, you can have a solid record of pure awesomeness to reflect upon.
Your success journal will show you exactly how far you have come and give you reason to keep going.
And when you’re having an off day, you can look back on your successes as a reminder to keep going, because look at all the progress you’ve made!
This keeps things in proper perspective.
2. Notes for Your Doctor
When life is full of ever-changing variables regarding your health, it’s easy to forget the little things.
If you find yourself thinking, “I should ask/tell my doctor about that,” then write it down in your journal immediately! At that point, the only thing you have to remember when your appointment comes around is to remember your journal!
Other notes to write down can include new stroke side effects that you’re experiencing and new reactions to any medication you’re taking. That way you can maximize your time spent with your doctor.
1. The Most Essential Reminder
Lastly, every stroke survivor should have a personal letter written to themselves in the beginning of their journal.
The purpose of this letter is to motivate you on days where you feel down.
Once you have your journal, take time to write yourself a letter addressed to your unmotivated self. It can include statements like, “You’ve got this!” or, “Anything you do today will help you on this journey,” or even, “Take a day of rest. You deserve it.”
YOU know what YOU need when you’re feeling unmotivated. So whatever that is, put it into a warm, compassionate letter to yourself.
Then, the next time you’re feeling down or unmotivated, you can reread it and get your own little pep-talk!
We hope that these 5 new practices can turn your stroke recovery journal into one of your best tools to spark recovery.