Journal Prompts for Self Reflection & Self Discovery

Journaling has become a really important part of my self-care & self-discovery over the years. Especially during stressful times, journaling has helped me with getting everything out of my head and onto paper. I talk about how journaling has helped with my mental health in my post about The Importance of Self Care & The Power of Journaling

I truly believe in the healing & therapeutic nature of journaling. While I talk about journaling a lot and how helpful it can be, I also understand that you might not know what to write about. I actually completed a journal prompt challenge in my Facebook group throughout April.

The ladies in my Facebook group loved this challenge and mentioned that the prompts helped them with discovering more about themselves and how to better handle stressful situations. Being able to understand more about yourself can be helpful in making sure that you are prepared, ultimately helping you to be able to move forward.

Here are some journal prompts to try out if you are looking to get into journaling and need some guidance:

  1. What limiting beliefs are holding me back?

  2. What habit would I like to break?

  3. How can I love myself more daily?

  4. What do I need to get off my chest today?

  5. How do my worries affect my daily life?

  6. On a scale to 1-10, my mental health is at a ___ because ____

  7. If I could achieve anything in life, what would it be?

  8. How am I feeling today?

  9. What brings me the most peace and balance in my life?

  10. What was my biggest learning moment this week?

  11. How can I be more kind to myself?

  12. What 3 things am I looking forward to this week & why?

  13. I am strong because…

  14. When times get tough, I want to remember that…

  15. What makes me happiest?

  16. What inspires me right now?

  17. What can I do to start taking better care of myself?

  18. What are my stress triggers?

  19. What is something I need to let go of? Why do I think I’m holding onto it?

  20. What would life be like if my stressors weren’t present?

  21. What are alternative ways to handle my stress?

  22. What do I think my mission in life is?

  23. How do I react to negative feelings?

  24. What do I love about myself?

  25. What obstacles have I overcome?

  26. What keeps me motivated?

  27. Where am I putting in too much energy?

  28. Where am I putting in not enough energy?

  29. What are 5 moments in my life when I was truly happy?

  30. What lessons have I learned?

  31. How are you feeling right now? What emotions come up?

  32. List everything that you are worried about right now

  33. What do you look forward to everyday?

  34. How do I handle stressful situations?

  35. If I could achieve anything in life, what would it be?

  36. What do I feel like my life is missing and how can I get more of what I need?

  37. Where do I want to be in 5 years?

  38. When am I the happiest version of me?

  39. What are 3 negative mindsets I need to let go of?

  40. Am I doing all that I can to reach my goals?

  41. What steps can I take to be the most confident version of myself?

  42. If I could be anything in the world, what would it be?

  43. How would I describe the perfect day?

  44. I forgive myself for…

  45. I deserve happiness because…

  46. What are 5 things I’m proud of myself for?

  47. What is most important to me right now?

  48. What are my biggest fears?

  49. What is my favorite quality about myself?

  50. In the next month, I want to…

Want these journal prompts in a printable guide?!


I am also a big advocate for expressing gratitude everyday. I started using The Five Minute Journal 4 days a week in addition to my journaling and I absolutely love it!

I love this journal because it’s quick & gets right to the point. I’ve been using this journal for a couple years now and it’s really good for getting you in the habit of expressing gratitude.

Practicing gratitude will help you with your mindset & what you are focusing on everyday. Focusing what you do have and what you are still in control of. When you focus on what you still have & what you are still in control of, you are more likely to make healthier choices & be better able to show up for yourself!

I hope you found this to be helpful. ❤ The prompts included in this post can be so incredibly transformative & help you understand more about yourself!

xx
-Jess

My Morning Routine As A Young Entrepreneur Working From Home

We’ve all heard all about how setting a solid morning routine is incredibly important for starting the day. I don’t believe there’s one “perfect” morning routine universal for everyone. What works really well for me might not work for you and vice versa and that’s OK! But, I do think it’s important for everyone to set one for themselves & test out different strategies to figure out what that ideal morning routine looks like. 

The thing about routines is that they change often. They change with us, when certain life shifts happen. For me, it’s changed many times over the years & especially with starting my own business working from home.

Personally, I’m a BIG morning person. I’m definitely one of those “annoying morning people” that people like to complain about. I just think mornings are so peaceful, especially early mornings. I love getting up early before the sun and taking my time to get ready for the day because how I spend my mornings definitely sets the tone for how the rest of the day is going to be. 

Figuring out what works for you

Since everyone is different, it’s important to learn about yourself & test out different things to be able to come up with a solid morning routine. One thing that I’ve learned about myself over the years is that I get stressed out really easily. It’s frustrating, but it’s just one of those traits that I have. Once I get stressed out, it’s hard to get myself back together & I have figured out the best way to deal with it is to prevent myself from getting to that point. 

The most prominent thing that I’ve learned for preventing stress is being planned, organized & prepared. The feeling of being behind or that I am under time pressure is one of the easiest ways for me to get overwhelmed. I need to have things planned out and prepared ahead of time, I do not handle procrastination well AT ALL! 

My morning routine might seem a bit excessive for some, but this is what works for me. After experimenting with my morning routine for several years now, I’ve been able to pinpoint certain things that are important for my morning routine. 

Here’s what my routine looks like:

My morning routine starts the night before

I think this is true for a lot of people, but making sure everything is prepped & ready is helpful in making sure the morning flows smoothly. Plus, you can save yourself a lot of time & stress in the AM!

I prep the coffee maker, prep breakfast (crack eggs into a tupperware, measure oats), prep snacks/smoothie so I just have to reach in the fridge throughout the day.

I also lay out my gym clothes & make sure everything is packed in my gym bag. Having everything ready helps me feel like I can make sure I’m not rushed and make sure that I don’t get stressed out!

(I’ll write another post on my night time routine!) 



EArly morning gym time

I have been going to the gym first thing in the morning for about a year and a half now. A lot of people call me crazy, but it’s been the most amazing lifestyle shift. I’ve found that getting my workout done first thing in the morning helps with my anxiety & not talking myself out of getting to the gym throughout the day.

You can read more about this in How/ Why I Go To The Gym At 5AM & also 3 Tips for Early Morning Workouts if you are thinking about transitioning to working out early!

Starting my day with a sweaty workout has been the key thing to making sure that I don’t get overwhelmed. I notice that if I go more than 2 days without a workout, I get on edge and start feeling overwhelmed & stressed out. It’s such a great feeling to start the day getting to the gym early & clear my mind! 

Breakfast

I always have breakfast with my boyfriend when we get back from the gym! He jumps in the shower & gets ready for work while I prepare a healthy breakfast for both of us. Having everything prepped the night before helps makes things so much easier for me!

Meditation

I’ve been experimenting with meditation for the last couple years. I have been inconsistent with it, but I have recently added it back into my morning routine. I’ve been trying to make it a habit to meditate for 5-10 minutes after I shower & get dressed and it honestly helps significantly. 

Once I start, I notice how much my mind is focused on all the tasks I have to do for the day. Letting my mind calm down helps me to be able to focus & think more clearly.

Even though I’ve been practicing meditation for a couple years, I’m not very good at it! It really takes a lot of practice. It can be difficult to shut everything off & focus just on your breath, so I’m a big fan of guided meditations. My favorite guided Meditations are in the Sanvello app that I talked about in My 8 Step Process to Overcoming Depression.

Sitting in mediation for 5-10 minutes helps me calm my mind so I feel nice & grounded. Since I get stressed out easily, making sure my mind is calm & clear is extremely important in making sure that I don’t start my workday feeling like my mind is all over the place.

Journaling

After calming my mind with 5-10 minutes of meditation, I sit at my desk and get ready for the work day. You’ve heard me mention this many times, especially in The Power of Journaling! Over the summer I would sit out on my patio for about 30 minutes to journal & get some fresh air.

I journal about what’s on my mind, what’s bothering me, what I feel like I need to get done for the day & how I’m feeling. I just let my mind do the writing and get everything out that I need to. I find that getting everything out of my head & onto paper helps me organize my thoughts and make sure that my mind is calm and ready to take on the day.

Sometimes I find myself thinking that I can skip journaling & sometimes I do. When I do skip journaling for a couple of days, I start getting overwhelmed so I try not to make it habit.

I actually just recently talked myself out of journaling for about a week because I had a lot on my to-do list. I started feeling myself get consumed by my thoughts around everything I had to get done. After I noticed this, I decided I needed to stop talking myself out of it & I ended up journaling for about 2 pages. Taking the time to journal has really helped in getting everything out of my head and out on paper, ultimately helping me feel better & better able to focus.

Review my to-do list & make a plan for the day

I try my best to write out my to-do list the night before, but that doesn’t always happen & sometimes I have some new ideas that I want to add into my schedule. So, I make sure that I take some time to review everything that needs to be done and make sure I have a plan for the day.

By this time, it’s around 8am and I am ready to get started on my work for the day! It’s always so nice to be able to start the workday with a clear mind & fresh perspective. We are all so busy and often get caught up in the motions of everyday life that we don’t take the time for ourselves.

I have enjoyed the transition to being my own boss & working from home, but it has been a hard & stressful journey! Being completely in control of my time & schedule is difficult, but I’ve been able to figure out what works best for me. Having a solid morning routine in place, especially focusing on self-care and prioritizing my mental health has been so refreshing!

I hope you take the time to try out different things for your morning routine. Even making it a goal to get up a little bit earlier so you can ease into your day can be very helpful!

xx

The Power of Journaling

I’ve always been a writer. It’s been my art and how I’ve always been able to express myself. Writing was always what I excelled at in school. Pretty much the only thing I excelled at, really. While I was good at and enjoyed writing, I was never really one to write in a journal growing up. I just never really knew what I would write about in a journal, so I didn’t.

In 2016, journaling became a really important part of my self-care & taking care of my mental health. I started journaling in May 2016 when life got pretty stressful and I found myself struggling to keep my sanity. I would write about everything going on and trying to make myself think positively going into the day. I wrote on a notepad, nothing special, but I just used whatever I had laying around already. I would try writing every morning, talking myself into trying to be all positive throughout the day. I tried for a couple weeks, but ended up giving up weeks later. I had heard all about the positive things that could come from journaling, but I just wasn’t seeing the benefits myself.

In September 2016, I went to counseling for the first time. During my first session, my counselor told me to get myself a pretty planner and write everyday about what’s on my mind and write 3 things I love about myself everyday. Now, if you are going through a tough time and struggling to love yourself everyday, this is an incredibly tough task. But, I have been trying to keep journaling as a priority for a while now. 

Ever since then, for 3 years now, I have slowly been able to bring myself back together. While it was hard at first to even get the motivation and drive to write and find something that I loved about myself, I always ended up back there writing. I started writing about EVERY THING! It’s amazing all of the things that you can discover when you write it all down. 

Journaling isn’t just something to put on your to-do list and just use it as something to check off when it’s done. You have to take it seriously and be intentional. You may even discover some things lingering in your subconscious that you didn’t even know were there. 

Seriously, journaling is P O W E R F U L !

In the last year or so, I’ve really been trying to make this a daily thing. Before I start my day, I try to write 1-2 pages in my journal. I don’t give myself any limitations, just write. Everything that going on in my mind. I write about what’s frustrating me, how I’m feeling emotionally, the events going on in my life, what I’m excited/nervous about, what I am frustrated with myself about, where I want to be, my goals and ambitions. Anything. If it’s on my mind at the time, it goes in my journal. I had such a hard time at first figuring out what to write about. But, I’ve learned there’s no right or wrong way to journal. 

Sometimes, just getting all of the anger & stress out of your head and onto paper can be incredibly relieving. Keeping those negative words stuck in your head will only lead to releasing them in a way that you might regret later. Not to mention making you feel crappy. The thoughts might end up making you feel worse and you don’t know why. I get it. You get frustrated and can’t figure out how to get yourself to snap out of it. 

It might sound crazy if you aren’t an avid journal writer, but you seriously don’t know the true power of journaling. It can honestly be life changing. 

Over the last 3 years, I have made it to my fourth journal. Each journal carries moments, memories, struggles, breakthroughs. Each one holds a journey in my life. Sometimes, I will look back at these journals and really realize how far I have come. How when I first started journaling, I was an absolute mess. I hated everything and everyone. I was a miserable person, just going through the motions of life, wishing I could figure out what to do to pull myself together. 

To even think that I would end up where I am today, at that point is a dream that I didn’t even know that I had. Journaling can be transformative. It’s not just a task that you do just because people tell you that it’s “good to do”. With intention and purpose, it can truly transform lives. 

I typically don’t do journal prompts, because I feel like it takes away from what is on the surface that I need to talk about that specific day. But, these are some things that I usually end up writing about:

How are you feeling?

What emotions are you feeling?

How’s the week going?

What do you wish was going better?

What is going well?

What are you proud of yourself for?

What are you disappointed about?

Did someone/something make you mad?

If you prefer journal prompts, I definitely understand! There are TONS of prompts out there for any kind of self-discovery/reflection!

EXPRESS GRATITUDE

I also started writing about what I’m grateful for. I started with The Five Minute Journal. Even though I don’t like regular journal prompts, I did like the prompts prompts in this journal and I can honestly say that it helped me make expressing gratitude a habit.

I love The Five Minute Journal because it really gets you thinking about your intentions for the day and also reflecting at the end of the day.

You have prompts to write about at the start of the day and a reflection to do at the end of the day. The page starts off with a quote or a “weekly challenge”, followed by having you list 3 things you’re grateful for, 3 things that would make the day great and a daily affirmation.

You might notice that you have a hard time listing 3 things you’re grateful for each day. Especially on days that you don’t feel so great. But, the longer you keep to it, the easier it comes to you. I’ve noticed that throughout some days, I find myself naturally expressing gratitude for things that I would otherwise turn a blind eye to. 

Then, at the end of the day, you reflect on how the day went. Having you write about 3 things that went well and listing what would have made the day better. Even on those days that you feel didn’t go so well, this really helps to be able to find some positives in what you might think there aren’t any.

I’ve been better at journaling in the morning, than at night. I’m still working working on journaling about my day right before I go to bed, but it’s a work in progress! You’ve got to start somewhere, right?!


I usually like to start my day with both free journaling, as well as filling in The Five Minute Journal prompts. It’s taken practice to be able to make journaling a habit and to be able to find positive things to talk about. Even if I’m not feeling so great that day, journaling helps me get everything off my chest and expressing gratitude definitely helps me shift my mindset. Now, everyday isn’t going to be all positive and that’s okay. But, journaling has definitely been a main staple in helping me shift my mindset and perception going into each day.

Sometimes for me, journaling can bring an idea for a blog post or social media post I can write about. It has given me business ideas, realization of dreams & aspirations. I like to let my journaling and what comes to surface dictate the flow of the day and where I want to really place my focus. For example, starting a new journal sparked the idea to write a post about how transformative journaling has been. 

Imagine where your life could be if you started journaling ASAP. Not to be dramatic, but your life could seriously change forever. You just never know. ❤

xx

My 7 Tips For Falling Asleep

A couple years ago, I was experiencing a difficult time in my life and with that came many sleepless nights. I remember laying in bed most nights, exhausted, but also wide awake. I was emotionally drained and could not get myself together, it seemed. Some nights I would toss and turn and would get about 3 hours of sleep per night. I was exhausted, but still couldn’t figure out how to make it better. 

*I am not a trained professional, all of my tips are simply from personal experience and what worked for me.

I’ve always been someone that enjoyed falling asleep while watching TV. I knew that people said that it’s not a good idea to do this, but it never bothered before, so I didn’t see any problems with it. It worked for me until I went through the difficult time in my life when I was having a hard time sleeping. After struggling to sleep for a while, I decided that it was time to start researching & implementing some techniques to try out.

After doing some research online and getting some guidance from my counselor, I figured out several techniques that I could implement to help me fall asleep at night. Alas! I found a list of things to do that helps me sleep at night! So, I want to share them all with you. Nobody likes to toss and turn at night! 

This might seem excessive to some people, but I actually try to give myself a good hour before I want to “fall asleep”. Giving yourself time to wind down & get your mind and body ready to fall asleep is super helpful.

Here are a list of things that I try to pull from every night. I hope some of these tips help you too!


Turning off electronics an hour before bed (Phone, computer, TV)

Like a lot of people, I have always enjoyed laying in bed, watching TV until my eyes get sleepy and about to fall asleep. I also got into a habit of doing some social media scrolling at the same time as well. But, when I started having a hard time falling asleep, I was experiencing some extreme anxiety and those things started to not help me out at all. I know a lot of people mention turning off electronics, but watching TV & scrolling really did help me out in terms of helping me fall asleep (so I thought).

So, I started turning off my TV and stop scrolling an hour before I go to bed. I’m not perfect and don’t always follow this, but when I do, it definitely helps being able to refocus and start calming my mind down. However, I know that some people actually enjoy watching TV right before bed and find it to be incredibly relaxing. Whatever works for you! But, if you start noticing constant struggle to fall asleep, I would recommend at least giving this a try!

Melatonin

About an hour before I go to bed, I usually take 3-6g of melatonin. This is just a natural remedy to help you naturally fall asleep. I personally love melatonin because it helps me fall asleep, but it doesn’t make me feel all groggy the next morning. When I take a sleep aid, I can sometimes feel all groggy and half asleep if I didn’t get enough sleep for the sleep aid to wear off. Right now, I am enjoying the Nature Made Melatonin.

Essential Oil Diffuser 

I absolutely love my essential oil diffuser! An hour before bed, I also like to turn on my essential oil diffuser. There’s something so relaxing about diffusing lavender/eucalyptus/ tea tree oil to calm your mind. I have mine sitting right next to my bed on my night stand. I love climbing into bed with relaxing aroma already there, mmmm allll the calming feels right there!

The oil that I like to use is Pure Aroma because it comes in a package that contains allll of the oils that I like to use on a daily basis. I usually always have one package in my amazon cart because I know that I’m going to need a refill!

If you don’t have an essential oil diffuser yet, I would recommend getting one that comes with some oils to get you started, like this one. That way you can test out which oils you really like so you know which ones you would like to get a refill on.

Bubble bath/hot shower

One of my favorite things to do to wind down on a Sunday night is to take a relaxing bubble bath! I like to fill the tub with lavender bubble bath and bath salts. Light a couple candles, play relaxing music and soak for about 20 minutes or so. In my new apartment, I don’t have a bath tub (bummer), but I will sometimes take a hot shower before bed. Not exactly the same in my opinion, but it will have to do for now!

Reading

Reading is one of those activities that I really love, but I sometimes have a hard time getting myself to settle down with a good book. Instead of turning on TV to help me fall asleep, I started picking up a book and reading while in bed. Reading has been the perfect way for me to really calm my mind down and lets me naturally get sleepy. Sometimes I can only make it a couple pages before I have to turn off the lights. Recently, I’ve really enjoyed reading You Are A Badass How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero and Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo. 

Journaling

We’ve all heard about the major benefits of journaling. Maybe you are rolling your eyes at this point because you’ve heard it so much. Some nights I find myself talking myself out of it, but I’ve been trying to be better about it. Just picking up a journal and a pen and writing about your day- things that went well and what didn’t go so well. It really, REALLY helps to get everything out of your head and onto paper. Even starting off with a couple sentences every night might help to make it a habit. You never know what you might discover! It definitely helps getting everything out so it doesn’t sit on your subconscious.

Meditation

Ahhh, meditation. I personally have a love/hate relationship with meditation because I’m still really bad at it. I’ve been trying to make this a daily habit for a couple years now and it’s one of those things that takes some (lots) time to master. But, when I do practice meditation, I notice how much more relaxed and calm my mind is. Even if it’s just listening to calming music, rather than a guided meditation. Just a couple of minutes can work wonders! I do recommend getting some guided meditation apps on your phone to try out nightly. Most of them have free options so you don’t have to commit to monthly payments if you don’t think that you’ll need that kind of investment. Some guided meditation apps that I like are Sanvello, Calm & Simple Habit.


There you have it! Those are my 7 tips for helping with sleepless nights. I don’t do allll of them every single night. But, they have all helped in my journey to sleeping better. Nightly, I try to at least take melatonin, set my essential oil diffuser, journal & read.

Give these tips a try and let me know if any of them helped!

xx