We often discuss maintaining a migraine diary to track patterns and give us data to work well with our doctors. A good and accurate migraine diary is an essential element of migraine management.
There’s a second type of journaling that can be exceedingly helpful for all of us living with migraine disease — life journaling to remain hopeful and whole. If we’re not careful, migraine can steal our hope, and that hope is essential to many aspects of living with migraine. Hope is essential to good treatment outcomes and our quality of life — and it’s essential to keeping ourselves whole mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
You can talk about anything in your life journal. I’ve been doing this type of journaling for a few years now, and it’s been exceptionally helpful. I write about both the good and bad, the pretty and the ugly. I write when I feel hopeless and hopeful. One type of entry that I’ve found especially helpful in maintaining hope and a healthy perspective is a daily gratitude entry. There’s never a day bad enough that I can’t think of something for which I’m grateful. It may be my husband, my job, a family member, my wonderful extended migraine family, or something as simple as having a roof over my head. Whatever it is, it always helps me keep things in perspective and remember that — no matter how discouraged I may feel at that time — there are reasons to be grateful and good things in my life.
This type of journaling can take many forms:
- It can be done using a blank paper journal such as the journal pictured above. (There are oodles of them available on Amazon.com and other online merchants.) As you can see, I like to paste photos and images in mine sometimes.
- It can be in a document that you keep on your computer, tablet, or phone.
- In electronic format, life journaling can be a project that you share with a close friend. It can “live” online where you share it with a friend who understands. I know some migraineurs who do this and share it with a fellow migraineur as an additional form of support for both of them.
The important thing is to choose a form that makes you comfortable and to add to your journal often.
Do you use journaling as a tool to live better despite migraine disease? If so, please post a comment below, and share some of your thoughts about journaling with us_READ ON: _ How to Use a Gratitude Journal for Depression
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate and the author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. A co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association, she received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society. Teri can be found on her website, and blog, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.