Black man sitting on a park bench writing in a journal on a sunny day.
Everyday Support

Quick Tip Guide to Start Journaling

Navigating cancer, whether as a patient or a caregiver, is filled with complex emotions and experiences. Finding a safe haven to express thoughts and feelings can be profoundly therapeutic. This is where the power of journaling comes into play—a simple, yet helpful tool that offers comfort, understanding, and a sense of peace.

The Essence of Journaling

Journaling is more than writing; it's a form of self-care that allows you to reflect on your experiences and the whirlwind of emotions that accompany a cancer diagnosis. It's a personal space where you can celebrate small victories, vent frustrations, and remind yourself of moments of joy and resilience. When words are hard to find in conversation, your journal can become your outlet.

Creating Your Journaling ‘Space’

If you are new to journaling or a seasoned pro, here are a few tips to consider: 

  • Personalize Your Practice: Remember, your journal is your private domain. You don't need to be a skilled writer to benefit from journaling. What matters is your words and expression. 

  • Find Your Rhythm: Choose a specific time or days for journaling and decide how long you'll write. This helps make journaling a part of your routine, offering stability in times that feel out of your control. 

  • Create a Comforting Space: Designate a spot – your spot – for journaling. Whether it's accompanied by a cup of tea, soft music, or the flicker of a candle; make this practice a source of comfort. 

  • Choose Your Medium: Whether you prefer the tactile feel of pen on paper, the ease of typing, or the spontaneity of a voice memo, select a mode of journaling that feels easiest for you. 

  • Embrace Imperfection: Write freely, without concern for eloquence or order. Your journal is a judgment-free zone where every thought and emotion is valid.  

  • Release Expectations: If journaling is new to you, it's okay to feel uncertain. Focus on the act of writing itself, rather than the content. Over time, you'll find your own voice and rhythm. 

Journaling is a great starting place for self-discovery and “you-time,” offering a respite from the challenges of cancer. It's a practice that takes time; so, if today doesn’t feel right, try again tomorrow. Remember that each word penned is a step towards understanding and finding peace within the storm.

This article meets Iris standards for medical accuracy. It has been fact-checked by the Iris Clinical Editorial Board, our team of oncology experts who ensure that the content is evidence based and up to date. The Iris Clinical Editorial Board includes board-certified oncologists and pharmacists, psychologists, advanced practice providers, licensed clinical social workers, oncology-certified nurses, and dietitians.