Journal Writing and Attention Deficit Disorder
First, realize that journaling means different things to different people. What has meaning is how it matters to you. Journaling can be used for a variety of purposes. Daily events and your reactions to them can be recorded. Goals, when set down on paper and followed through the journaling process, can become reality. The story of your life and relationships can be told through the lens of a journal. Using a journal regularly can foster growth of all types.
Some journals are handwritten, while others are electronic. It’s easy to do a handwritten journal at the end of the day. Sitting in bed, writing about the day, can bring closure to thoughts and activities that you’ve experienced. It also sets you up to process events as you are dreaming. If you have a laptop, you can still journal in bed. When getting to sleep is an issue, you might want to journal earlier in the evening. Morning journaling is also possible. Set aside a bit of time during your morning routine. You might want to write about anticipated events or what happened the day before. Trial and error can be used to find your most effective journaling time. It helps to do it at about the same time daily, since you are more likely to journal if it has become an established part of your routine.
As you go through the day, think about what you might want to write about. You may want to carry a small notebook that fits into a pocket to take brief notes. If you are journaling to help improve your negative symptoms of ADD, here are some questions that you might want to think about on a daily basis. These are just suggestions; if they don’t apply to you, discover what questions you want to think about!
*What events during this day were affected by my ADD?
*Did my ADD have a positive or negative effect on events? How?
*If my ADD had a negative effect, what structures could I put into place to help?
Remember that you make your own rules for your journal writing. This is a good thing for those of us with ADD! While writing daily is helpful in establishing a routine, you don’t need to do it that way. Likewise, you don‘t need to write the same amount each day. Some days you could have a couple of sentences, while other times might call for three pages. It is totally up to you what you put into your journal. Will it be ADD/ADHD, joys, challenges, things that cause you stress, moments of great clarity? It’s your journal; do it your way!
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