Summer vacation is a wonderful time to relax and reflect. In addition to packing up your beach towel and summer reading, consider also packing a journal. Journaling is an excellent habit to incorporate into daily life, and vacation gives you ample time to dive deep into your thoughts and emotions, unfiltered and without daily obligations tugging at your sleeve. Use this time to look back, to open up to yourself and your life authentically, so that when you return to "the real world," you can move forward with purpose and clarity.
I've written about the many benefits of journaling in the past, but even those who incorporate journaling as a daily practice can sometimes get stuck when it comes to what to write about. To help jumpstart your brain as you put pen to paper, I've created a list of journaling subjects that can help you when your thoughts become blocked.
Journal Writing Prompts
- Write an essay comparing who you thought you would be at this time in your life in relation to who you are.
- Compare your vacation setting to your regular daily life setting. What do you enjoy about each? What is it about your vacation setting that you would like to bring back (whether a physical item, decoration or general sense of atmosphere) to your daily life?
- Write about your relationship with your partner, unfiltered.
- Write a letter to your soul focusing on what is meaningful in your life and what you hope to accomplish in the future. Additionally, write a letter to your professional persona from your off-the-clock, vacation self: include praise, but also honest criticism of the professional life you lead. Does this work feed your soul or just your wallet? What can your vacation self suggest to your personal self to incorporate more fulfillment into each day?
- Write about a teacher or mentor you have had in your life, and note what it is about them that is important to your life and what you have in common.
- Write about your parents, and how they handled challenges in life. See if you can find a connection between the way they handled challenges and the way you do, and how they have influenced you.
- Write about what you see before you, at that very moment you are putting pen to paper. Describe the scene in detail, how it makes you feel, the emotions your setting stirs within you.
Each of these prompts are meant to not only help you get started writing about something, anything; these prompts are meant to also help you reach down deep and journal with reflection and purpose. Ask yourself the hard questions, and challenge yourself to answer with full honesty. It is at this time, when you can fully use your journal as a tool to help you become the best you that you can be.