Using Shelter In Place for Self-Discovery Through Journaling


When I look back over the most difficult times in my life, I see how writing down my thoughts and feelings in a journal has been a catalyst for turning things around. I could even say that there were times when writing – both poetry and journal writing – saved my life in that it gave me permission to acknowledge my deepest feelings no matter how raw and caustic they felt.

Your journal is like your best friend. You don’t have to pretend with it, you can be honest and write exactly how you feel.” ~ Bukola Ogunwale


Writing makes it okay to feel my emotions without self-condemnation, even if my feelings are negative, which makes me feel like what I’m feeling matters.

Writing makes me feel like I matter. Journaling makes writing feel less intimidating, which means there’s a better chance that I’ll do it.

What we are feeling right now during this pandemic matters.

If we can give our feelings a chance to be fully expressed, we can use them as a tool for self-discovery. We can use them to make meaning out of all this uncertainty. To make meaning for ourselves.

I hope that we all come out of this critical time with a sense of purpose. Use it as inspiration to create a life we crave. A life that makes our heart sing. Because living an unfulfilled life is not living at all.

Using this time of uncertainty as a time for self-discovery can empower us to emerge with a new sense of determination to live a life that really matters.

[shareable]Using this time of uncertainty as a time for self-discovery can empower us to emerge with a new sense of determination to live a life that really matters.[/shareable]

To that end, here’s an exercise that was created by Merle R. Saferstein, International Association for Journal Writing Council Member.

Sheltering In Place Journaling Exercise

Part 1: List ten things that brought you joy prior to sheltering in place.

Part 2: List ten things that currently bring you joy while sheltering in place.

Part 3: Reflective Journaling Prompts

  • Now that you are sheltering in place, do you see anything different about how you are bringing joy into your life?
  • What do you miss the most from before?
  • Do you think you might add something new to your life after, and if yes, what would that be?
  • Prior to sheltering in place, how did you reach out to others? Currently, how are you reaching out now? What does that look like for you?
  • Is there any way that you feel a shift in your core values since sheltering in place, and if yes, how does that look to you?
  • What did you learn from doing this exercise?
  • When I reflect on this, I notice….
  • When I reflect on this, I feel…
  • What makes me happiest these days is…

Did this self-discovery journaling exercise help you see sheltering in place from a fresh perspective? I’d love to know.

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