How Keeping a Journal can Improve Your Recovery!
Often, between physical therapy sessions, your regular life obligations remain as busy as ever. But a busy lifestyle can make it troubling to remember if you’re making the same mistakes your therapist warned against or how your healing is progressing, especially when recovery is slow or you have multiple injuries to consider. Motivation can wane when you’re pressured to balance life responsibilities and self-care. That’s why keeping a journal is such a good idea for physical therapy patients.
Writing in a journal gives you a chance to pause and manage your time. The American Psychological Association says keeping a journal can significantly improve the time it takes to fall asleep, leading to more hours of physical rest in your day. Plenty of people experience anxiety before falling asleep as they worry about the next day’s tasks. Yet, in the study, patients who spent five minutes writing tomorrow’s to-do list were able to fall asleep significantly faster than patients who wrote a list of completed tasks. Also, the more specific the tasks are, the more effective the habit is.
That’s right — journaling doesn’t mean you have to write “dear diary” and rehash the tasks you already completed during the day. It can be as simple as a to-do
list or as extensive on details as you want it to be.
To track your healing process, try taking notes on your pain levels and how you’re feeling that day (happy, sad, determined, discouraged, etc.). You can also list any prescribed exercises as part of your to-do list. Of course, if you want to include meaningful details about your day, what you ate, or if you finally remembered to complete a task hanging over you, you should do so! In the end, what you’ve written will provide an accurate history for your physical therapist to use in future sessions as well.
Keeping a journal is about keeping track of a journey. Design your journal to be a successful record for you, and you’ll always have tangible evidence that your hard work is paying off.