Why I Think Journaling At Night Is The Best

I am not new to the journaling world. It’s something I’ve been doing on and off for years! I used to call it my diary but as I’ve gotten older it’s evolved into a journal. I mentioned it’s been something I’ve practiced on and off because I go through phases where I always want to write and other phases where I have no interest. 

Journaling (when I have done it) has always brought me some peace of mind. Whether it’s multiple pages outlining all my worries and dreams or just a point-form list of what I’m grateful for, journaling allows me to empty my head. 

Over the years I’ve tried different types of journaling, different types of journals, and different topics to focus on. Something that has always remained consistent is the time of day I like to do it: nighttime

I believe that journaling at night is the best time to do it! Let me tell you why…

What is journaling?

In case you’ve been living under a rock, let’s first discuss what journaling is. 

Journaling is simply just writing. It’s grabbing a notebook, journal, pad of paper, or whatever else you’d like to use and writing down your thoughts, goals, days… literally anything!

People use journaling for many different purposes. 

Some use it as a form of self-care or dealing with mental health. Others use it to document their lives. And some others use it to just clear their minds and jot down meaningless ramblings or tasks they need to do. 

There is really no rule to journaling– just write.

Why it’s better to journal at night (in my opinion)

I’ll set the scene for you: 

You have had the longest day ever. Nothing went right. You have felt defeated and upset for most of the day. You get home and you can’t turn your brain off. There is just too much to think about… is Susan mad at you for messing up the meeting? Did you look at the bus driver in a weird way? What did that guy mean by “you look nice TODAY”? You decide to crawl into bed in your coziest pj’s with a warm cup of tea and dim the lights. You grab your journal and start writing about your day, what worries you, what embarrassed you, what actually went okay, the nice things people said to you, the good feelings of being in bed, and your hopes for tomorrow. 

Seems pretty good right?

The act of writing in your journal at the END of the day is cathartic.

You can focus on your day and what happened. Sometimes in the moment, you are too busy to actually process what happened. Maybe you were overreacting or maybe you missed something in the hustle and bustle. Journaling allows you to revisit the days stress (and success) to process your emotions

It’s also helpful for sleep! 

It’s so hard to sleep when your brain is running a mile a minute. You are playing out the worst-case scenarios or what you should have said to Paula. There’s no good reason to hold onto those thoughts and feelings. Releasing them onto the page before bed helps you let go. 

Finally, it’s a way to plan for tomorrow. 

Life is busy and there isn’t always enough time to think about 30 minutes from now, let alone your hopes and intentions for tomorrow! 

Journaling at night lets you set intentions for tomorrow. You can then take those hopes, dreams, and plans into your restful sleep and wake up with all those great ideas.

Tips for starting journaling 

Journaling doesn’t need to be complicated. Don’t let the influencers tell you that you need tp journal every morning for 15 minutes outside in the sunshine and then again for 30 minutes at the end of the night in a fancy guided journal. 

It can be SO simple! Here are my tips:

1 – write what your heart wants 

When you are starting out, it’s important to keep it interesting and something you WANT to do. 

If you want to document your days like a diary then do that. If you want to list in point form 10 things that made you smile, do that. 

2 – make it easily accessible 

Whether you want to do a physical journal or something digital, just make sure you can easily access it. 

I keep my journal on my night table with a pen so I can just lean over and grab it.

3 – use prompts if you aren’t sure 

There are so many awesome journal prompts floating around on the internet (there are some good ones on this website even 😉). 

When you don’t know what to write or you want to change things up, grab a prompt. Just start with one and try to write as much as you can. 

I like using prompts for more difficult topics like self-esteem, money, fears, and so on. It forces me to answer something I otherwise might avoid which just helps you grow in the long run.

Related reads:

So, get journaling (at night)

Have I convinced you that nighttime journaling is the best kind of journaling?

I think it’s so beneficial to clear your mind before bed. It helps you in SO many ways and honestly, a lot happens in the day. I think it’s a great way to process emotions and focus on the good. 

An extra piece of advice– a lot of the time journaling can get negative. Maybe you’re venting about the day or working through something hard. The positives get lost. 

There are always positives. So when you are journaling try to end it on a good note. It could be a simple, “My morning coffee was good.” Or, “I got outside today and saw the birds.” Just something to prove that no matter what, there is always something good, even if it’s tiny. 

Gratitude is a powerful thing and I promise when you start looking for the positives in life you’ll notice a lot more. 

When do you like to journal? Morning or night? 

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