Does anyone use private journaling or storywriting to reduce their stress?

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Does anyone use private journaling or storywriting to reduce their stress? I've just read an amazing story written by a woman about the subject on another website. Maybe it would help to write about hopes and dreams.

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Well instead of a journal or storytelling, I decided to start a blog - NanaPennypockets.com - where I write about the challenges facing families with an aging parent. I'm focusing mostly on the challenges of aging for seniors as there is very little written about it from a senior's point of view. I'm a retired RN who had a Home Health Agency so know caregiving and eldercare well. But now as a senior myself there's another whole side to the story from my viewpoint that I feel needs to get told for others to learn about.
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Story writing can be immensely helpful. I not only provide care for my mother who has end stage Alzheimer's but I also lead other recreation therapists like myself in using expressive arts for the therapeutic benefits. Creative non-fiction is one form of writing that helps - sort of pretending that you are writing your story for a movie, using expressive, descriptive words and phrases. But the technique I love most is re-framing. Seeing the situation in a different light or making meaning (sense) of what is happening. And even better is the creative re-writing or dreams and wishes technique. I've used it myself and it certainly helps, especially when I leave Mom's nursing home crying.
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I agree with Jsomebody about how my journals could not be shared or published until either I died or a couple of other people did. Like most of us, I have dealt with some bizarre stuff; mine started when I turned 9 years old. Reading, keeping journals, writing stories ( sometimes just in my head) have kept me somewhat sane. I think caregivers have very few outlets and writing is one of them.
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I've been journaling since I was 14, I got through one a month. I don't drink, smoke, take drugs, fool around or binge, I write...and if anyone here read them they'd be really really surprised and I do not care. Ya do what you have to in these types of situations there worse things than going through ink and paper... If I tried to publish this stuff I'd have to wait till most everyone was dead first...
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golfbhard, I only started my blog because I was afraid that I'd forget how this time in my life felt on the daily basis. I don't get to write everyday; sometimes life gets in my way! The blog has been helpful for me as I have a lot of folks asking 'how's mom?'. I can write things that I sometimes find difficult to say over and over.

xmart, I love these poems! what a wonderful idea! :)
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I read poems to my mom. The poems are by a newspaper poet from the 30's named Edgar Guest. The poems are "everyday" messages of living life with a positive attitude. We both really enjoy this reading time together.
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I started to, but keep forgetting. My mom has so many interesting facts about the "old days" and keeping a journal to vent is probably helpful.
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Perfect! Thank you so much! I'll follow yours too!
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seastar - I will follow your blog. I have one active now, and one I am activating tomorrow.I post stories as well as care and nutrition tips.
I look forward to connecting on Blogspot

Ruth
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I keep two types of journals. I kept a calendar about events that happened and special moments that occurred while my father was ill. It was useful when answering questions for doctors and other individuals like family members. I have started one with my mother. I keep another journal for myself and have given it the title "Random Thoughts " so that it can hold stories, thoughts, quotations, and other items that give me support. One thing I have decided about keeping journals is that there is not one way to do so, and it should be a joy and not a task that must be done at certain times. Good luck with journal writing and thank you for bringing up this topic.
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