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What good is journaling?

Is there a value or benefit to journaling?
I believe there is a great benefit in jotting down the days activities, especially for those with life changing (long term) events like Parkinson’s.

I write songs, I play guitar, photography is my main hobby, there’s reading and long walks and my exercise routines. Parkinson’s affects all of these things and more and yet, I don’t journal.
I should. Mainly because there is a progressive breakdown of body functions and capabilities that should be tracked, however slight.
We tend to forget over time the details that we, with Parkinson’s, want to remember. So we can look back to say, “this is when I first noticed this or that. “Or, I started there and now in 1,5,10, years, this has happened.
Who journals, how has it helped or not?
I think i talked myself into starting.

  1. Hi @Jeff t, I appreciate your posts because they are so thought-provoking. You definitely have awesome ideas! Thank you for sharing them with the community. There is a lot of merit to making a record of your Parkinson's journey. Writing in a journal or diary is a great means to record your observations, thoughts, or random musings. I suppose it depends on the type of record you want to keep. Some people keep a record of observations while others make a daily record of the things for which they are grateful. Some write down their worries, anxieties, or fears as a way to release them and let them go. Personally, I find it too difficult to maintain a daily record. I don't worry about keeping a daily journal, instead, I find it helpful to record my thoughts sporadically as they occur. I have my smartphone or a small recorder that I can speak into since my handwriting is atrocious and I type too slowly to keep up with my thoughts. I sit down about once a week to go over my recordings and refine some and delete others. Journaling in any form that suits you is a very good thing. Whether a person wants to maintain a record of their health, progress made towards a specific goal, devotions, or prayers, it all has value. My recommendation is to take small steps at first. Setting achievable tasks is essential when setting a journaling goal so you don't get frustrated. I tend to talk and type too much so I hope I have done so this time. Please keep sharing your ideas because they are amazing. Warm regards, Rob Hunt, Community Advocate, ParkinsonsDisease.Net

    1. Jeff, I have journaled almost daily since the age of 12 when I was diagnosed with my first autoimmune disorder. It is interesting to look back at who I was then and has actually been helpful for my med team even today.I agree with Robert that tailoring your journaling style to what suits you best and encourages you to stick with it will be most successful. I have recently begun bullet journaling which is the least time consuming and seems to be the most efficient for my med team to read. I tend to be unnecessarily wordy and this method helps me stick to the facts. I don’t keep notes daily, but find it helpful if some new symptom or medication question arises. I color code as well. A leftover from teaching kindergarten!
      I wish you success in this new endeavor and hope you will continue to share your insights.
      Thea DeStephano Community Team Member Parkinson’s Disease..Net

      1. Hi Jeff T and all, I really love this conversation as I'm a word person and as you stated Jeff, journaling has multiple benefits related to have a chronic disease. Putting a feeling, thoughts or a label on your symptoms can help you relate this to your medical professionals. Journaling can also help you "get rid" of the negative thoughts stuck in your head. I love your ideas Robert that you can record your entries and go back and delete what you do not find relevant etc. Or if you take your idea Thea of bullet journaling this can make keeping a journal easier to do. Personally, I have journaled over the years, but rather sporadically. More when I feel like it. In terms of being a daughter of a PWP, I keep a notebook with entries on my father's various medical visits, trying new medications and reminders of upcoming to do list. This helps me keep track for my purposes as a care partner.
        Best regards, Suzanne Troy, Fellow Community Team Member,

        1. Thank you all for your most valued feedback. I hope others that read this and other forums and stories get some benefit and motivation to be a part of these worthwhile conversations. I actually jot down comments in my journal from these conversations which have a direct affect on me causing me to think and reflect.
          Thanks again to all. Have a great week.

          1. You are welcome Jeff!
            Happy journaling and we appreciate your participation in our PD community. It takes a village to support each other and your care partners alike.
            Have a great weekend. Suzanne

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