Benefits of self discovery through journaling
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The Benefits of Self-Discovery During Isolation

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The benefits of self-discovery include a greater sense of self-awareness, acceptance, and confidence, as well as clarity around life goals and how to achieve them. While this COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by surprise, it does give us an excellent opportunity while in self-isolation to review and evaluate our current situation. I know many of us are feeling highly unmotivated while being stuck inside. Still, self-reflection is an excellent project to sit down with, contemplate and find projects to get excited about to help boost productivity.

This blog post is a fun collaboration between myself, Adrianne Elizabeth, and Julia Morrissey content creator for The University of St. Augustine Health Sciences. I will discuss with you some of the emotional and mental health struggles many of us are facing in self-isolation and the importance of being extra mindful of your mental health at this time. Then Julia will discuss the benefits of self-discovery and how to practice it from the comfort of your own home.

Struggling With Mental Health During Isolation

This near-global self-isolation has most of us on edge. Although I want to take a moment to be grateful for the internet because even when we are physically distant from each other, we can still connect to the people we love. Despite this, self-isolation is affecting our mental health in a variety of ways. Some people are thriving in their little bubbles, while others feel like they are going a little bit mad some days. Adjusting to this new way of living for a month or so can be challenging. 

Common Negative Emotions During Self-Isolation

  • Boredom
  • Unproductive
  • Lethargic
  • Depressed
  • Anxious
  • Claustrophobic
  • Stressed 
  • Fearful
  • Panic

It is easy to become stressed and let our minds get away from us with thoughts of the future, financial worry, concern for family, and unease about supplies, etc. However, one of the most unhealthy things you can do for your immune system is to be in a constant state of stress. This is because chronic stress and depression reduce immune system function.

But the good news is there are a lot of free practices you can do from the comfort of your home to help combat stress and any other negative emotions you are currently facing. Useful methods include meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, yoga, gratitude, and self-discovery journaling. These practices help build emotional resilience moving forward so that you can handle any future challenge that is thrown your way!

Photo by Lesly Juarez

The Importance of Taking Care of Your Mental Health

Taking care of your mental health is vital at all stages of your life to build resilience and move past obstacles and challenges that come across your path. It is especially important to be mindful of your mental health during highly stressful life events to ensure you don’t spiral into negative emotions and maintain an overall positive outlook towards life throughout. People who face stressful situations with a mindful and positive approach reduce catastrophic thought patterns, view life events from a broader and empowering viewpoint resulting in overall a less stressful experience. 

Even once this initial self-isolation period passes, many people are going to be in difficult financial situations, dealing with the loss of loved ones, coping with residual anxiety or depression, mending tense relationships, and adapting to changes at work or school. Because of these challenges, we must be especially conscious of our own and others’ mental health at this time to ensure we become stronger in ourselves and our communities. 

With that thought, top of mind, I will now hand this article over to Julia Morrissey to explain more about self-discovery and how you can do self-discovery practices at home during isolation to improve your overall mental health.

Photo by Hannah Grace

Improving Mental Health Through Self-Discovery

There are many ways to work toward improving mental health. Since some of us have found ourselves with more time during this challenging period, is it possible that we can make lemons out of lemonade? Can we use this opportunity to take the extra time we have to self-reflect and even create a new habit of doing so? Practicing self-discovery has many benefits and can be an effective way to build resilience and strengthen your mental health.

What is Self-Discovery?

Self-discovery helps develop self-awareness, which can help you to work towards self-acceptance. Getting a clearer picture of who you are and where you are at can really help you understand where you are going. If you want to change the path you are on, self-discovery can help you visualize and understand how to do so. Just like with meditation, mindfulness, and journal writing, self-discovery can help you find clarity and start creating the life you want. 

Benefits of Self-Discovery 

Self-discovery can help improve mental health as it allows you to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves. This practice can help you feel more confident and reduce or manage stress. This works by helping you to organize your thoughts and contemplate different aspects of your lives. Practicing self-discovery can help you do the following:

  • Formally address your feelings and develop greater emotional intelligence
  • Understand your strengths and boost self-confidence
  • Consider your weaknesses and where you want to improve
  • Access your current situation and understand what is working and what is not
  • Understand how you react to certain situations and people
  • Look at what or who you make time
  • Consider which relationships you need to focus on and why
  • Clarify your goals and whether or not you are effectively working towards them
  • Make decisions and create solutions
  • Develop an action plan

Ultimately, self-discovery and reflection can really help you understand your pitfalls and what actions need to be taken in order to improve yourself or the situation. Engaging in this productive activity will help you clarify your dreams and create a plan to reach your goal. Self-discovery can help you become a stronger, more focused, resilient person.

Photo by Ava Sol

How to Practice Self-Discovery

Set some time aside during the week to practice self-discovery. You can build this practice into your routine or use this technique when you are feeling overwhelmed. 

Depending on the situation you want to address, there are specific questions you can ask yourself. It is important to answer questions honestly and without judging yourself. There is no need to defend yourself or your answers. Remember, you are doing this to reflect and grow. Answer how you really feel, not how you think you should feel.

Self-Discovery Questions

For personal self-discovery, try questions like these:

  1. What is something that brings me joy?
  2. What matters to me most right now?
  3. What inspires me?
  4. Did I make time for myself this week?
  5. What is something I would like to do more of?

If you want to learn more about your relationship with your family, try questions like these: 

  1. Whom do I go to when I need advice?
  2. Am I holding grudges against a family member? If so, why?
  3. Do I listen to my family more than myself?
  4. Which family member do I admire most?
  5. Who am I thankful for in my family?

To start gaining the benefits of self-discovery, you can download these personal, family, school, and career self-discovery questions from The University of St. Augustine Health Sciences. ????

Contributing author Julia Morrissey is a content creator whose passion for creative writing has led her to cover unique topics ranging from business to lifestyle. She calls New York City home and enjoys spending time with her rescue dog, running in Central Park, and finding new vegan dining options around the city.

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