Tracking Your Wellness: Health Journaling 101
Have you heard of health journaling? If you haven't, it's exactly what it sounds like: keeping a daily record of all of your health details, habits, and patterns. Think of it as a way to keep tabs on your body and stay mindful of your well-being.
Tracking my day-to-day wellness has allowed me to always keep on top of my health and stay connected to my body. I've noticed that these days there is an epidemic of people who are completely disconnected from their bodies, and look to others as an expert on their own selves. But by being proactive about your own wellness, you can start to notice small problems before they become big problems— and you might even be surprised what you learn about yourself.
We are all unique and have different needs and health goals, so the information you should record can vary a bit from person to person, but I recommend starting with the following:
- Daily food intake
- Water and liquid intake
- Sleeping patterns
- Daily exercise
- Illness, allergies, or reactions
- Bowel movements (Poop matters! What it looks like, smells like and how you feel doing tells a story.)
- Mood changes throughout day
- Pain or fatigue
- Hormones (including your monthly cycle, stages of pregnancy, etc.)
- Skin changes
Documenting every move your body makes may seem daunting at first—so here's how I break it down. I've found the easiest way to keep track of everything is to use a daily appointment calendar and work backwards. So choose 4 times throughout your day, and look back at the last 3-4 hours and record what you ate, how many glasses of water you drank, what your activities were, and so on.
You can't change what you can't measure, so in many ways this is the first step to getting out of a rut and impacting your health in a positive way. While journaling you'll begin to notice patterns including what habits are helping you, and which are making you feel not so great. It will also make it easier for you to stay on track, because by logging your actions you're also holding yourself accountable for them.
Journaling is an amazing tool for your health, and I'm so excited for you to try it. Approach it with an open mind and be curious about yourself, and don't be scared to open up an inner dialogue. Explore your mind, body, and behaviors. Let your journal act as both a record, and as a map of your path to well-being.