151 Calming Self-Care Journaling Prompts for the Tough Days

woman answering self-care journaling prompts while having cup of coffee

As a busy mom, it often feels like it’s impossible to prioritize our own needs.

Between juggling the demands of family, work, and household responsibilities, self-care can easily fall to the bottom of the priority list. However, taking care of ourselves is essential for our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. One powerful tool that we can incorporate into our daily routine is self-care journaling prompts.

Journaling provides a safe space for some reflection and self-expression, allowing us to reconnect with ourselves amidst the chaos of our daily lives. By setting aside even just a few minutes each day to journal, we can become more self-aware, resilient, and feel more peaceful.

In this blog post, I’ll explore a collection of self-care journaling prompts specifically tailored for busy moms. Whether you’re seeking moments of calmness amidst the whirlwind of motherhood or looking to deepen your self-care practice, these prompts are designed to help you nurture your well-being and prioritize yourself.

What is self-care?

Self-care is taking time for yourself to do something that makes you happy or calms you. You don’t need a lot of time. It’s taking a break from the daily chaos to unwind and recharge. Some of my favorite self-care activities are reading, exercising, and journaling.

How do self-care journaling prompts help?

Journaling for self-care has so many helpful benefits that improve physical, emotional, and mental health.

Stress reduction

Self-care journaling prompts help reduce stress by allowing you to express your thoughts and feelings in a safe space. When I get stressed my thoughts tend to spiral, so journaling helps stop that spiraling and purge the stressful thoughts from my mind.

Emotional release

Journaling for self-care can help release pent-up emotions. I know when I find a prompt that holds special meaning to me and write about it, I feel like a weight is lifted off my shoulders and I can breathe deeper. Journaling is a healthy emotional release.

Mindfulness practice

Self-care journaling prompts can help you become more mindful by paying more attention to your thoughts and feelings. Journaling can also help you focus more on the present moment instead of worrying about the past or future.


You can discover more about your values, beliefs, desires and goals through self-care journaling prompts, leading you to get a greater overall understanding of yourself.


Journaling helps you express yourself in a safe space. You can write about whatever is on your mind without having to worry about being judged or feeling embarrassed about your thoughts and feelings.

Problem solving

Journaling can help you brainstorm potential solutions to problems that you may be facing. It can be helpful to get your thoughts down on paper and come up with different courses of action.

Gratitude practice

Self-care journaling prompts tend to focus on gratitude, helping you create a more positive mindset by acknowledging what you are thankful for. It’s very easy to focus on the negatives when we’re feeling down or overwhelmed, but gratitude helps us see the positives.

Goal setting

Journaling can help us set goals for self-care and is a tangible way to track progress over time. When I see myself meeting goals I feel such a sense of accomplishment and am motivated to continue to do more for myself.

Self-compassion practice

Journaling can help you be more self-compassionate, especially during difficult times. As you get more comfortable with journaling you will learn to be kinder to yourself.

Self-care routine

Answering self-care journaling prompts is a great habit to include in your self-care routine. It doesn’t take long to answer a prompt or two and once you have some consistency you will really start to experience the benefits of journaling.

woman answering self-care journaling prompts

How can you make self-care journaling prompts part of your routine?

Here are 9 tips for making self-care journaling prompts part of your daily or weekly routine.

1. Schedule the time.

Set aside a dedicated time to journal every day or week. If you need help holding yourself accountable then schedule the time in your calendar. That always helps me get started with a new habit.

2. Create a relaxing environment.

Set up a soothing atmosphere where you can journal without distractions. Get away from your kids, light a scented candle, put on some calming music, whatever helps you relax!

3. Use prompts.

It can feel intimidating to start with a blank page so I always like to use journaling prompts. Find prompts that you can relate to.

4. Start small.

Start small, with just a few minutes each day. As you get used to journaling you can start to increase the time you spend on it.

5. Try different formats.

Try different journaling formats. I think prompts are great in the beginning but you can also try bullet journaling or free writing. Use whichever format you like best and that helps you stick with journaling.

6. Be honest.

Journaling is between you and your piece of paper so be honest and authentic with yourself. Don’t sugarcoat your feelings or worry about criticism and judgment. Your journal is a safe space for you to express yourself.

7. Celebrate your progress.

Celebrate your milestones along the way. Maybe it’s a week of daily journaling. Perhaps journaling helped you get through a problem you were facing. Be proud of your achievements whether they are big or small!

8. Be flexible.

Do your best to stick to your routine but don’t be hard on yourself if life gets in the way and you have to skip a day. Just try to get back to it as soon as you can so you don’t lose your motivation.

9. Reflect and adjust.

Regularly reflect on your journaling practice and adjust as necessary. Stick with the prompts and formats that work well for you. Your journaling will likely evolve over time.

woman writing in notebook journal

Self-Care Journaling Prompts

Now it’s time to get started! Here are over 150 self-care journaling prompts covering categories such as emotional, physical, mental, social, spiritual, creative, financial, career, environmental, and time management self-care. Start with a category that you’d like to focus on and improve about yourself.

Emotional Self-Care Journaling Prompts

  1. What am I grateful for today?
  2. How am I feeling right now, and why?
  3. What are 3 things that brought me joy today?
  4. What emotions have I been avoiding lately, and why?
  5. Describe a recent challenge I faced and how I overcame it.
  6. What self-limiting beliefs am I holding onto? How can I challenge them?
  7. Reflect on a time where I felt truly loved and supported.
  8. What are my top 3 priorities for self-care right now?
  9. Write a letter of encouragement to my future self.
  10. What activities help me unwind and relax after a stressful day?
  11. How can I show myself more compassion and understanding?
  12. Reflect on a mistake I made recently. What can I learn from it?
  13. Write down 3 affirmations to boost my self-esteem.
  14. Describe a time when I felt proud of myself.
  15. What boundaries do I need to set in my personal relationships?
  16. How can I practice forgiveness towards myself and others?

Physical Self-Care Journaling Prompts

  1. Describe how my body feels right now.
  2. What healthy habits have I incorporated into my daily routine?
  3. How can I improve my sleep quality?
  4. List 5 ways I can nourish my body today.
  5. Reflect on a form of exercise I enjoy and why it makes me feel good.
  6. What foods make me feel energized?
  7. Describe a self-care ritual I can do daily to pamper myself.
  8. How can I practice mindful eating?
  9. List 3 ways I can reduce stress in my body.
  10. Write about a time when I listened to my body’s needs and honored them.
  11. What physical activities do I enjoy that don’t feel like exercise?
  12. How can I incorporate more movement into my day?
  13. Describe a time when I felt completely relaxed and at ease in my body.
  14. Write about a time when I felt strong and capable physically.
  15. Describe a place where I felt most connected to my body.

Mental Self-Care Journaling Prompts

  1. What thoughts have been occupying my mind lately?
  2. How can I practice mindfulness about the day?
  3. List 3 things I can do to stimulate my mind.
  4. Reflect on a book or article that inspired me recently.
  5. Describe a mental challenge I overcame and how I did it.
  6. What negative thought patterns do I need to let go of?
  7. Write about a time when I felt mentally rejuvenated.
  8. How can I create a more organized and clutter-free environment?
  9. What strategies can I use to manage stress and anxiety?
  10. Describe a time when I felt mentally exhausted. How did I cope?
  11. What activities help me feel focused and present?
  12. How can I cultivate a more positive mindset?
  13. Write about a time when I learned something new and exciting.
  14. How can I improve my concentration and attention span?
  15. List 3 things that always make me laugh or smile.

Social Self-Care Journaling Prompts

  1. Who are the people that lift me up and make me feel good about myself?
  2. How can I nurture my relationships with friends and family?
  3. List 3 ways that I can show appreciation for my loved ones.
  4. Reflect on a meaningful conversation that I had recently.
  5. Describe a time when I felt supported by my social circle.
  6. What boundaries do I need to set in my social interactions?
  7. Write about a time when I felt connected to a community or group.
  8. How can I make new friends or expand my social network?
  9. List 3 ways I can practice active listening in my relationships.
  10. What social activities bring me the most joy and fulfillment?
  11. Describe a time when I felt truly understood my someone.
  12. How can I be more present and engaged in my interactions with others?
  13. What qualities do I value most in my relationships?
  14. Reflect on a time when I showed kindness or compassion to someone.
  15. What social activities drain my energy, and how can I set boundaries around them?

Spiritual Self-Care Journaling Prompts

  1. What beliefs or values are important to me?
  2. How can I incorporate spirituality into my daily life?
  3. List 3 practices that help me feel connected to something greater than myself.
  4. Reflect on a moment when I felt a sense of awe or wonder.
  5. Describe a time when I felt spiritually fulfilled.
  6. What rituals or traditions bring me comfort and solace?
  7. Write about a time when I felt guided by intuition.
  8. How can I cultivate a deeper sense of purpose and meaning in my life?
  9. List 3 ways I can practice forgiveness and let go of resentment.
  10. What activities help me feel grounded and centered?
  11. Describe a spiritual practice that resonates with me and why.
  12. How can I create a sacred space for reflection and meditation?
  13. Reflect on a time when I felt connected to nature or the universe.
  14. What role does gratitude play in my spiritual journey?
  15. Write about a spiritual experience that transformed me in some way.
pin for 151 necessary self-care journaling prompts for the absolute worst days

Creative Self-Care Journaling Prompts

  1. What creative outlets bring me joy and fulfillment?
  2. How can I make time for creativity in my daily life?
  3. List 3 ways I can express myself artistically.
  4. Reflect on a project or activity that allowed me to unleash my activity.
  5. Describe a time when I felt in a state of flow while creating something.
  6. What creative goals do I want to pursue in the near future?
  7. Write about a piece of art, music, or literature that inspires me.
  8. How can I overcome creative blocks and tap into my imagination?
  9. List 3 ways that I can infuse creativity into mundane tasks.
  10. What role does creativity play into my overall well-being?
  11. Reflect on a time when I felt proud of a creative accomplishment.
  12. What fears or insecurities hold me back from expressing myself creatively?
  13. How can I surround myself with inspiration and beauty?
  14. What creative projects do I want to prioritize in the coming weeks?
  15. How can I share my creative gifts with others?

Financial Self-Care Journaling Prompts

  1. What are my financial goals for the future?
  2. How can I create a budget that aligns with my values and priorities?
  3. List 3 ways that I can practice mindful spending.
  4. Reflect on a time where I felt financially secure.
  5. Describe a purchase that brought me genuine satisfaction and joy.
  6. What steps can I take to reduce financial stress and anxiety?
  7. Write about a financial challenge I overcame and what I learned from it.
  8. How can I cultivate a healthy relationship with money?
  9. What are my long-term financial aspirations?
  10. Describe a time when I practiced gratitude for the resources that I have.
  11. How can I differentiate between needs and wants in my spending habits?
  12. Reflect on a time when I gave back or contributed to a cause I care about.
  13. What strategies can I use to save more money and build wealth?
  14. Write about a financial goal I achieved and how it impacted my life.
  15. List 3 ways I can prepare for unexpected expenses or emergencies.

Career Self-Care Journaling Prompts

  1. What aspects of my job bring me the most satisfaction and fulfillment?
  2. How can I create a work-life balance that prioritizes my well-being?
  3. List 3 ways I can advocate for myself in the workplace.
  4. Reflect on a professional accomplishment I’m proud of.
  5. Describe a time when I successfully navigated a work-related challenge.
  6. What skills or talents do I want to develop further in my career?
  7. Write about a mentor who has inspired me in my career.
  8. How can I set boundaries to prevent burnout at work?
  9. List 3 ways I can pursue professional growth and development.
  10. What aspects of my current job do I find draining and unfulfilling?
  11. Describe a time when I took a risk or stepped out of my comfort zone at work.
  12. How can I cultivate a positive and supportive work environment?
  13. Reflect on a time when I received recognition or praise for my work.
  14. What professional goals do I want to achieve in the next year?
  15. Write about a skill or talent that sets me apart in my field.

Environmental Self-Care Journaling Prompts

  1. What environment helps me feel calm, focused, and productive?
  2. How can I create a space at home that promotes relaxation and well-being?
  3. List 3 ways I can reduce clutter and create a more organized environment.
  4. Reflect on a time when I felt deeply connected to nature.
  5. What small changes can I make to reduce my environmental footprint?
  6. Write about a time when I felt inspired by the beauty of my surroundings.
  7. List 3 ways I can practice eco-friendly habits at home and at work.
  8. What role does my physical environment play in my overall mood and well-being?
  9. Describe a time when I felt overwhelmed by my surroundings. What did I do to cope?
  10. How can I create a calming bedtime routine to improve my sleep quality?
  11. Reflect on a time when I decluttered and organized a space in my home.
  12. What indoor plants or natural elements can I incorporate in my living space?
  13. How can I use aromatherapy or scents to enhance my environment?
  14. List 3 ways I can create a more sustainable lifestyle.
  15. What adjustments can I make at home to support my physical and emotional well-being?

Time Management Self-Care Journaling Prompts

  1. How can I prioritize my tasks and responsibilities more effectively?
  2. List 3 time-wasting habits I want to eliminate from my routine.
  3. Reflect on a time when I felt overwhelmed with my schedule. What did I learn?
  4. What strategies can I use to overcome procrastination and boost productivity?
  5. Describe a time when I successfully managed my time and achieved my goals.
  6. How can I create a daily schedule that allows for both work and self-care?
  7. List 3 ways I can streamline my routines to save time and energy.
  8. What distractions prevent me from staying focused, and how can I minimize them?
  9. How can I set realistic deadlines and expectations for myself?
  10. Describe a time when I said “no” to a commitment in order to prioritize my well-being?
  11. What time-management tools or techniques work best for me?
  12. Reflect on a time when I achieved a balance between productivity and relaxation.
  13. How can I delegate tasks or ask for help when needed?
  14. What adjustments can I make to my morning or evening routine to start and end my day on a positive note?
  15. What habits can I cultivate to make the most of my time and live with intention?

Self-care journaling prompts can be a game-changer!

While the demands of motherhood can often leave us feeling overwhelmed, taking even just a few moments each day to reflect and journal can make a big difference. These mental health journaling prompts provide an opportunity to pause, tune into your emotions, and prioritize your own needs. Whether you’re seeking emotional release, mental clarity, or just a moment of quiet reflection, there’s a prompt to support you.

Remember, self-care isn’t selfish—it’s essential. By committing to this practice, you’re not only nurturing yourself but also setting an example of self-love and prioritization for your children. I encourage you to a take a moment for yourself each day. Grab your journal, choose a prompt, and let your thoughts flow!

You’re taking a vital step towards nurturing your mind, body, and soul amidst the beautiful chaos of motherhood.

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