It’s a new year of parallel parenting for you and me.
A new year brings reflection, new opportunities, and a clean slate. If you’ve been parallel parenting for any amount of time, you know how stressful it can be. I mean, c’mon, you’re dealing with an uncooperative ex!
Regardless of the conflict between the two of you, it’s in your best interest to channel your emotions in a different direction other than at your ex.
Yes, I know that it would feel amazingly good to take every angry emotion and toss it your ex’s way. But take a second to think about the consequences of your actions.
Ok, time’s up!
During my journey, I have used several tools to help me along the way with channeling my emotions.
Here’s one that I adapted a few months ago and is a great way to kick off your new year of parallel parenting.
A few months ago, I was feeling quite stressed and felt an urge to write out my feelings. At the beginning, I didn’t understand how this would help me.
I am a lover of cute journals and notebooks so I always have at least one on hand.
Journaling has been therapeutic for me. It has substantial effects on your mental and physical health, according to Psychology Today.
Journaling can help you:
- Heal – We all know that emotional pain and negative thoughts impact our health. Journaling helps to unblock any hinderances to our emotional well-being.
- Relieve stress – Journaling is similar to having a conversation with a trusted friend. Writing your feelings on paper frees you from bottling up the stresses of life.
- Live in the now – Thinking about he/she said about you yesterday to the kids is plenty stressful. When you journal those thoughts, you are letting go of the past and helps you to look at how you feel at that moment.
- Feel empowered – We get it, life is a roller coaster. Each day brings new and old twists and turns. Your journal can help you find solutions to your problems. It provides a fertile ground for growth and changing your mindset.
How to get started:
- Get a journal or notebook. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive. College ruled or unlined paper? I prefer unlined because I like the freedom of writing outside of the lines. You may enjoy a digital journal. Will you carry your journal with you or leave at home? I have several journals, one I also use as a planner which goes everywhere with me. My prayer journal stays at home on my nightstand. Decide what works best for you.
- Crack it open and start writing! It may seem difficult at first and that’s fine. Date your entries so that you can reflect on your growth as time progresses.
- Be realistic about the amount of time you have to dedicate to journaling. If you have 5 minutes, then write for 5 minutes. This may seem like a short amount of time but it’s a start if you are short on time. For some of you, this may seem like a lifetime! Set a timer and write.
- Keep your journal private. No one else, including your ex, should have access or even know that your journaling your thoughts. This is an outlet for you to empty yourself of any bitterness, anger, disappointment, resentment and whatever other negative emotions you’ve stored up about your ex.
- Reach for your journal before and after heated discussions with your ex. Your journal can a place where you release anxiety over any upcoming conversations or interactions you may have with your ex. This works even if you vent to family or close friends. Your journal can’t talk so you don’t have to worry about judgment.