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journal writing

The benefits of bedtime journal writing

Many of our posts here at The Warm Milk Journal are prompts or ideas for our journal writing near bedtime. Why is writing at bedtime so therapeutic?

I think for many of us, the act of writing can be both uplifting and relaxing. I like to focus on things that I am thankful for, what went right on that particular day, what I am looking forward to for the next day,etc. Some folks believe that writing any concerns down before bed will” put the worries to bed” and free your mind when it is lights out time. I think writing our worries away works well but perhaps just not right before bedtime. This is a personal preference.

I love lists, affirmations, declarations, poetry, and even a little creative writing from time to time. Sometimes I will have a spiritually uplifting book on my night stand to read and use my journal to take a few notes while I am reading.

However you want to use your journal at bedtime, I am quite certain that you will benefit from this evening ritual. Get a beautiful notebook. Keep your night stand uncluttered and have your beautiful journal just waiting there invitingly on your night stand.

Happy writing and good night.



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These Things Warm Me… tonight’s journal writing exercise

photo credit: Dreamstime

photo credit: Dreamstime

Whether you are on the path of this current winter storm or not, I invite all of us journal writers out there to send prayers and warming thoughts to those in need of warming. In our journals tonight on this January evening, I invite you to write down things that “warm you”. That is it.

I will begin a bit and then it will be your turn, okay?

These things warm me

1. Hot bath with nice bath oils or bubble bath

2. My cat curled up on my lap.

3. My favorite blanket that I have had since college.

4. My husband next to me while we are watching a movie.

5. Hot soup (which I am making tonight).

6. Socks!

7. Soft sweaters

8. Hot coffee or tea

9. A real hug

10. Glorious sunshine

Your turn, friends. Good night.


warm bath

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What puts a smile on your face? A fun list for your journal writing

Always remember to be happy because you never know who’s falling in love with your smile. ~ Author Unknown


Sometimes we have a stressful day. Whenever I need an immediate mood list, I go write to my journal. Tonight, for anybody who had some challenges today, I offer this simple exercise:

List things that make you smile. That’s it. I guarantee you will be smiling soon. When we smile, we cue our brains to be more happy too.

Ready to give it a try?

Here we go…

Things that make me smile:


1. My cat!

2. The smell of coffee brewing.

3. An old Seinfeld episode.

4. When I hear from an old friend on Facebook.

5. Cute babies and toddlers

6. A beautiful sunny morning

7. When my husband is sweet and “schmoopy” with me (that is something that John and I came up with : affectionate and lovey dovey)

Wedding John Debbie 348

Your turn! (I’m already smiling ear to ear).

In Peace,


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Writing our worries away.


If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep. ~ Dale Carnegie

Worrying and sleep are not good companions. Writing away our worries long before bedtime is an excellent practice.

Here is my suggestion: sometime during your day (so long as it is not too close to bedtime), write away your worries.

What do I mean by this? If there is something you are worrying about, by all means write it down in your journal or a piece of paper.

Write about the worry, and the outcome that could happen if the absolute worst would happen (as in your worry actually came true which happens maybe only .01% of the time). Once you have imagined the worst, you can only come up from there.

Another good strategy is to write down your worry and then list practical things you can do to solve this concern. Once you have a plan and know you can take constructive steps to deal with it, you can let it go. Let your writing stay in your journal or rip out the pages and throw them away or burn them. There is an old expression about “pocketing your worries” which means putting them to paper and then putting them in your pocket. They are being dealt with and your mind can be put at ease.

Our goal is for the worries not to consume your mind when you are in bed in the dark and wanting to sleep.

Make a plan. When will be your “worry time” as in when will you write and pocket your worries away?

This works. Begin today. Let us know how you do.

Love and peace to you,


2012-01-04 02.41.52

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What are you looking forward to? a bedtime journal writing entry

girl with writing-book and pen on a sky background

I think it is important what we are thinking about right before we go to sleep. Why not write about and think about some things that we are excited about? Things that we are looking forward to (for the next day, in the near future, or just in general).

Tonight, I offer you a simple journal writing exercise to do – preferably at bedtime.

List at least ten things you are looking forward to. That may sound like a lot but I will bet you will think of many as you get started with this.

Are you ready?

Here we go (as I often do I will start with my entry and then you go for it)…

What am I looking forward to?


1. Learning about email marketing

2. Visiting Hawaii, my childhood home

3. My Bikram yoga practice

4. The Vietnamese Pho soup that I am going to have for dinner tonight

5. Getting a book that I am working on published…

6. Meeting people in the business world who share similar goals as me

7. Learning more about wine and touring vineyards in California and in Europe

8. Seeing my colleagues tomorrow

9. Improving my finances (a goal for 2015)

10. Going to see Harry Connick Jr. who is coming to Jacksonville in February!

This is very fun. If done at bedtime, you will drift off to sleep feeling happy and with the good energy of sweet anticipation.

Good night!


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Life is too short for… a fun journal writing exercise


I thought we would have a little fun this evening. At the start of our journal entry we are going to write “Life is too short for…” and simply write and see what comes out. There is something about doing this exercise (quickly, without reservation or judgement) that brings into our consciousness what is important to us. I just love it! I even quite a while ago started a Pinterest Board with this idea.

One of the fun things is your list may be different depending on the time of day, day of the week, or whatever may be currently going on… however, I reckon there are a few things that are so important to you that will always make this list whenever you choose to do this exercise.

Are you ready to have some fun?

As I sometimes do, I will get started with my own entry (it is the teacher in me that comes out) and then you get started with yours. Deal?

Okay, here we go….(remember to write the first things that come to mind)

Life is too short for:

1. Staying angry

2. Working at a dead-end job

3. Staying in bad relationships

4. Bad coffee

5. Bad beer

6. cheap mattresses

7. hanging out with sketchy people

8. watching bad TV shows

9. Caring about the “bad news” in mainstream media

10. not eating chocolate once in a while…

Your turn. Have fun (this is a really good one)!

In Peace,


girl with writing-book and pen on a sky background

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Two reasons to write and three journal prompts for this Wednesday evening


Why write?

How about: writing gets out nervous energy, creative energy, inspired energy, and spiritual energy.

Why write?

Writing puts us in touch with what is inside of us and connects us to something more real than our artificial man-made gadgets can give us.

Now that we have a few reasons to write, what shall we write about?

Let’s see…

How about:

1. List everything that you feel proud of

2. Write down something you find yourself pondering about – what do you wonder about? (perhaps it is something that Google can not even help you with).

3. What do you love?

That’s it. Happy writing friends!

In Peace,



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What makes us laugh? Tonight’s journal writing exercise

Laughter is an instant vacation. ~ Milton Berle


Tonight, I simply ask you what makes you laugh. Laughter is good for us! When we laugh, our bodies and spirits let go of the day’s concerns and we are in the moment ( much like children are).

I will start…

What makes me laugh…

1. When I know I have done something stupid

2. Old shows from my childhood such as I Love Lucy and I Dream of Jeannie

3. My cats and their antics

4. The behavior of my teenager (when I am not angry I can find it most amusing).

5. When same teenager says certain things, it just triggers me into a laughing, crying, hysterical mess…

Okay, Dear friends, your turn… what makes you laugh…?


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A list of things we love: tonight’s journal writing entry

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

So, what we focus on grows. Why not focus on what we love? For those of you who have been around here awhile, you know I love lists for our journal writing. Why lists? I think because it is an exercise that just has us write! Not too much thinking, just feel and write. Don’t worry about editing (for the list is for your eyes alone unless you choose to share like me, lol). This kind of free writing gets a lot of interesting things out of us. We may be affirmed or surprised.. no matter. It is all good. Just write!

There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved. It is God’s finger on man’s shoulder. ~Charles Morgan

Are we ready? List as many things that come to you when you answer this question:

What do I love?

I love:

1. Chocolate!
2. Beautiful Florida Fall evenings such as this one
3. Being creative
4. Writing
5. My cat
6. My husband
7. My children
8. Jacksonville, Florida
9. Hawaii
10. Good movies
11. The outdoors
12. Bikram yoga
13. Walking
14. Adventure
15. French wine
16. The French language
17. My job
18. My friends

I am going to make myself stop here and finish in my private journal for this is about you, and I want you to get started.

Love you.



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Five questions to ask yourself for a better night sleep, part 2

daydreaming beautiful young woman lying on pillow

Last night we asked ourselves these five questions:

1. Do I love my bedroom?

2. When I turn the light out, do I feel content with how the day went?

3. Do I have at least one thing that I am really looking forward to?

4. Do I feel appreciated at home and at work?

5. Am I taking care of my body?

Why these questions?

1. Our physical environment is very important. Our bedroom needs to be a calm place to retreat to. There are many things we can do to make this space more conducive to sleep. What did you write down in your journals? Feel free to share your thoughts here in the comments section or on our Facebook page. I have many ideas which I will go into in a near-future post.

2. How did your day go? The more we feel good about our days the less time at night we will spend tossing and turning.

3. Anticipation is so sweet and we need to have things to look forward to about the next day when we turn in for the night. Drifting off with these happy thoughts about the good things in store for us the next day will get us to sleep quicker so that we may enjoy that wondrous new day we are looking forward to (this really beats dreading the next day which many of us unfortunately do).

4. Feeling valued is a fundamental human need. If you are not feeling valued and appreciated at home and/or at work what needs to change? Write your thoughts down and take some action.

5. A healthy body will sleep better at night and function well during the day.

So how did you do or how are you doing?

Wishing you a restful night tonight and every night.


In Peace,


2012-01-04 02.41.52

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