GINspiration — Life Lessons

Talks about Mommy Ginger’s life lessons for Baby Zeeka.

7 Journaling Benefits for Guilt-free Super Moms

I’ve always believed that journaling benefits us more than it’s being given credit for. 

As a super busy multi-hyphenated millennial woman and mother, my days can get overwhelming easily. 

Journaling has always been something I prioritize. It helps me keep sane especially during full days. 

So today I’ll share with you some tips on how I do journaling and how it has benefited me over the years. 

What does journaling do to the brain?

I run so many things at once. While I enjoy the challenge, there are times when I too get overwhelmed. 

Journaling has helped me keep my cool and focus on what needs to be done. It also keeps me from taking in too much. 

Daily journaling has tons of benefits for the brain and your well-being. 

Researcher and Psychologist James Pennebaker say journaling daily can strengthen the immune system. 

Journaling is said to increase the body’s production of T-lymphocytes. It is also said to relieve symptoms of stress-related ailments like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. 

It also increases your brain activity. 

Writing in a journal activates both the left and right brain. It removes mental blocks and allows you to increase your intuition, creativity, and resilience. 

What are the benefits of journaling?

Studies have shown that writing down your thoughts can help you process it better. It’s also a great way to relieve stress and promote relaxation. 

Writing every day is like unloading your troubles into paper without the judgment. 

This is important since most of us have been cooped up for almost half a year. Journaling can manage anxiety levels and cope with depression. 

In my experience, I treat journaling as a form of meditation. It has become a healing method where I can keep track of my thoughts and feelings. 

Meditative journaling is good for the soul, especially for women like me who juggle work, business, personal growth, and a family all at once. 

So here are seven benefits of meditative journaling to multi-hyphenated moms like me. 

Mindful writing helps learn and start new things 

Believe it or not, I enjoy learning and starting new things. I love reading books and listening to business podcasts and talks. 

Some love to go get massages, others like to eat out. While I enjoy all of these things, I find learning new things more relaxing. 

And yes, even my husband teases me about it. My stress reliever is still related to work! 

Journaling keeps track of the new things I learn. Keeping a journal lets me track the goals I set and the progress I make. 

Writing helps me process discoveries about the tasks and myself. 

And that’s what’s exciting to me. I like testing my limits. And I also like the challenge of rediscovering who I become when I try something new. 

Meditative journaling helps me become more in tune with my feelings 

As a working mom, it can be easy to forget my thoughts and feelings. 

I try my best not to be anxious, but some days get to you. 

Journaling lets me address those feelings through expressive writing. The more I talk about why I’m feeling anxious, the better I feel about it. 

It also helps me process my thoughts without fear of judgment. The freedom I feel when I write about my feelings is comforting. 

Mindful journaling helps me remember important things 

Mommy brain is real, I tell you! 

I try my best to keep track of all the things I need to do. But sometimes, you can’t help but forget a few things here and there. 

Journaling helps keep my memory sharp. This is one of the best benefits I get from keeping a journal every day. 

Writing things down keeps me grounded and reminds me of the special things that happened in the day. 

It’s also nice to keep a record of my wins, no matter how small it is. And it also gives me the time to reflect and decide which life lessons are worth keeping. 

Journaling keeps you in the present 

The best way to live your life is to live in the present. 

The past makes you feel guilty and the future makes you worry about what’s to come. 

But when you live in the now, you get the chance to stop and smell the flowers. You get the time to appreciate all that’s happening and savor the moment. 

Keeping a journal is like making sure you give thanks to the time you’re given. And because we only have one life, it helps you feel more grateful for the opportunities. 

Journaling is self-healing and increasing your self-worth

The best benefit of journaling is the time you spend with yourself in reflection. 

Everyone goes through trauma. And it takes a lifetime to heal from old pains and change old habits. 

Journaling can help in rewiring your thoughts and healing your inner child. And when you do, you build your confidence and self-worth. 

Expressive writing is therapeutic.  

Writing about your pain can help release anxiety. Written words have the power to make you aware of the things you deny.

Once you become aware of these things, it becomes easier to understand and then eventually change these behaviors. 

Writing in a journal keeps you aligned with your goals 

People who write their goals down in their journal increases the likelihood of their success. 

Writing your goals vividly have 1.2 to 1.4 times more successful than those who don’t. 

Two things happen when you write your goals in your journal. 

One, it helps you create external storage for your thoughts so you can go back and get them any time. 

Two, you encode it in your system. Encoding is the biological process that happens in your brain when you’re analyzing information. 

Writing improves your brain’s encoding process and it also rewires your brain to recall and remember it. 

Journaling introduces you to a deeper sense of self-care 

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’d know that I’m all about self-care.

And for me, self-care is more than skin-deep. It’s all about keeping a balance between your mind, body, and soul. 

A lot of things go into our stream of consciousness. And negative thoughts can enter into our minds throughout the day. 

When you write in a journal, it’s like deep cleaning your thoughts and removing unnecessary gunk one by one. 

A journal can also keep your sanity during hard times like today. It can help you keep track of emotions and symptoms of anxiety and depression. 

It’s not always easy to get help. But when you write about what’s going on, it lets you see alarming patterns in your behavior. 

The benefits of journaling aren’t only for women. We should also push journaling for men. 

The health benefits are enough reasons for everyone to write in journals. 

The only thing you need to do is start writing. 

How to Write a Journal 

The good thing about journals besides its health benefits? Anyone can get started right away. 

You can write in bullets, doodles, scraps, and cutouts. And there’s no right or wrong way to do it. 

As for me, I’ve been a BDJ girl for as long as I could remember. 

Belle de Jour Power Planners have helped me navigate my life as a multi-hyphenated mom with ease and grace. 

This year’s planner has proven to be one of the most essential. 

Since we’ve been locked up in our homes for so long, it’s easy to feel anxious about uncertainty. And keeping a journal close to me helped me keep my sanity in check. 

That and keeping connected with friends and colleagues online. 

This year has been a challenge of balancing fear and anxiety over the uncertainties of a global pandemic. 

Some are even saying buying a planner has been a waste. 

But despite everything that happened, we cannot deny that it has been a great time to be still and reflect. 

It gave us the time we needed to pause and get to know ourselves, to journey deep into our being where all is well. 

Now, more than ever is the time to reaffirm our beliefs, rebuild our resilience, and journey into the unknown. 

And it helps to know that you got what it takes to survive and thrive despite uncertain times. 

With that said, Viviamo is releasing its 2021 Belle de Jour product line which inspires you to “Grow with the Earth”. 

The 2021 BDJ planner features monthly narratives and worksheets to help you stay focused. It also helps you reconnect with yourself and stay motivated for your 2021 goals. 

The Navi Planner helps you find your true north with inspiration from the world’s most beautiful lighthouses. Like seafarers who spend their darkest nights in the sea, the Navi Planner will help you find the light in the darkest times. 

It’s also a reminder that you’re always where you’re supposed to be. 

The 2021 Everything is Possible are for those who feel stuck in a rut. It will help you experience the much-needed breakthroughs you’ve been yearning for. 

Want to create a positive change within yourself? The FOCUS 2021 journal is the best one for you. 

Each page of the journal is decorated with the icosahedron, a three-dimensional figure that is made of 20 triangle-shaped sides. This structure is believed to represent change and the movement and flow it creates.

The icosahedron is said to help channel your chakra to balance your emotions, to help you generate and heal. 

Not a fan of bigger planners? Viviamo also came up with medium and mini planners you can take with you anywhere. 

And there’s also the Dare to be Grateful cards that can give you instant inspiration whenever you need it. 

Want to get yours? 

Check out their full collection here: https://crazyaboutpaper.com/collections/planners

Conclusion 

There are tons of journaling benefits you can enjoy to take away stress and the so-called mom guilt. 

And Viviamo planners and journals are the easiest way to get started. 

How did journaling help you during the pandemic? Share your takeaways below. 

Nope, I Don’t think I Can. Wait, I Think I (actually) Can!

In the Philippines, as a woman in business, I don’t feel much of the gender bias that we often talk about. In my travels in the past though and through my interaction with women from all over the world (especially during Network Leader calls for Lean In), there is still a lot of judgement and discrimination going around in other parts of the world. As a Filipina, we are actually quite lucky that we are given equal opportunities as men in the Philippines when it comes to business. In our country, there are actually more women (based in data from DTI) who are opening businesses.

Well, I can’t say the same is true with the other aspects such as politics, etc. We still need to see more improvement in that area. We don’t have much female leaders (based on the 2020 PSA Fact Sheet on Men and Women).

But even if we are “all good” in the aspect of business, this does not mean that we don’t need support and we don’t need to talk about it. We still do.

This is the reason why Frances and I started a Lean In Network in the Philippines. It’s called Lean In PH (https://leanin.org/circles-network/lean-in-ph). Just to backtrack a little, Lean In is an organization started by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. She started this organization to encourage women all over the globe to start “circles”.

What are circles? Circles are get togethers or calls online where women can talk “life REALNESS” with other women who will lend a listening ear and who will support you. Lean In Circle sessions are safe spaces. Anything you say inside the circle is kept within the circle. We value trust.

In the Philippines, we ran two Circle Sessions so far since we started two months ago. For those who’d like to join us for a Circle Session, we’d love to meet you. You can sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/113194888960

For ladies who have your own groups and communities, we are looking for circle leaders, too. If you want to start your own circle, feel free to reach out to Frances and yours truly via the Lean In PH group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/leaninph

Now, how do I feel about women in business? In my vlog and as COO of Taxumo, I’ve talked to a lot of women CEOs, women Sole Proprietorships, women founders, etc. and I am always amazed when I see what they have accomplished. And I see a lot of aspiring women entrepreneurs who I really have great potential and ideas.

Just this morning, I talked to a single Filipina mom who is based in Australia. She raised 4 kids on her own and owns this amazing virtual assistance / outsourcing company. After the call, I was so astounded and kept repeating to my husband how I was so inspired and amazed by her.

Just like what I mentioned in this video…

When I wanted to start my business, the question that I had in my mind was “Could I do it?” And this was something that really stopped me from starting right away. I imagine that some women may feel the same way, too.

And looking back, what I realized is that what helped me decide was my support system. EJ (my husband) was very supportive. He encouraged me to just try it out… and I did.

So to you reading this, you can do it! Even if I don’t know you or even if you’re miles away, I truly believe that you have what it takes. You are reading this for a reason. I really do believe in you!

Mental Health Insights and my Thoughts about It

It’s so great to see that talking about Mental Health is not taboo anymore. I love how people are now very open to discuss things like this. Not only that. They also consider taking care of mental health to be a main concern. I watched the Globe and Inquirer #StartANewDay: Mental Health Insights for Millennials and Gen Z live session and I learned so much and felt so much.

Mental Health and the Entrepreneur

In the world of entrepreneurship and the startup industry, this has become an issue that is also widely talked about and addressed by webinars from different incubators, accelerators and startup groups.

“According to a study by Michael Freemanentrepreneurs are 50 percent more likely to report having a mental health condition, with some specific conditions being incredibly prevalent amongst founders” Tech Crunch mentions in an article. (https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/30/investors-and-entrepreneurs-need-to-address-the-mental-health-crisis-in-startup-culture/)

I’ve been thinking about this topic the whole day today. I’m sure that a lot of the founders and entrepreneurs that I have come across occasionally in my blog, in the programs that we have joined and groups that we are part of silently suffer.

Dra. Gia Sison in the live session event mentioned that people need extra support nowadays because more people are feeling depressed and anxious. Understandably so, this is because of the uncertainties we face, daily isolation, increase of domestic abuse, exposure to negative news and negative coping mechanisms.

What can we do about it?

I also loved what Roy Dahildahil said about what we can do about Mental Health. Roy is the co-founder of #MentalHealthPH, a social media advocacy group that aims to promote and protect mental health in the Philippines. He gave us the 3S’s Framework: Self, Society and System and the 3Os Framework: Online, Onground and Onward.

With this, I thought of ways I can help the community in my own little way.

Spread positivity

I think in my own little way, with this blog and my channel, I’ll commit to releasing more inspiring and positive content. I recently interviewed Trixie Esguerra and we talked about injecting positivity into your life. I hope that you can watch it and gather nuggets of wisdom and tips from her that you can actually do.

Check up on Family and Friends

From listening to the talk, I realized that I had time to check up on friends and family. See how they are doing? A chat message of a simple “hi” and “how are you?” will go a long way.

Listen and Be Observant

Some people just need someone to talk to. I love the Globe Bridging Communities has this Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HopeBankPH/ In Hope Bank PH, anyone can share anything they’d like. We are free to express ourselves.

Be observant of your friends posts and listen to their stories. Just being there goes a long way.

I hope that we continue to openly talk about this issue. Share with me other things that we can all do to address this.

I know that with little steps like this, we can all #StartaNewDay.

My Plan for My Life

There was a day when Zeeka asked me about heaven. She asked me, “Mom, where is heaven and how is it like there?” To that, I replied that heaven is where you want it to be. If you think that it’s a place where your loved ones are and you’re happy, then this or your life here on earth is heaven. If you think that God is also here with us, then maybe this is heaven.

I’d like to believe that there is something after this life when we pass away and I believe in God. How I think about life though is not a means to get to a better place (like heaven), but a vehicle to actually make this world that we live in a better place. Why wait for that better place when you have the power to create positive changes NOW?

I have a plan for my life, and this is how I view it to be:

This is my plan for my life. I know my handwriting sucks.. haha! Please bear with me!

So my first 25 years was really for learning, making mistakes, rising back up and trying again. My tip for those who are still in this part of the “life line” that I’m showing, just explore and try to do things that you’ve never done. If you’re scared to try, write down what’s the worst thing that could happen. You’ll realize that the worst thing isn’t as bad as it may seem.

Currently, I’m in a situation where I know what I stand for and what I believe in. This is where we usually find ourselves, make our own choices, see what we consider valuable and try our best to make a change in this life by utilizing our own actions.

This is also the the time that we try to grow our circle of influence. Because why not?

Just some thoughts about influence. Wanting to gain influence is not a bad thing. What you need to think about is why you want to grow or gain influence. The reason why I want to grow my circle of influence is that I have realized that the you can make huge positive changes when you reach more people. Think of it this way — the magnitude of the impact that you can create will obviously be bigger when you have a bigger circle of influence.

This is the reason why politicians or people in the government can make rules that affect the lives of a lot of people. We gave them our votes. Having said that, I digress… I have no plans of running for office. Haha!

What I stand for is really empowering the micro and small businesses and professionals in our country. I think most of you who follow my blog and vlog (https://youtube.com/gingerarboledavlog) know this and know my plan for my life.

Another thing that I’d like to do and Frances and I are really trying hard to spread the word is to connect every women to other women who can support them. We are doing this using the Lean in PH (https://www.facebook.com/groups/leaninph/) a Lean In Network that we started here in the Philippines.

Moving on, in my 50s or probably 60s and onwards toward the end of my life, I’d like to focus on helping younger people who also want to make their voices heard and who want to make this world a better place.

At the end on my life, I want to be able to say that I left the world knowing that my daughter is living in a better world because I tried to make it a better place for her.

Where did all these self-reflection come from? Haha! Just wanted to share this super duper nice feature that the Belle De Jour team has created.

This comes with a FREE eBook/Workbook that you can download here: https://shop.ilovebdj.com/blogs/news/ginger-arboleda-on-nurturing-your-gift-of-self

This really inspired me to share my thoughts today. Now, for you reading this, I’d love to get to know you. How about you?

Where are you now? What are you doing? Do you have your own life line? Share it with me by leaving a comment below or leaving a comment on social media and use #GINspiration.

Some other articles that you may want to read:

How are you REALLY? Injecting some Positivity!

I’ve noticed some changes with the way I think through things, the way I am with other people, the differences in my mood and how it changes abruptly, etc. I could go on listing more changes and more things that I’ve noticed, but rather than going on with that, I’d rather inject some positivity at this time. Injecting some positivity into things that I do helped me cope with factors that I can’t control.

I’ve been watching videos on Instagram and on YouTube, and there are some tips that I really find useful and some that make me feel worse than I’ve felt before watching the video.

I think what this pandemic has taught me is to learn how to distinguish things that I can control versus things that I can’t control.

So after feeling so “down” lately, what I did was I turned to one of my friends who is amazing. Her name is Trixie Esguerra.

Trixie Esguerra is the Philippines’ Vision Board Coach who helps people create powerful vision boards backed up by Science, grounded in Faith. She has done her signature Vision Board Parties for companies like FWD, ADB, Bayer, SMYPC, Manulife, Neutrogena, Sterling Bank, Tim Hortons, AIM and Louis Vuitton, to name a few. Also known as Positivitrix, she shares tips and tricks online to keep you positive!

We crated this video, and it was so much fun! I learned a lot from her. The really light and fun conversation was actually what I needed.

So if you’re feeling down and a little bit “off” lately, check this video out. Hope it helps you!

If you need someone to talk to… I’m just a comment away!