Journaling can be an excellent way to help you during difficult times. Writing down your emotions can help you work through them and gain perspective. You can go a step further and make your journaling even more useful to help you through hard times. Here are some suggestions:
Vent then burn. Sometimes you just need an outlet for negative emotions. Often these are things you don’t want to read again later. These writings can even be things you don’t really mean, not deep down. Other times they are secrets so dark and deep you don’t want any evidence left behind. And other times you might write things you wish you could say to someone but you can’t for various reasons (or maybe saying the things would cause more damage than it’s worth).
For whatever reason, sometimes all you need to do is get it out. For this I recommend the Vent Then Burn method. Write down everything. Then burn it. Watching your vented emotions go up in flames can be very cathartic.
Lessons learned. If you do write something you’ll want to read later, make it a lesson to your future self. Be descriptive of what is difficult right now, and how you are getting through it. You might even write a step by step guide to yourself of how to get through a similar experience in the future. Writing down how you are getting through challenging times will help you realize your personal strength, and will help you now and in the future. Looking back on these writings later will remind you that you’ve been through challenging circumstances in your life, you came through it before and you can do it again.