Carrie Leigh Sandoval is an author, certified coach and mentor to teens and families. Her integrative approach to coping and thriving with mental health challenges helps young people find, love and embrace their whole selves – even with their diagnoses. To learn her best tips for communicating and relating to teenagers, download her FREE report for parents “5 Things Every Teen Wishes Their Parents Would Know”

Until about a week ago, I was in a serious funk. Depressed, anxious and just, “ugh, why even bother?” I’m telling you because I’m sure you’ve experienced this before too, right?

It’s so easy to become lost in these feelings and the thoughts that relentlessly feed them. But we’re never powerless. Sometimes it might take a little longer to get your mojo back, but the best thing you can do is decide to do something differently. The next best thing is to start finding and focusing on little “wins” in your day to day life. You know, things you often overlook.

Things that don’t suck as much as the things you’ve been focusing on. And the third thing is to write it all down. When you put in writing, “I’m ready to create something new” or “today was a little better than yesterday” you not only have physical evidence of your decisions and progress, but you also send a message to the universe saying, “I welcome something better.”

Journaling is my all time favorite tool for:

  • Processing emotions
  • Getting out of a funk
  • Discovering true wants/needs
  • Dreaming/planning/goal setting

That said, here are 7 journaling prompts you can use today to get out of a self- destructive rut and back into the flow of life:

Is what I’m doing working?

Are the things you do consistently working for you? Maybe they work for someone else, but are they working for YOU?

What exactly am I doing?

What habits do you have? How are you spending your days? Are you happy with how you’re spending your time? Is facebook really bringing you joy or is it sucking the life out of you?

What can I do differently?

What needs to change? What are you putting up with because you think you have to? What one simple shift could you make to double your happiness?

What is working?

What activities fill you up? How could you work these into your life more often? What would you need to let go of to do so?

What exactly do I want?

What do you really want your life to be like? Turn off everyone else’s opinions and let yourself dream and imagine.

Who do I need to be to reach my goals?

Who are you being right now? Are your reactions those of a past version of yourself, or are you acting consciously and deliberately?

What is my next step?

With this new knowledge, what can you choose to do differently today? How will you make that happen? By what date? Then, mark it in your calendar. Make a promise to yourself and keep it. Most importantly, enjoy the process!