Pregnancy is a big deal for any woman, and can come with a huge array of side effects – be they physical (such as developing a dark line down the stomach, known as linea nigra), or mental, like anxiety.
For supermodel Gigi Hadid, who gave birth to Khai, the daughter she shares with singer Zayn Malik, ten months ago, the latter was a very real experience throughout her pregnancy. Luckily though, she's shared that she found a clever and efficient way of coping with her pregnancy anxiety and fears about impending motherhood.
During an interview with Harper's Bazaar, Gigi said that she journals – but rather than having just the one notebook, she kept two while she was expecting. One 'good' journal and one 'bad' journal.
"During my pregnancy, I had one journal that I called my good journal and one journal that I called my bad journal," Gigi explained. "They weren’t that literal, but one was more for the memories, for Khai. Maybe one day I’ll give her the bad journal just to be real about it."
As for what she would write in her 'bad' journal, Gigi said it wasn't so much negative thoughts about anyone or anything, but rather her fears and less positive notes.
"Anxieties and days where I felt like, 'Am I good enough to be a mom?'... I didn’t want to feel guilty about feeling those things or writing those things down," she said. "I just liked the separation." If you ask us, that makes total sense and is a pretty smart way of going about things. Gigi also remarked during the interview that she is a fan of having regular therapy and channeling herself into a creative project as a form of self-care.
"I also have sketch pads where I’ll watercolor-sketch, and sometimes I end up writing there too," she added. "I write on the back of receipts and keep those in a notebook. I’m not particular about it, and my journals are everywhere around the house. I just pick up whichever one is closest to me and write."
When speaking to Cosmopolitan previously about the power of journalling your thoughts and emotions, psychotherapist Lindsay George explained the core benefits.
"Many people find journaling therapeutic," she confirmed. "One of its key benefits for your mental health is that it helps with emotional regulation by managing stress and anxiety better, reducing feelings of distress and increasing wellbeing." Lindsay noted that it can always be an effective tool for planning, keeping track of your moods/any behavioural patterns and identifying triggers, and untangling complicated issues.
"Some people find writing a journal particularly cathartic, in that it acts as a way of emptying their thoughts and clearing their mind," she says. "Others find it allows them to create more clarity, accountability and an awareness of their responsibility in part to a situation that may be preoccupying them."
As for how to start, Helen Colebrook, author of Journal With Purpose and Journal With Purpose Layout Ideas 101, advises going in with a plan, Googling 'journalling prompter questions' to get the ball rolling and ensuring you carve out proper time in your schedule to write.
We admire your candidness, Gigi!
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