How to Use Journaling When You’re Frozen in Fear

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Do you ever get overwhelmed or find yourself checking the weather every hour (or more) when a snow storm is heading your way? I know I do.

Fears, doubts, uncertainties crop up, hijacking my thoughts & emotions. Wasting several hours, worrying about & checking on the storm prevents me from being as productive as I want to be.

I’ll walk you through the process I use to help nip those fears in the bud and help me move past the fears that keep me frozen in place.

Tensions Mount

They’ve been predicting snow for several days now. A few days ago, they (National Weather Service, The Weather Channel, Weather Bug, etc) said we could get a good 2-3 inches of snow.

Yesterday, it was 1-7 inches of snow with wind, but the Winter Storm Warning was still south of us.

This morning when I checked, I noticed we were added to the Warning and could expect 4-7 inches, with 20-30 mph winds. Ugh!

As of this writing (just before noon), we are now in the 6-8 inch band with winds over 30 mph, making travel close to impossible later today and through the night. Not to mention our gravel road will, no doubt, be drifted shut.

With the wind howling through the trees and around the buildings, rattling the metal washtubs under the front porch, I feel fears, doubts & uncertainties cropping up.

I want to keep checking the weather on various websites & apps instead of focusing on the other things on my to-do list. I also feel an intense need to eat, even though I’m not hungry.

Why?

That’s a really good question.

Maybe it’s because I don’t do well with the cold? My hands and feet have a hard enough time staying warm without going out into the cold.

Maybe it’s because I really don’t like driving when the roads are slick and I can’t see the lines. Memories resurface of catching the edge of the road (because I couldn’t see the lines) and ending up in the ditch.

Maybe it’s all the tragic blizzard/snowstorm stories from decades, even centuries ago. And how many of us have had the ‘snowed in for days’ mentality ingrained in our brains from childhood.

Granted, there were several snow storms in the 80’s where we couldn’t get out – or Mom couldn’t get home from work – for days. Oh, yes! In 1983, Mom was ‘stuck’ at work just before Christmas. Santa came early to the Sporrer kids that year, right after supper on December 23rd! We were all so excited to call her (long distance, too) & tell her all about it!

But honestly, we were always safe. Always had enough food, heat and protection from the elements. And if not, Dad would’ve cleared a path to the neighbors (or wherever) to make sure we were taken care of.

Julie’s Journaling Process to Move Past Fears

So, on days like today, when I find myself fixated on the storm, turning to food when I’m not hungry or other forms of procrastination, I journal.

It’s not the 2-3 pages I do most mornings. It’s more of a list. So I can see things in black and white, acknowledge my fears, doubts & uncertainties and reassure myself that I am truly safe.

First, I write down my fears. What’s really bothering me. What am I afraid of?

Driving, going in the ditch, wrecking my car, freezing, cold hands & feet, not being able to physically stay warm, having enough food, being snowed in, not being able to get out, freezing pipes in the house & outbuildings, no water for us, no water for the animals.

Second, I write down what is true. What is the worst case scenerio? Especially as it pertains to these fears.

I don’t have to go anywhere. The next time I plan to venture out is for Wednesday morning mass and I don’t have to go there, either. My Favorite Handyman plans to be home by 12:30 pm, well before the snow will start.

There’s no threat of ice or power outages predicted, so my house will stay warm. Which means I will stay warm. (Worse case scenario is we light the woodstove in my Favorite Handyman’s workshop-or go somewhere else.)

Our freezer is 1/2 full of meat, vegetables and fruit. More than enough to last us several weeks. We also have a gas stove (with plenty of LP) to cook with. I could also cook outside (or in a shed out of the wind) with our Lodge Pot or on the woodstove with a cast-iron skillet. I could even make coffee out there too, if I had to.

Our Grundy County Road Crew is the best! In the 25 winters we’ve lived here, there have only been a couple days when they haven’t been able to make at least 1 pass with the snow plow to make sure rural residents can get through. Even in 2008 & 2019 when the drifts were over our cars and any little wind would blow the road shut, we could always count on them to keep our roads open.

OK, if we did lose electricity and the pipes were in danger of freezing, we have the means to run some water for us to drink, cook & clean with, to shut the water off, drain the pipes and start the woodstove in the shop. We could then melt buckets of snow for the animals without worrying about pipes actually breaking. A temporary toilet, you say? Well, let’s just say we’ve got that covered, too.

Then, of course, we also have our phones and unlimited data to keep us connected to the outside world. If they need to charged, we just start a car (outside, that is) and plug them in.

Worst case scenerio is that we’d only live like this for a couple days – max. Not a big deal. But the likelihood of any of these things happening with this storm? Almost zero.

Frozen to Flowing in Just 2 Minutes

Going through this process only took me 2 minutes today. I didn’t write it all out in complete sentences, like I did here. I just jotted down a few words on a sticky note.

Yet, taking the time to do it quelled my fears. The need for chocolate melted away, as did the tension in my lower back, shoulders and jaw. Soon, I easily found my self in a state of flow as I started chipping away at my to-do list. (Giving me a good subject to share with you!)

I also use this process to mobilize me into action when I feel frozen in the face of other storms, those curve balls life tosses at us every now & again. One more opportunity to use journaling to take care of the amazing Temples God blessed us with.

What are some things you to keep yourself moving when you’re frozen in fear?

Did you know there are countless ways to journal for your health & well-being? Learn more in my Free Journaling Guide. Click the button below and I’ll have it sent straight to your inbox!

Enjoy the Journey!

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