The following is a list of visual journaling exercises from our previous collaborative research and community-based programs in indigenous communities. These were “situated” within a particular community so please build from these ideas to create context and meaning for your own community.
- Create a symbol of how you feel in the present moment and write one word to describe this feeling.
- Create a symbol of your day and write one word to describe your day.
- If you are having a not so good day, draw or trace a circle. Using lines, shapes, and colors create a symbol of this feeling in the circle. Write down words that describe this feeling. You can take this drawing out of your journal if you choose to.
- Create a drawing of your favorite place. Share this place with someone.
- Create a symbol of tension and write down a word to describe this state of being. Starting at your feet, focus on tensing up each muscle and then releasing it. Do this until you reach the top of your head. Create a symbol of relaxation and write down a word to describe this state of being.
- Create a circle of wellness. Draw or trace your circle and divide your circle into 4 sections and include symbols of physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental activities. Label each activity and share your wellness circle with someone.
- Create a circle of family and friends. Draw or trace a circle. Paste copies of pictures (or magazine images) of family and friends (past and present) who have been a source of support. Be sure to include a picture of you. Share stories about each person.
- Look at a favorite plant, vegetable, or fruit and create a symbol of it. Share a story about why it is your favorite.