using your bullet journal for mental health

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Bullet journalling has been a hot buzzword in the planning community for a couple of years now – I first started doing it last year, and love the flexibility to not only build weekly and daily spreads that fit my needs, but also to keep all my ideas in one place. With the popularity, more examples and creative ways to use the journal have popped up everywhere – including ideas on how to use it to help manage mental health. Whether it’s tracking your habits like daily meditation, checking off planned workouts, or jotting down notes for therapy, there are so many ways to use a bujo to help you stay on focus. Today I’m giving you a peek into my journal and sharing some other posts and layouts that look like they could bring some helpful skills into your planner.

I recently discovered the No More Zero Days Reddit and love the concept of not having a “zero” day. It basically means that every day, you make some kind of progress toward your goals rather than giving in to the depression or anxiety that might make it feel otherwise impossible. A regular daily spread could work great for tracking your progress, but I also like having a dedicated page to write this down.

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February 24, 2017

starting over: getting in shape after a break

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When I moved from Virginia to Nashville, it was a huge lifestyle change. I went from having a very small social circle, from a regular schedule of going to work every day, followed by the gym, then crashing at home with great dinners to a crazy and unpredictable work schedule, a bigger family of friends, and lots and lots of dinners out. Working out was the LAST thing on my mind, even though living in apartment complexes that had gyms and pools was always a priority. As a result, I lost all my muscle tone and stamina and gained almost all of the 40 pounds I had lost back. I’m back with a gym membership now and working to get back into a healthier lifestyle – not only working out madly again, but also eating better. It’s definitely not easy, though – it’s taking a lot of focus and motivation to get back into it. Here are some ways I’m inspiring myself to get back in shape!

Here Comes the Sun: It’s tough to feel inspired to get outside when it’s the dead of winter – in January, Chicago had EIGHT DAYS of sun. That’s not enough sun. I’m hacking my circadian rhythm by using a blue therapy light for 30 minutes every morning. My doctor recommended it to help out with my depression, but it’s making it much easier to get up in the morning and stay awake all day by simulating sunlight earlier than it actually comes up. (Plus, working out is a HUGE mental health boost.)

Reward Yourself: I was super inspired by this Mashable post about a girl who chronicled her weight loss on Instagram – one of her tips was to make a list of “rewards” when you hit a specific goal weight or milestone. I made a page in my bullet journal so I can flip open for inspiration anytime I want to skip a workout or eat something unhealthy, so I always have my eyes on the prize.

Motivate Me: Similarly, I love following people on social media who have gone through similar fitness journeys to get inspiration, motivation, and workout ideas. I found this Chicago powerlifter through a Buzzfeed article and love that she taught herself the basics of lifting. Hopefully, I’ll be as ripped as she is someday! Read more…

February 10, 2017

galentines day party with friends with booze!

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friends with booze

Leslie Knope, spiritual icon. I love Parks and Rec so much, and while I’m not a big traditionalist, I love Galentine’s Day. This year, Dani and I decided to celebrate a little early with a mini Galentines party of our own. To decorate our house, we thought a nice way to christen it would be some artwork and a candle from Friends With Booze. They hooked us up with a print for our gallery wall as well as one of the most fragrant candles I’ve ever smelled.

We got the Gin and Bear It print from Friends With Booze, and it’s super high quality. The paper it’s printed on is thick, and the ink is matte so it doesn’t have a glare to it. As gin lovers, it’s perfect in our house, and matches well with the Aviation candle. Inspired by the gin cocktail of the same name, it has an amazing juniper scent, and it makes the room smell great even when it’s not lit. I had it in both my bedroom and bathroom before we lit it, and it’s such a relaxing scent in every room.

We’re celebrating Galentines by perfecting our French 75 recipe – a gin and bubbles cocktail, so it’s a combination of my favorite things. Check out our recipe after the jump! Read more…

February 9, 2017

tune tuesday: ladies who rock

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tune tuesday

For most of my life I felt like I didn’t listen to very much music by women. I couldn’t find any female fronted bands I liked, or didn’t like their voice, or always felt it was too poppy. Not that there’s anything wrong with pop – I love Kesha as much as anyone – but sometimes you just need heavy guitars and angry lyrics. Over the last year my friends have been sending me some really great female driven rock, and it’s all I want to listen to lately.

Hop Along, Texas Funeral I just wanted a happy ending, don’t be so sad just cause you lost who you are ’cause none of this is gonna happen to me

Laura Stevenson, Jellyfish so my system’s ready in case somebody comes to fill my head with petty jealousy and show me all the things I could be doing if I were a vertebrate, but it’s comfortable not wondering at all. I’ll be home indoors because I’m wasting away my life and gifts on being a jellyfish.

sad13, <2 marbles, baubles, crystals and clay: that’s why I’m working with you. I’m kinda like you, always been beside you, staring at myself in the officer’s mirror. I’m in less than two with you

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February 7, 2017

February Goals

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January was a bit of a whirlwind between surgery, the plague, and moving, so I didn’t even make any monthly goals. With my year-long 2017 goals in mind, I have quite a few in mind this month so I can work toward accomplishing all of those and stick to getting my life back under control.

  • Work out three times a week
  • Blog twice a week
  • Join a blogger community
  • Pick up a freelance gig
  • Call Chase to lower my credit card interest rate
  • Write one guest post/submit an article to the Billfold
  • Read two books
  • Renew car insurance
  • Find a therapist
  • Sort out a budget that sees my credit cards paid off by June
  • Buy a desk
  • Give blood
  • Passion Planner roadmaps
  • Sort out insurance stuff

Quite a few goals on the docket this month – some of them are just things I’ve been meaning to tick off for awhile, like little housekeeping things. This is the first month in… well, months, where I feel a sense of calm. There are a few out of town concerts we’re heading to, but for the most part, I know I’m going to be at home, and I’m going to have some time to myself. That’s a really great feeling!

Having time to be at home and landed (in a clean, unpacked house!!!) has been a gamechanger for my mental health. I don’t feel as anxious and scattered as I had been. This year, I’m planning in a combination of my bullet journal from last year as well as a Passion Planner – the bullet journal serves mostly as to-do lists, brainstorms and more of a “traditional” journal, and my PP is more for long-term planning and daily appointments and scheduling. It’s a much better system than I had going last year – as pretty as planners are, I just don’t think they jive with my planning style.

One month into 2017, are you on track with your annual goals? What are you focusing on in February?

February 1, 2017