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.

Something that I’ve learned about myself is that my mental health is very closely tied to money. Spending money does not make me feel good. Even when I’m deeply depressed and spending heavily, I’m not under some illusion that it’s going to make me any happier. I track my spending in my planner, and I also check in with my moods three times a day: in the morning, about halfway through the day, and before bed. If I didn’t know before, I would be able to see correlations between spending and emotions. You could even color code your emotion tracker, and add a column for it on your spending log – something similar to the color coding here!

 

In case it’s not already clear, I’m a person who has to write EVERYTHING down if I have a prayer to remember it. This includes things I want to talk to my therapist about – during the week if I notice I’m having trouble with something, I’ll write it here and bring it up if I’m in a session without much to say. I also try to note things afterward to help it really sink in.

If your therapist gives you homework (I love when mine does) it’s good to keep that all in the same spot as well. My last therapist had me start writing down “negative predictions” where I write down what I think is going to happen, and then what actually happens, as an exercise to try to help calm jumping to conclusions.

One of my favorite things is the “brain dump” idea – I read about it on Mashable a few years ago, and I really liked it as a way to help organize the thoughts I was having and get everything out in a creative way. I’ll make it a little artsy to serve to focuses – not only to get it out, but also the distraction of making it art gives me another thing to shift my focus onto.

I could go on and on, but I’ll just share a few other blog posts and spreads that I really like that look really helpful.

5 Ways to Add Self-Care to Your Bullet Journal

Bullet Journaling for your Mental Health

Bullet Journal Layout for Triggers

Mindfulness Bullet Journal

Could Starting a Bullet Journal Ease Your Anxiety?

Do you use a bullet journal? If you use a “traditional” planner, do you track your mental health in it?

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3 Comments

  • Reply Katie

    I love this. The brain dump idea is so cool, I’m going to start doing that! And thank you for introducing me to the concept of no more zero days. This post is very helpful!

    March 2, 2017 at 8:33 am
    • Reply Desi

      Glad to hear you liked it! No Zero Days has been really motivational for me already.

      March 2, 2017 at 12:50 pm
  • Reply A Northern Girl - march recap / april goals - A Northern Girl

    […] it really difficult to get back into the rhythm. I need to come up with some kind of tracker in my bullet journal – the feeling of physically checking something off or writing down progress is really helpful […]

    April 3, 2017 at 6:55 am
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