Bullet Journaling for Peace of Mind
What is a bullet journal?
A bullet journal is a mix of a planner, diary and to-do list. It is a great place to catalog your feelings, organize your ideas, and track your habits or moods. Bullet journals are completely customization to your needs and are a great outlet for a variety of mental health concerns from Anxiety to ADHD. They key to bullet journaling is to stay true to YOU. You want it to look pretty? Great. You want it to be a place to jot down ideas and feelings quickly? Perfect for that too. It is easy to get caught up in the images on Pinterest and Instagram. Just remember this is about making YOU feel good. No one else. Let this be your special project.
Habit and Mood tracking are great ways to keep an eye on your mental health. They give you a visual of how things are going. I have a tendency to forget all the bad once I feel a bit better. Seeing my feelings mapped out (and what activities contributed in a good or bad sense to my mood) has helped me make a lot of positive changes in my life. Habit tracking was just the motivation and awareness I needed.
You can organize your habit tracker any way you like. Be it daily (good to use for notes and expanding on causes of moods, like a diary) weekly or monthly (both good for seeing patterns). You will want to log how you feel physically and mentally. Additionally, be sure to not activities or habits that could affect your mental health. I’ve listed a few potentially good habits to keep track of below. Feel free to add your own.
- Alcohol Consumption
- Hours of TV/Netflix
- Seeing Friends
- Gratitude Log
- Amount of Caffeine
- Medication taken (if applicable)
A while ago it was suggested to me to write a gratitude list every morning in my bullet journal. Starting the day by writing out what you are grateful for starts you out in a mindset of peaceful appreciation. Even if times are hard and you can only think of a few things to add, a few is enough. There are days when I am only grateful for the feel of the sun on my skin, or coffee in the morning to wake me up. I am almost always grateful for puppy kisses when I get home, or a thoughtful text from a friend. Take some time each morning to write out a few things that bring you joy in your life. They can be as general or specific as you’d like. There is no wrong way to show gratitude.
A thought log is a place to write things out. The more chaos exists in your mind the harder it is to relax. Writing things down helps to relieve some of that tension and refocus your mind in positivity. In all of the steps below, remember to be easy on yourself, and if something seems like it would cause more anxiety for any reason – just skip it for now.
- Write out your fears
- Write out things you are grateful for
- Track your moods
- Ask yourself how you were of service that day. Did you help someone?
- Write any achievements, none too small.
- How could you have done better? What actions can you improve upon. (treat yourself with compassion here)
- Was today a good day? Why or why not
- What goal are you working towards?
- What steps did you take towards achieving that goal?
I love to catalog my therapy sessions. I make 4 boxes on a page of my bullet journal. One for a summary of the session, one for growth, one for things to remember, and one for what I want to discuss next session. Keeping a therapy log in my bullet journal helps me to digest what was discussed in the session, map out what I’ve learned and where I have made progress, as well as helping me keep track of what I want to discuss during my next session. Another aspect of the therapy log that I love is being able to look back at my past sessions over time and see how much I’ve grown. It is hard to see growth in yourself day by day, but it is amazing the progress you see when looking back a few months later.
What has helped you with your anxiety? Let me know in the comments!