Happy Wednesday my friends!
It has been a fantastic week here in the District. My first few days of work have been big and scary and amazing, and every day I’m more and more grateful to be where I am and doing what I’m doing. Give me a few weeks to settle in, but expect some scoops on the best places to eat and adventure and play here in DC!
With so much change going on in my life the past few months, I want to talk about something that’s been a really great stress-reliever and source of peace in my life…my bullet journal!
This is my bullet journal. It may not be more than a humble notebook, but within, it holds a process for keeping me, me. So often, we get caught up in our tasks or emotions or events in our lives that we never really make time to check in with ourselves. As part of my 2017 Life Plan, I wanted to devote a bullet journal to me—not what I needed to do, but who I was and how I was feeling. As someone who is very goal oriented, this helped me to connect my need for structure and analysis with my often overlooked mental health and wellness habits. I’m giving you a peek inside the journal as well as some tips I’ve found helpful if you’re interested in starting one of your own!
Before you start, you’ll need a few things: a journal you love (in this case, the exact journal I wanted was secretly gifted to me by a friend I don’t deserve), some cool pens, and an idea of what a bullet journal can look like! The Bullet Journal website has some really great introductory videos, and this article from Buzzfeed had specific layouts for some mental health goals I was looking at. Instagram and Pinterest are also great sources for inspiration. Although this journal is totally your own and you can do it however you want, it’s great to get a few ideas, especially when starting out!
Even if you’re not starting in January, it’s good to start out with a calendar for the remainder of the year and some of your long term goals. I wrote out the vision statements for my five areas of growth this year, too!
Next, each of my months has a list of goals for the month as well as a habit tracker. This is where I look at spiritual, physical, emotional, and relational goals in my life. It’s a really nice and convenient way to have these in one place, instead of having a million apps to track my sleep/emotions/food/etc.
Next, we’ve got the daily log! I’ve got just a few general things I like to keep tabs on each day: how my meditation went, my general mood, food/water intake, and my workouts! I also have a daily affirmation, notes from my devotion time, some space for a journal, and daily gratitude. This might seem like a lot, but it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes a day—5 when I wake up and am spending my time with God and 5 when I’m reviewing the day and drawing my layout for tomorrow. I only add in one day at a time, in case I need extra space to write something or anything else I might want. This also doesn’t pressure me to make it turn out the exact same way every day—it’s kind of up to how I’m feeling.
At the end of the month, I like to look back and see if I notice any patterns—was I more stressed when I slept less? What were some constant worries? I’ve also just started meeting with a therapist again, so it’s nice to bring some weekly thoughts into the conversation instead of trying to remember everything that’s happened in a week. I also see if I reached my goals and if I need to check them off, move them to next month, or get rid of them.
Maybe I am a little bit TOO obsessed with planning/tracking, but I have found my bullet journal to be a really easy and non-judgemental way to stay in tune with myself. We dedicate so much time to measuring our work productivity, but who we are as human beings is a work in progress, too! Whether you use a bullet journal or not, you deserve to create some space where you can be with yourself in full acceptance. Live in that truth for the rest of this week and I’ll see you back here on Friday!