The question, how Bullet Journaling helped my mental health, was hard to answer for me. I never really sat down and thought about what exactly it was, that helped me in my struggles.
At first it mainly was a creative and meditative out led that actually was productive because I created a tool to plan and organise my life. Sure I had premade daily planners before, I was addicted to buying them and was always SO motivated to use them but after about three months, I started using my phone, post-it notes, the back of my hand and my brain (the least reliable one) again to keep track of my appointments, to do’s and lists. So, when I first started my Bullet Journal I had the same motivation but I’ve never really expected it to last more than those infamous three months. Now I’m two years in and believe me, I’m still surprised.
Even though this was the hardest question to answer for me so far, it’s my favourite one because I feel like, I’ve learned something.
The thing that changed while using my Bullet Journal to plan my life was the intent in how I use my Bullet Journal to plan, keep track and to not forget to care for myself every now and then.
I try to keep simple layouts for my day to day planning so I manage to prepare them, even if I’m depressed or my anxiety Levels are 10/10. My Bullet Journal is often my anchor, that’s why having the fundament for my daily planning is a priority to me. I don’t put any pressure on my for my weeklies to look pretty or presentable. They’re not there to please, they’re there to work (sorry weeklies, I love you!).
Intention: keeping planning simple so I always manage to sit down and Journal.
Even though I track quite a lot of different things, I track most of them on one simple spread. My hormone diaries, where I track my anxiety and if some of it might be related to my cycle, is the most important tracker for me that I try to use religiously.
Intention: Tracking my anxiety, learning if and how it relates to other aspects in my life.
In July I started tracking my water intake and why didn’t I do that before. I was always bad with drinking enough so I’ve managed to drink enough at some days of the week but on most days, I drank not enough. Having this simple tracker on a spread I did every month but never actually used for something, changed quite a lot. I luckily never had really bad skin but the heat in this summer made me break out quite a lot. My skin fully cleared up, only a small little spot every here and there (when I’m writing this, it’s the first day under 20° C, in months), snacking in the afternoon isn’t such a deal anymore and my digestion loves it.
Intention: tracking something I’ve never managed to be fully committed and sticking with it.
It’s important to me to plan some self-care time every week, so taking a bath becomes a To Do on an evening, playing a board game or just simply having a glass of wine and watch a movie. Self-care is, especially in times when I actually feel good about my life, a big deal. It’s those small little things help me get through sitting down and writing about the nitty and gritty. Having self-care spreads in my Bullet Journal helps me, giving self-care a true purpose, so I update mine with every new Bullet Journal I start.
Intention: getting self-care to be a routine.
With all that in mind, if I really manage to use all of the prepared spreads is not a given. It's more about creating a routine with my Bullet Journal to plan and sort out my life while also being supportive in my Mental Health, so if I'm living out of habit, my habits at least are more healthy than before I've started Bullet Journaling.
Productivity doesn’t determine my value.