I’ve loved writing this blog post on bullet journal mental health spreads. I love any writing on mental wellness and understanding your brain. Mental health can be such a huge factor in peoples’ lives, but in so many cases it is really easily treatable. I also am a huge fan of bullet journaling. It’s a really well thought out productivity system, the website is great and really user friendly and it’s a great habit tracker and system implementation tool.
Bullet journal mental health spreads
You don’t have to keep a bullet journal in order to do any of these practices. The best thing about journaling is that you can do whatever you want. For the purposes of this blog we are looking at how to help your mental health, by journaling, through the medium of the bullet journal productivity tool.
This post will look at: gratitude logs and lists, the power of daily routines, sleep trackers, anxiety trackers, daily brain dump, mood trackers and taking care of your mental health.
Take whatever you need from this blog, it might be too overwhelming to incorporate everything immediately so just pick one or two areas to work on.
A gratitude log is a powerful tool that can help you cultivate a sense of appreciation and positivity in your life. A bullet journal gratitude log is a specific way of keeping track of things for which you’re grateful.
To create a gratitude log in your bullet journal, start by setting aside a new double page spread for it. You can choose to include a title or header that reflects the purpose of the log, such as “Gratitude” or “Things I’m Thankful For.”
Once you’ve established the page, begin by jotting down things you’re grateful for on a regular basis. This can be anything from small moments of joy, like a warm cup of coffee in the morning or a beautiful sunset, to larger blessings, such as a supportive family or a fulfilling job. The key is to focus on things that bring you happiness and contentment, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.
Some people choose to write in their gratitude log daily, while others may add to it on a weekly or monthly basis. Whatever frequency you choose, try to make it a habit to regularly reflect on what you’re thankful for in your life. An easy way to ensure consistency could be to give yourself a target. For example you could aim to write three things a day for which you’re grateful. Or twelve things a day!
There are many benefits to keeping a gratitude log in your bullet journal. It’s a great way to shift your mindset from one of scarcity to one of abundance. By focusing on what you have rather than what you lack, you may find that you feel more content and fulfilled in your daily life.
In addition, a gratitude log can serve as a reminder of the positive things in your life during times of stress or difficulty. When you’re feeling down, you can read through your journal and remind yourself of all the good things for which you are grateful.
Overall, a bullet journal gratitude log can be a powerful tool for cultivating a more positive and grateful outlook on life. By making a habit of focusing on the good things in your life, you may find that you feel more content, fulfilled, and joyful on a daily basis.
A gratitude list is a valuable mental health tool as it can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life, which can improve your overall sense of well-being. A gratitude list is different to a Gratitude Log. This list, explained here is one that you create and then reread, using the positive emotions and thoughts to trigger a better mental state. Gratitude logs are written each day and contain different things each time.
Expressing gratitude, whether as a list or in log form, has been shown to decrease stress, increase happiness, and improve overall mental health. Creating a gratitude list spread in a bullet journal is an excellent way to incorporate this practice into your daily routine.
To create a gratitude list in your bullet journal, start by setting aside a few minutes each day to reflect on what you are thankful for. It can be as simple as listing three to five things that you are grateful for each day. Consider including a mix of big and small things, such as a supportive friend, a good cup of coffee, or a sunny day.
Once you have your list, you could incorporate it into your bullet journal system by creating a dedicated page or spread. This can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like. Some ideas include using stickers, washi tape, or other decorative elements to create a visually appealing spread. You can also consider adding inspirational quotes or affirmations related to gratitude.
Another option is to create a gratitude jar or box. Write down things you are grateful for on small pieces of paper and store them in the jar or box. When you are feeling down, pull out a few pieces of paper to remind yourself of the positive things in your life.
The power of daily routines
Daily routines can be incredibly powerful in helping you establish good habits, increase productivity, and improve overall well-being. By creating a set of daily routines, you can train your mind and body to automatically perform certain actions, reduce decision fatigue and be more consistent. These routines can be as simple or complex as you want, but they should be tailored to your specific goals and needs.
To create a daily routine, it’s important to start by identifying what goals you would like to achieve. For example, you may want to exercise more regularly, eat healthier, or focus on self-care. Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can start to build your routine. Begin by identifying the specific actions you need to take to achieve your goals, and then determine how often you should perform them. You can create a daily or weekly spread to help keep track of your routine.
Your daily spread can include a list of the routines you would like to complete each day. You may also want to include space to write notes about how each routine went, and track your progress over time. Consider using symbols or icons to denote completed tasks, (as recommended by Ryder Carroll) and color-coding or highlighting to help make the spread visually appealing and easy to read.
When it comes to actually completing your routines, it’s important to be consistent and committed. Try to perform your routines at the same time each day, and build them into your existing schedule. For example, if you want to exercise every morning, try to do so at the same time each day. This will help to establish a habit and make it easier to stick to your routine over time.
Daily routines can be a powerful tool for achieving your goals and improving your overall well-being. By identifying your goals, building a routine, and using a tool like a bullet journal to track your progress, you can establish good habits and stay on track. Remember to be consistent and committed, and don’t be afraid to adjust your routine as needed to ensure it remains effective and sustainable over time.
Do you need a sleep tracker?
The use of sleep trackers has gained popularity over the years, with people using them to monitor their sleep patterns and improve their overall health. While there are many benefits to using a sleep tracker, it is not necessary to keep one for your mental health.
Sleep is an essential aspect of mental health, and getting adequate sleep can improve your mood, reduce stress, and improve cognitive functioning.
However, while it is a great idea, sleep trackers can cause anxiety and stress if you become too obsessed with achieving a certain sleep goal.
Moreover, there are other effective ways to improve sleep quality and quantity that do not involve the use of a sleep tracker. For example, developing a consistent sleep routine, reducing screen time before bed, avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evening, and engaging in relaxation techniques can all improve sleep.
While sleep trackers can provide useful insights into your sleep patterns, they are not necessary for maintaining good mental health. You could do a little bit of both: keep a general sleep tracker focusing simply on whether you had a good night’s sleep and develop good sleep practices as well.
Sleep tracker alternative – Sleep preparation routine spread
You could use a sleep preparation routine spread as a way of developing good sleeping practices. This could be a more fun way of improving your sleep than keeping a strict sleep tracker. It can be created in a notebook or on a whiteboard, and should include a list of activities and habits that you engage in before bedtime. These can include things like dimming the lights, turning off electronics, taking a warm bath or shower, practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation, and reading a book.
By creating a sleep preparation routine spread, you can help establish a consistent routine that signals to your body and mind that it is time to wind down and prepare for sleep. By engaging in these activities regularly, you can condition your body to expect sleep at a certain time, and make it easier to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night.
Additionally, a sleep preparation routine spread can help you identify any activities or habits that may be interfering with your sleep. For example, if you notice that you have trouble falling asleep after spending time on your phone before bed, you can make a conscious effort to limit your screen time in the evenings. By tracking your sleep habits and making adjustments to your routine as needed, you can optimize your sleep and improve your overall health and well-being.
While sleep tracking devices and apps can be helpful in monitoring your sleep patterns, they are not always necessary or accessible for everyone. Creating a sleep preparation routine spread is a simple and effective alternative that can help you establish healthy sleep habits and get the restful sleep you need to feel your best.
Anxiety can be a challenging mental health issue to manage, but an anxiety tracker can be a helpful tool to identify patterns, triggers, and coping strategies. A bullet journal is an excellent medium to create an anxiety tracker since it is customisable, portable, and easy to update.
Bullet journal layouts for anxiety trackers are essentially daily or weekly logs where you record the intensity and frequency of your anxiety symptoms. You can also add other relevant information, such as the triggers that led to your anxiety, the coping strategies you used, and any medication or therapy you received.
By tracking this information, you can keep track of your mood and anxiety levels and make informed decisions about how to manage them.
To create an anxiety tracker in your bullet journal, you’ll need to begin by deciding what information you want to track. Some examples of data points you might consider include:
- Date and time
- Intensity of anxiety symptoms (on a scale from 1-10)
- Trigger(s) of anxiety
- Coping strategies used
- Medication or therapy received
- Sleep patterns
- Diet and exercise habits
Once you’ve decided on the data points you want to track, it’s time to create your spread. You can create a simple table with columns for each data point, or you can get creative and design a more visual spread with colours, symbols, and illustrations.
Try and be consistent in tracking your anxiety to get accurate results. Set aside time each day or week to update your tracker. You might also find it helpful to review your tracker regularly to identify any patterns or trends as well as the positive effect it might be having.
Anxiety can be a difficult issue to manage, but an anxiety log like this can be a useful tool to help you take control of your mental health. By tracking your anxiety symptoms, triggers, and coping strategies, you can identify patterns and develop a plan to manage your anxiety effectively.
You can also monitor your anxiety attacks. You can treat mild to moderate anxiety attacks yourself through journaling and CBT exercise, but for more severe, prolonged episodes I would recommend therapy sessions and counselling.
Daily brain dump
A daily brain dump is a therapeutic exercise that involves emptying your mind onto paper. It can be incredibly beneficial for your mental health, as it allows you to release any pent-up thoughts, worries, or anxieties, and helps you to clear your mind for the day ahead. Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages is an elegant form of brain dumping that you might like to try.
When you take the time to write down all the thoughts and concerns you have, you can better organize them and create a sense of clarity. This can reduce feelings of overwhelm and anxiety, as you no longer need to hold onto everything in your mind. Additionally, by writing down your thoughts and feelings, you can gain a new perspective on them, making it easier to address them and find solutions.
To create a daily brain dump in a Bullet journal, start by setting aside a specific time each day to do it. It could be first thing in the morning or before bed. Then, find a quiet, comfortable spot where you can write without distraction.
Next, open your Bullet journal and begin writing down everything that comes to mind. You might include worries or concerns about work, relationships, or health, or simply write down whatever pops into your head. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or sentence structure; the goal is to get everything out of your mind and onto paper.
As you write, keep in mind that this is a judgment-free zone. There are no wrong thoughts or feelings, and you don’t need to filter anything out. Allow yourself to be completely honest and authentic in your writing.
Once you’ve finished your brain dump, take a moment to review what you’ve written. You might notice patterns or recurring themes that can help you identify areas of your life that may need more attention. You might also find that certain worries or concerns no longer feel as urgent or important after you’ve written them down. You can use the action/event/note bullet journal symbols to help start to get order in your thoughts. Or you can through your piece of paper away. Writing things down clears the mind. Once the mind is clear you are good to go. It’s not obligatory for you to hold on to the paper if it has served its purpose.
A daily brain dump can be a powerful tool for promoting good mental health. By regularly taking the time to clear your mind and get your thoughts down on paper, you can reduce feelings of anxiety and overwhelm, gain clarity, and gain new perspectives on your thoughts and concerns. With a Bullet journal, you can easily incorporate this practice into your daily routine and start reaping the benefits for your mental health today.
Bullet journal mood tracker
A bullet journal mood tracker is a tool used to record and monitor your emotions and mental state over time. It can be a helpful way to identify patterns and triggers in your everyday life that affect mood, which can inform strategies for self-care and mental health management.
To create a bullet journal mood tracker, start by setting up a grid on a page in your bullet journal. This can be done by drawing a series of evenly spaced horizontal and vertical lines to create a table with enough rows and columns to cover the desired time period. Label the rows with dates or days of the week and the columns with a range of mood options, such as happy, sad, anxious, or stressed. You can also add additional columns for notes or triggers that may have influenced your mood.
To use the mood tracker effectively, make it a daily habit to fill in the corresponding box with the mood that best represents how you’re feeling that day. Try to be honest and specific in your responses, as this will help you identify any patterns or triggers that affect your mood. You can also use colour coding or symbols to help differentiate between moods or highlight any significant changes or trends.
Additionally, make sure to regularly review your mood tracker to identify any patterns or trends that emerge. For example, you may notice that you consistently feel anxious on certain days of the week or after certain activities. This information can help you develop strategies for managing your mood, such as scheduling relaxing activities on those days or avoiding triggering situations.
It’s also important to remember that a bullet journal mood tracker is just one tool in your larger self-care list and mental health management toolbox. It’s not a substitute for professional help if you’re struggling with mental health issues. If you find that your mood tracker is consistently indicating negative moods, it may be helpful to seek the support of a therapist or counsellor.
Your bullet journal mood tracker is a useful tool for monitoring and managing one’s emotional state over time. By creating a simple grid, filling it out daily, and regularly reviewing it, you can gain valuable insights into your mood patterns and develop strategies for self-care and mental health management.
Taking care of your physical health
Taking care of your physical health is crucial for maintaining good mental health. The mind and body are closely connected, and taking care of your physical health can have a positive impact on your mental health. Here are some ways that taking care of your physical health can benefit your mental health:
- Reducing stress: Exercise and physical activity have been shown to reduce stress levels and help you feel more relaxed.
- Boosting mood: Exercise and physical activity can help boost your mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Improving self-esteem: Taking care of your physical health can improve your self-esteem and confidence, which can have a positive impact on your mental health.
- Increasing energy levels: Regular exercise can help you feel more energized and productive throughout the day, improving your overall sense of well-being.
- Enhancing cognitive function: Exercise and physical activity have been shown to improve cognitive function and memory, which can help improve mental health.
Now, let’s talk about how you can use your bullet journal to track your physical health. Here are some ideas:
- Exercise tracker: Create a spread in your bullet journal to track your daily exercise routine. You can record the type of exercise, the duration, and the intensity level.
- Water intake tracker: Track your daily water intake to make sure you are staying hydrated. You can create a spread to record the number of glasses of water you drink each day.
- Sleep tracker: Use your bullet journal to track your sleep patterns. Record the time you go to bed and wake up each day, as well as any interruptions in your sleep.
- Food journal: Keep a record of what you eat each day to make sure you are getting a balanced diet. You can also record any food intolerances or sensitivities you have.
- Body measurements tracker: Track your body measurements, such as weight, waist circumference, and body fat percentage. This can help you monitor your progress if you are trying to lose weight or build muscle.
- Medication tracker: If you take medication for a health condition, create a spread in your bullet journal to track when you take your medication each day.
- Health goals tracker: Use your bullet journal to set and track your health goals. This can include goals related to exercise, nutrition, sleep, and overall health and wellness.
By tracking your physical health in your bullet journal, you can gain insight into your habits and behaviours, which can help you make positive changes to improve your overall well-being.
Final thoughts on your self-care routine
While all of the above ideas are great and positive and can really help you, don’t underestimate the value of small, simple actions in your life. You can track these too, if you like. Try and create personal relaxation time for yourself. It’s not self-indulgent, it’s actually really important. I am really bad at this and have to make a really conscious decision to carve out time for myself. You may have your own ideas of what constitutes self care for you but, if not, I’ve given you some ideas below to get your started.
Top Ten self-care ideas
here are 15 practical self care ideas that you can incorporate into your routine:
- Take a relaxing bath or shower.
- Get a good night’s sleep and establish a consistent sleep schedule.
- Practice mindfulness meditation or deep breathing exercises.
- Engage in physical activity, such as going for a walk or run, doing yoga, or lifting weights.
- Eat a nutritious and balanced diet.
- Connect with loved ones through phone calls, video chats, or in-person visits.
- Spend time in nature, such as going for a hike or visiting a park.
- Treat yourself to a favourite hobby or activity.
- Take breaks throughout the day to stretch or move around if you have a sedentary job.
- Unplug from technology for a period of time each day.
- Use your journal creatively (eg art journal, creative journal) or practice other forms of self-expression, such as drawing or painting.
- Read a book or listen to music for relaxation and enjoyment.
- Practice good hygiene, such as brushing your teeth and washing your hands regularly. Give yourself a face mask, manicure or pedicure
- Take care of your skin with moisturizer, sunscreen, and other skincare products.
- Set healthy boundaries and learn to say “no” when necessary to avoid burnout.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and found it really useful. Try and incorporate one or two of the strategies I’ve suggested and see how they work for you. You can swop them around to find the one that works best.
If you like this post you may also like:
5 simple reasons to keep a journal that improve your mental health
How to stop negative self talk with journaling
How to create personal mental health journal ideas: 16 prompts