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I’m sure you know self-care is important. You know that self-care is something you need to prioritize.
But did you know that keeping a bullet journal is a great way to help you to both prioritize and practice self-care?
It’s true! Read on and I’ll show you how.
But just before we dive in, let have a quick self-care recap.
What is self-care?
Self-care is the practice of protecting, maintaining and improving your health and wellbeing.
- staying fit and healthy
- being aware of what depletes you and taking steps to replenish your mental and physical health
- treating yourself as kindly as you would treat others
What self-care is not
- selfish, indulgent or vain
- about ignoring the needs of others
Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive, complicated or time-consuming.
Why is self-care important?
Self-care is important because your wellbeing is important.
Your wellbeing is particularly important if you have loved one’s dependant upon you, such as friends, family or pets.
Because, if you’re not taking care of yourself, how are you going to take care of anyone else?
When you consistently incorporate self-care into your life you’ll:
- Feel more calm, relaxed and generally less stressed
- Get to know yourself better
- Build self-esteem and feel more confident – by taking the time to take care of yourself you are acknowledging to yourself, your family, and the world that you are important
So, how can a bullet journal help with self-care?
8 Ways a Bullet Journal Can Help You Practice Self-Care
1. Create a Self-Care List or Menu
Self-care is very individual, and knowing (and accepting) what you like and don’t like is crucial in finding the right self-care activities for you.
- What activities make you feel relaxed and recharged?
- What makes you feel happy or excited?
- Where’s your favourite place to hang out?
- Who are your favourite people to hang out with?
Then ask yourself:
- Which activities help you get active?
Moving your body will make you feel happier!
- Which ones help you slow down?
For those times when you need to relax and recharge.
- What activities can you do when you need to be more social?
Because friendships are important in protecting and maintaining mental health.
- Which creative activities do you enjoy?
Getting immersed in a creative project or activity will give you a big happiness boost.
- What can you do to feel more organized?
When you tackle an organization project (no matter how small) you’ll feel accomplished and happier!
- What can you start planning?
Having something to look forward to will help you feel positive about the future.
Now, use your bullet journal to create a list or menu of all the self-care activities that you enjoy. Then you’ll never be stuck for ideas for incorporating self-care into your day.
2. Get Inspired and Motivated with Quotes
I love quotes. They are a great way to remind us what’s important. Quotes can reinforce what you already know, and they give you permission to take action.
Stay inspired and motivated to practice self-care by keeping a note of your favourite self-care quotes in your bullet journal.
Whether your favourite quotes are from someone famous, or just a thought or sentiment you like, it doesn’t matter. Write them into your bullet journal so you can refer back them regularly.
Or you could do what I’ve done and print a favourite quote to stick into your bullet journal using some pretty washi tape.
Keep your favourite quotes at hand to remind you that self-care is not a luxury, it’s not something that can wait until you “have spare time”, and it’s definitely not selfish.
3. Create Trackers for Self-Care Habits
Tracking your self-care (both the type of self-care activities you do and the frequency you do them) is very effective.
Tracking your self-care will:
- help you turn self-care into a habit
- give you a sense of achievement and accomplishment
- help you assess your progress and reflect on what works (and doesn’t work) for you
Here are a few lovely tracker examples for inspiration.
4. Outline your Routine
Routines help you to be more efficient with your time and ensure that the important things happen (such as self-care!)
They prevent you from getting distracted by non-essential things and help your days feel smoother and more productive.
When you use your bullet journal to outline your routines, you can ensure that you incorporate self-care into your day.
5. Slow Down & Reflect
An important aspect of self-care is listening to yourself and identifying what you need.
The practice of keeping a bullet journal will in itself help you to slow down during your day and reflect on your needs.
When you sit down and put pen to paper you get a much-needed break from the frantic pace of day-to-day life.
You can put aside your electronic devices and their constant demands for attention and focus on you – what’s going on in your life.
And it gives you the opportunity to reflect on what went well, and what you are grateful for.
Whether you write paragraphs (or pages), or just make a few notes on your day, reflection is such a beneficial self-care practice.
“Through Reflection, we cultivate the habit of checking in with ourselves to examine our progress, our responsibilities, our circumstances and our state of mind. It helps us see if we’re solving the right problems, answering the right questions.” – Ryder Carroll, The Bullet Journal Method
6. Plan & Dream
Your bullet journal is a wonderful way of capturing your dreams, goals and plans for the future.
What new skills would you like to learn? Where would you like to visit on vacation? What do you want to watch, read or create?
Having something to look forward to will help you feel positive about the future. Thinking about your dreams (big and small), setting goals and working on action plans to achieve them will help you feel accomplished and satisfied.
And if you want to achieve your goals, the science is clear – write them down!
Read more about Why it’s Important to Write Down Your Goals.
7. Develop Your Creativity
Spending time on any creative hobby is a wonderful self-care practice, and your bullet journal can be an excellent creative outlet.
From hand lettering, doodling and drawing, to painting and writing of all types, you can use your bullet journal to explore and develop artistic or creative pursuits.
While I was initially drawn to bullet journaling as a way of living more intentionally, and feeling more calm and organized, I’ve since been inspired to try some creative hobbies and develop some new skills.
I’ve started to learn hand lettering and doodling, and I love to practice in my bullet journal.
It’s important to remember though that the essence of bullet journalling is content, not presentation. There is no rule that says you need to be artistic or creative. It’s completely up to you.
8. Organize Your Life
Being organized is, in itself, a form of self-care.
When you organize your life in your bullet journal, you aren’t constantly wondering if you’ve forgotten something. Or where it was you wrote that important note, shopping list, or list of to-dos.
When you’re on top of your tasks, when you know what you need to do each day, and where you need to be, life feels less stressful.
Will you incorporate some of these ideas into your bullet journal?
If you don’t have a bullet journal and you’re curious about starting your own, check out my post on How to Start a Bullet Journal (A Step by Step Guide)
Oh, and one last thing. If you think you’re too busy for self-care, take a look at these ideas from @mashaplans on how you can find the time.