Wouldn’t it be nice to have a place to be messy and true to yourself in a world of fabricated perfection and filters? For me, one way that has kept me organized and mentally healthy is by bullet journaling (or “BuJo”, if you’re cool). To someone who is new to this term, bullet journaling is a planner system that helps you to understand and externalize your thoughts and emotions. All you need is a simple blank journal along with a few stationery in hand. Let’s dive into 5 popular bujo spreads ideas that you can incorporate self-care into!
You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
• Mood Tracker
A creative and effective way to get a look at your emotional rhythms over months, or years. You can create a box or space for each day of the month and color codes representing different moods.
It can be as simple as a header, a couple of lines and/or circles, and your choice of colors! The themes can be customized to the season or the month or your personal liking. For example, if you are in a summer month when bees start to hang out, just draw some hexagons and a yellow color spectrum. This is so beginner-friendly yet bee-autiful!
• Affirmation/Gratitude Log
A way to practice self-care in your bujo is to practice speaking or writing to yourself with love and kindness, consistently expressing gratitude. Choosing to see more positivity in your life and giving less power to negative emotions is a powerful way in creating a happier and healthier life.
To start with an eye-catching header, and numbering down the page with each date, you can highlight every other line to give my spread a little color. Fill the space with words of affirmation about yourself and what you are grateful for today. It’s the little things in life that matter the most.
• Habit Tracker
When you’ve got a million things on your mind, it is easy to lose track of daily habits or tasks. This is a spread that tracks your daily habits and routines, as the name suggests (duh), and gives you a visual representation of your progress.
It encourages and motivates you to accomplish building healthy habits. Seeing the habit lined up as an unbroken chain makes you less likely to skip a day!
Example of what you can track: Vitamins Intake, Walking Doggies, Working Out, Watering plants, Practicing new language, Ate 5 veggies etc.
• Wins of the Day / Celebration
This is like a mini-victory log where I celebrate what went right that day or what I have accomplished. Put down 2-3 things that have made you proud to end the day off right!
This simple yet mindful practice shifts your mindset to an attitude of gratitude. Bear in mind that the things you write in the spread can’t be on your to-do list (that’d be cheating! ) because you would just be copying the list.
• Brain Dump!
Here comes my favorite spread of the whole journal – Brain Dump! This is the place where I write freely and unload anything I need to get out of my chest or anything that stood out that day.
You simply move the content of your brain to the paper. All the dos, stressors, plans, feelings, miscellaneous, whatever is in your mind deserves a space, too.
Everyone expresses themselves differently. If you feel like drawing and doodling resonate most with you, go ahead and play around with your creativity. You can be intricate by doodling and adding stickers or washi tape to fill the page. There’s no right or wrong answer to it. Do what your heart desires.
Expressing ourselves as human beings is an essential part of living a joyful and meaningful life. If you are looking for a way to inspire productivity and a safe space to let out your emotions, try setting up your own bullet journal. But remember, don’t force yourself to include everything in your bujo if you feel like it’s too much and it’s not helping you to recharge your battery. It’s your journal, you make the rules!
By Clara Young