I’ve been sharing some of my blog posts on a few groups on Facebook, and I’ve been getting a lot of messages on Facebook about why I started a separate BuJo for my mental health, along with how I decide what to put in it! I hope this helps some people out, keep in mind these are just my personal preferences & geared towards what I find helps me the most, so some of this might not work for you.
Why I started a separate bullet journal for my mental health:
- I had too many pages & spreads I was duplicating each year, taking up valuable space in my daily BuJo (also taking a lot of time!).
- I don’t like taking pages out of old journals & pasting them into new ones. Most of the spreads had other stuff on the other side of the page (trackers, part of a weekly, etc), so taking it out would just mess things up when I go through old journals to check something – which I do often enough that it’s not worth it to take a page out.
- Currently I can fit a whole year into one 250 page A5 journal, and I really like it. If I added all the mental health spreads I wanted to each year, I’d have to split my year into 2 journals for the year and that doesn’t work well for me.
- The thought of having all the spreads I wanted in a fresh new journal without the nonsense of my daily life was really appealing to me. It felt fresh, and calming.
- I had a lot of ideas & inspiration for other spreads that would be greatly beneficial to me, but of course didn’t have space in my regular journal.
- I wanted something helpful and informative that I could keep in my self-care box.
- If I did put the spreads in journals I didn’t want to have to flip through a bunch of journals to find the one thing I am looking for when I’m distressed, and that just sounds like a bad time to me.
Those are the main reasons, at least for me! I know some people go through multiple journals in a year and it’s not a big deal to them, but it was a pretty big deciding factor in my decision.
Where to look for inspiration & ideas:
- Facebook Groups
- Plain ol’ Google search
- Magazines, news articles, books, etc.
When I’m looking for something new to add, or just need some inspiration I usually start with Google Images first, as you’ll get a lot of images from blogs & websites, youtube, instagram, pinterest and other general sites like that. Depending on what I’m looking for I try a lot of different search terms, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of informative infographs around that I end up making into a spread! So don’t be shy to branch out from generic bullet journal search strings. Charts, diagrams, handouts & worksheets are also super handy terms to try too!
If I’m not finding what I want I then check out the Facebook groups I’m in, generally I just search the images to see if anything catches my interest. Some days I don’t find what I’m looking for, and end up asking for advice/help in a Facebook group, which usually is pretty helpful. Most people are more than happy to take a picture of something they’ve done if it might be helpful to you!
Deciding what to actually add:
For me I wanted to add a lot of things to my mental health BuJo. From anxiety & depression to personality disorders & addiction. These are all things I have struggled with the past and still struggle with in varying degrees from time to time. First I made a list of the main things I wanted to add information/diagrams/etc, about.
Here is what I came up with that I wanted to include some kind of info, positive quotes, or diagrams/charts about:
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
- Avoidant Personality Disorder
- Dependent Personality Disorder
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
- Anything physical that is detrimental to your mental health (for me it’s sleep problems, I want to have a spread of things to think of/do/remind myself when I’m having a hard time sleeping and it negatively influences my mood)
One problem is that a lot of the things I want to add are from diagrams, or books I’ve read, worksheets and so on. It’s information I know will be useful for me, but putting it into a spread isn’t always so easy, at least for me! When this happens I usually take a spare piece of paper & plan it out a little bit and lay it over my bujo page to see how it will fit, or if I need to make a 2 page spread, etc. This means when I actually make the spread it generally comes out how I want it, and I don’t feel disappointed or frustrated that it looks bad, etc.
Sometimes it’s fun to add extra things to your pages or spreads to help cheer you up. Whether it’s cat doodles or stickers, a certain colour theme that cheers you up or makes you happy, maybe even a magazine clipping of a image that makes you feel like you can take on anything. It’s really up to you! But these little extras can definitely make your mental health bujo not only feel more personal, but can make a world of difference when you’re just having a rough day.
Here’s a few more things you can consider adding, whether it’s a whole spread or just something small added onto a page somewhere:
- Your favourite things (in a list, or drawn)
- Things that calm you down
- Things that make you happy
- Stickers with different textures
- Small pieces of different fabrics to feel
- A light spray of your favourite perfume or body spray on a page.
- Magazine clippings of calming places/things
- Special colour schemes
- Favourite recipe
- Happy childhood memories
- Pictures of your favourite people
- Washi tape
- Doodles of cute things
- List of your favourite stores to shop at
- A wishlist
- A list of songs that make you want to dance
- Drawings to relieve stress & anxiety
I could go on and on…but it’s really all up to you! For some people retail therapy is a huge help, so maybe something like a Wishlist would be more helpful than doodles of cute things. Not all of the pages need to be super serious and informative, nor do they all have to be bright and happy-go-lucky. Whatever you decide to do is perfectly fine as long as it works for you!