Not long after my last post (way back in April) I found myself struggling to get motivated and just generally feeling totally overwhelmed and stressed, nervous and anxious all the time, add that to my insomnia and you have a very wired me that can pretty much do nothing apart from exist – hence the lack of posts (When I get super stressed or anxious I tend to withdraw from everything). I sought help from a doctor who (along with other reasons that are awaiting testing) sent me to a mental health worker to assess my needs and offer me help and support, one of the options that was discussed and recommended to me were classes in Stress Control and Anxiety Management. At the end of April I attended my first out of 6 classes that I was to attend weekly. These classes have helped me a lot, they taught me that it’s ok to feel this way and that by acknowledging these feelings and thoughts and identifying ways to help that I can get through this…a lot of what I learned was similar to Mindfulness, but there was also a part of the course that encouraged me to re-engage with some of the things I used to find enjoyable (art, planning, drawing, photography, creating), things which have slowly disappeared from my life as the stress and anxiety took over. I bought a Leuchtturm Dot Grid notebook (a mini first off) and so began a trip down the bullet journal ( aka bujo) hole…
Nearly 6 months after my first foray into the world of bujo and I have found that I have a creative outlet that is helping me to be more levelled in my stress and anxiety, helping with other aspects of my mental health and letting me have the creative outlet that I so obviously needed in my life.
If you are struggling with any aspect of your mental health and it is starting to affect your everyday life and the things you enjoy are starting to become dull and mundane, please seek help, visit your doctor, chat with a mental health worker and put some self care measures in place. Take some time out if needed and re-remember what you enjoy and why.
I’m still experiencing stress and anxiety, not to the extreme I was before, and I’m still waiting on further tests which should be happening in April next year (I’m being on a waiting list to be investigated for ASD and all the testing that goes along with that) but being able to have a space to analyse my day, thoughts, emotions and have a creative outlet that I can look back on makes things much more bearable.
If you would like to see my pages then they are all available on my instagram https://www.instagram.com/plannermontannah/ .
For further information on managing stress or anxiety visit http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/understanding-stress.aspx
For information on ASD please see http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Autistic-spectrum-disorder/Pages/Introduction.aspx
I have really surprised myself, normally by now I would be having layout and planner envy and wishing that I had set up my planner in a different way or be wanting to introduce something else into my planner to “try”, but this has not happened yet…. Maybe I have found the elusive “Planner Peace” finally?
I am still enjoying decorating my pages and filling in my plans week to week, the only tweak I have made is the addition of tiny post-its which I write future plans on and date before sticking to the relevant day if the week has not yet been decorated.
I have been using Oodlemadoodles kits for a short while and I am loving the inclusion of the meal plan stickers (little circles with knife and fork motif’s) which have been helping me to plan my meals (and shopping lists). I am usually a really lousy meal planner and just grab something and go , and while this has worked in some ways, in others it hasn’t (like it can be a pretty unhealthy way to eat…) so meal planning is something new but is helping me diet wise and also time wise – less faffing around and thinking about what to have, and it’s something I think I may just stick with planner wise!
Here’s a look back at the last few weeks layouts..
Kits from Oodlemadoodles and KayeLimePie
What things have you changed in your planner this month? What has worked and what hasn’t?
I titled this series “Thoughts” as I want to be able to review how my month as gone, things I might change and things I may decide to do in the future, share lessons learned and tips and tricks that have proved useful, basically the kind of post that mulls things over and discusses things that might change on a month to month basis. So, onto my first “Thoughts” post 🙂 .
I have been using my week on 2 pages (WO2P) set up since the last week in December, that’s 4 full weeks, and I have decorated each week before adding my own notes and plans.
and I have found that I am really enjoying decorating the pages the weekend before for the week ahead. I have been writing things down and (mostly), sticking to the plans I make. The decoration makes me smile every time I open my planner and encourages me to utilize it everyday as a tool to keep track of things.
One thing that I found really useful (and I have attempted before but not really used them to the full capacity!) were the Hydrate stickers (that came on the weekly kit I purchased from FiloFabulouss on etsy). I know I have not been drinking as much as I used to and this is a handy way to keep track of your hydration! I decided rather than color in the droplet shapes I would track what I had drunk (w for water, c for coffee etc…) which I found useful. I think I will be looking for some hydration stickers to use daily in my planner!
I will be continuing to decorate my pages, at first I wasn’t sure if I would have enough space to write and have decorations, especially switching from day to a page (that I used last year) to A5 WO2P, and then back into personal sized. I have changed how I write and am more conscious when I put pen to paper and try to keep my writing smaller and neater than I used to (seriously, my writing when using D2AP inserts was terrible!!!)
I also tried to (on my week 2 pages!) co-ordinate my pen color to the kit but that went out of the window pretty quick and I realized that I would be having to carry around a few different pens with me, and that I preferred writing with my Parker Rollerball pen and decided to stick with that for the other spreads. I won’t rule out using other ink colors in the future but, for the moment I think I will be using the pens I carry around with me at all times.
So, that’s about it for this months “Thoughts”. This post should have been posted yesterday but I’ve had some computer issues which saw me spending much of my time backing everything up onto an external hard drive and getting my laptop running at full speed again! Next months “Thought’s” will be posted on 17th February so head back then to hear my thoughts on my planner!