What to Include in Your Mental Health Bullet Journal
I know what you’re thinking. How can a mental health bullet journal help me with my social anxiety? How is squirreling away writing in a journal going to change the fact that my heart starts pounding just at the thought of talking to strangers? More importantly, what the heck is bullet journaling anyway?
I’m not sure where I first heard of bullet journals, but I know it became clear to me that this was a “thing” when I started seeing them described everywhere online. It seems like everyone and their mother has a bullet journal! Basically, a bullet journal is one part planner, one part diary, and one part goal/habit tracker.
But—I’d like to propose that you throw out any notions of what you think a mental health bullet journal is or has to be. If you’re creating a mental health bullet journal, it should serve the purpose for which it is intended. You should only put in it things that are going to help you. It should reduce stress not cause it.
So here goes. I’m listing below five things that I would put in a mental health bullet journal. Feel free to add to or subtract from this list, or let me know what you’ve put in your own mental health bullet journal. Most of what I’ve described you will find examples of in this article.
To get started creating a mental health bullet journal, all you need is a journal and some pens. Choose a journal that’s large enough to work with but small enough that it’s portable. It’s best to get one with dotted pages so that it’s easier to create tables and boxes. If you want to, you can add page numbers and an index to make things easier to find.
Monthly Habit Tracker
A monthly habit tracker brings together your habits and moods all in one spot so you can see the connection between the two. It reminds me a bit of the doing graphs in math class back in high school, only a lot more fun I promise!
The point of this exercise is to be able to see patterns between what you do and how you feel. Tracking your habits will also help you to make better decisions. Tracking your emotions will make it easier to manage them.
Turn your mental health bullet journal sideways so that you have a double-page spread that is longer than it is wide. Then write at the top “Monthly Habits.”
Now, across the top, write the numbers 1 to 30 (or 31) along with S, M, T, W, T, F, S, S to represent the days of the week. Down the left-hand side of the page, you will list the habits you are planning to track.
Below are some examples of things you could track:
- Hours of sleep
- Time to bed
- Minutes of exercise
- Hours of TV/Internet
- Hygiene activities (showering, brushing teeth)
- Number of alcohol drinks
- Number of caffeinated drinks
- Number of cups of water
- Number of fruits/veggies consumed
- Medication (taken or not)
- Vitamins (taken or not)
Next, you could list physical symptoms such as the following:
- Appetite (high or low)
- Period (yes or now)
Finally, you could list how you are feeling mentally. Below are some examples:
Daily Habit Tracker