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Anxiety and depression are something that I often deal with.
Last year, I started a bullet journal in hopes that it would help me ease my busy mind. I am happy to report that I have noticed a huge improvement.
While I still have my moments, I now know that I now have a good tool to help me cope and work through things when I start feeling overwhelmed.
I want to show you that creating a routine with your bullet journal can help you deal with anxiety and depression. It will help you feel more stable and give you a more positive outlook.
Not sure what a bullet journal is? Check out my beginners guide to bullet journals.
Here are some ways to put your bullet journal to work for you and your mental health.
BRAIN DUMP PAGE
This is one of my favorite pages to create.
Each morning, as I am drinking my coffee, I take some time to breathe and think about what is on my mind. Things that are bothering me, things that make me happy, and things that I want to do.
I create little mind maps with all of these things that accumulate in my head, and once I do that, my mind feels a little more at peace.
It doesn’t have to look pretty, and it can be in any form, just find what works best for you.
The goal is to quiet your mind.
I usually have a brain full of things that I want to do and need to accomplish. It can get a little cluttered, so being able to have a running list written out, helps me clear my head a bit and have a visual of what I want to do.
However, those lists can also get long and become overwhelming, which leads to shutting down.
One solution would be to make short to-do lists for each day, or for the week.
Choose two or three main things that you would like to accomplish, and start with that.
Use your brain dump page to jot down other things on your mind. Then, when you sit down to work on your goals for the day, pull items from that page to add to your list.
Another suggestion would be to create a DONE list, instead of a to-do list.
Write down thing things that you did accomplish.
This can help turn a negative thing, such as a long overwhelming list, into a positive thing.
However you create your lists, just make sure it is achievable. Do not set yourself up for failure.
Sometimes, when anxiety and depression strike, it can make everything feel so hopeless. Like there is nothing good happening.
Take some time each day to think about and write down 1-3 good things that happened in your day.
Even if it is just something like just getting out of bed, or that the sun came out for a few hours. I found once I practiced this, that over time, the good things became easier to think of.
Need a little more inspiration? I explain a little bit more here, how keeping a gratitude list can help focus on the positive and put things into perspective.
SELF CARE PAGE
Make a page that lists various activities that you can do to take a few minutes to focus on yourself.
When you start feeling overwhelmed and need a break, refer to your list.
Often, when I start feeling really upset, my brain doesn’t seem able to think of what I can do to help get out of that rut. If you have a list, it makes it easy to just pick something and go with it.
If you need some ideas to get you started, check out my post about quick self-care ideas.
These have everything that you need to do on a daily basis available at a glance. Use grid paper and track things like exercise, food, medicine, housework, or vitamins.
A good one to start with is water intake, as staying hydrated is important for the mood.
Trackers are handy because they can help put things into perspective for you.
You might discover that you need to work harder to make something more of a habit, or better yet, you may realize that you are doing a great job and that things aren’t as bad as you think!
Again, just remember to set realistic goals for the things that you want to track.
I wrote a little bit about starting to track my mood last week.
Even though this is a tracker as well, I feel like it deserves its own category. This one is helpful to see if there are certain times which you are prone to feeling depressed or anxious, it gives you the big picture of how you are feeling.
I have enjoyed tracking my moods so far. When I grab my colors to fill in my box for the day, it gives me a moment to think about and recap my day.
Often I think I had a bad day, but once I think about it, I realize that it is usually a mix and that something positive typically happens. (of course, I try and remember to add that to my gratitude page!)
At first, I was worried that all my squares would be gray for sad, or dark blue for anxious, but I discovered that wasn’t the case.
QUOTE OR MANTRA PAGE
Finally, I like keeping a page with inspirational or motivational quotes that I like. I can glance at them when I start feeling dark, and usually, there is some kind of quote that will help uplift me.
It doesn’t need to be fancy, I just keep a page in my notebook so that I can just write it down when I find a quote that I like.
Mantras or affirmations are also nice to add, work them into your morning routine and start the day right. Remind yourself that you are a strong, capable, and smart person.
I hope that this shows you that organizing and creating a system in your bullet journal can be therapeutic and can help when emotions start feeling out of control.
Do you have a favorite page that you use to help combat anxiety and depression? I would love for you to share it in the comments. I am always trying to find inspiration for new pages to add to my journal.