How to Use Your Bujo for Self-Care: Reflection

Welcome to Week 8: Reflection of the Bullet Journal Challenge series! In case you missed it, the #BulletJournalChallenge announced on www.bulletjournal.com is the perfect way to find inspiration for all the ways you can use a bujo for self-care. The details of the challenge are here. My post about Week 7, professional care, can be found here.

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Reflection on the bullet journal challenge
7 Ways to Use Your Bullet Journal for Self-Care: Reflection

This week, I’ll round up a few of my favorite ideas from the challenge and share how the challenge has helped me decide which habits I want to keep track of in my weekly layouts.

Personal Care

Journaling

My favorite way to use my bujo for personal care is the journaling section of my traveler’s notebook.  Sometimes, I’ll decorate the pages, but this space is supposed to be for my benefit, so if I only want to write, I’ll use the pages either for a brain-dump or a regular journal entry.  If I’m feeling stuck or looking for inspiration, I use a journaling prompt.

Personal Care pages
Here’s my insert for journal entries in my traveler’s notebook.

Physical Care

Morning and Evening Routines

I’m not a huge fitness buff, though I enjoy doing gentle yoga and going on walks when the weather permits. I chose morning and evening routines because I think the way we start and finish our days has so much impact on our emotional and physical well-being.

If you’re at a loss for morning and evening routines, here are a few of my favorite ideas:

For mornings:

  • Morning pages
  • Eat breakfast
  • Prayer/devotion/mantra/setting intentions for the day
  • Exercise (walking, yoga, dancing, YouTube workout, etc.)
  • Spend five minutes reviewing your bujo and plans for the day
  • Listen to an inspiring TED talk (either as you get ready or on your commute)

For evenings:

  • No screen time two hours before bed
  • Journaling
  • Coloring
  • Reading
  • Exercise (walking, yoga, dancing, YouTube workout, etc.)
  • Morning pages”  (if your mornings are truly too crazy, you can write your pages at night)
  • Prepare for the next day (lay out clothes, prep meals, pack bag, etc.)
  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour

Psychological Care

Make a Not-To-Do List

Are you someone who needs to quit worrying about something or are you a chronic people pleaser? If so, this suggestion can be a powerful tool to help you. Make a page dedicated to all the things you want to stop doing. For example, you could write “I’m going to stop worrying about what people think of me” or “I’m going to stop putting myself last.” You could also use the Not-To-Do List to help you with a positive self-image and write “I’m going to stop feeling bad about my body.” The stories you tell yourself are more powerful than you may realize. Make sure the stories you are telling yourself help you become your best self.

Psychological Care
When creating your Not-To-Do List, it may help you to remember your “Why.”

Emotional Care

Mood Trackers

There are a few different ways you could incorporate mood trackers in your bujo. You could choose to record your mood in a tracker on your daily pages, weekly spreads, monthly pages, or make a separate page for tracking your mood for the entire year. I was inspired to use the My Year in Pixels idea that can be found on Pinterest and Instagram. Every day, I color each square the corresponding shade for each mood and as the year goes on, it’ll be fun to see all the different colors. So far, it has been a colorful start to my year!

My Year in Pixels
My Year in Pixels was already turning out to be so colorful even in February. I can’t wait to see what it looks like by the end of the year!

Environmental Care

Cleaning Schedules

There are a few ways you could use your bullet journal to keep your cleaning routine. You could make a separate page to refer to your master cleaning schedule for weekly and monthly tasks. I find it helpful to have my daily cleaning tasks as a part of my to-do list in my bujo, mixed in with my other action items for the day. Alternatively, in your weekly spread, you could make a checklist of all the cleaning tasks you want to accomplish that week and check off each item as you complete them. I personally can’t make my cleaning routines a floating list because I know if I don’t schedule my tasks for a certain day, I won’t get it done.

To simplify my cleaning routine, I follow Clean Mama‘s routine. As a blogger, writer, and mother, I don’t have a lot of time to devote to cleaning my house, so her easy-to-follow schedule helps me stay on track even on my busy days. I won’t go into her whole system because she does an amazing job of explaining it here.

This book has changed how I look at cleaning (and I’m not a domestic goddess.) If you purchase through my link, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I appreciate your support!

Social Care

Collections

There are a few different collections you could keep to help you with social care. My favorite way to do collections pages is to keep lists. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Keep a contacts page with the names of people in your circle who support you. You should keep their contact information next to their name so that you can send them thank-you notes for their help.
  • While on the subject of contacts, you could keep a list of your immediate friends’ and family’s birthdays and other meaningful dates so that you can plan ahead.
  • Make a list of all the ways you show love to yourself, either through a written list or sketches.
  • Keep a page of happy memories to reflect on. You could either make this a written list, or if you’re feeling artistic, you could sketch the moments on your pages. You could also add photos to your page of happy moments.

Professional Care

Trackers

Depending on what your career is, there are many ways your bullet journal can help make your professional life easier. If you’re a project manager or engineer working on an assignment with several deadlines, you could create a tracker for your project’s key milestones. If you’re a fellow writer, I find that keeping a submission tracker helps me keep up with not only who I submitted my work to, but also when. This makes it so much easier for me to keep track of when I need to follow up with a piece I’ve submitted.

Other tracker ideas for helping your professional life:

  • If you’re on the hunt for a job, keep a tracker with the names of places you’re applying to and leave room for the date you first contacted them for the position. You could also write down relevant information about the company or the job on this page.
  • Bloggers, you could make a tracker for your page views, social media followers, and so much more! Blogging has so many numbers involved that having a tracker will help you so much when you’re looking to work with a brand for sponsored content. As time goes on, it’ll also serve as a record of how far you’ve grown.

For more tips on stress-free habit trackers, check out my post here.

Reflection on the Bullet Journal Challenge

weekly layout in bullet journal
A weekly layout from the beginning of April.

My biggest takeaway from the bullet journal challenge is that there is an infinite number of ways that I can be using my bujo to help me take better care of myself. After completing the challenge, I thought about which habits I most need help with keeping track of, and for the time being, I’ve narrowed it down to these five:

  • exercise
  • breathe
  • fiction
  • read
  • declutter

I still have been struggling to keep up with exercise, but for the purposes of my tracker I count dance parties with my two young children, yoga, and going on walks as exercise. As long as I do one of those things, I get to check off the box for the day.

I put “breathe” as one of my habits because it’s a simple, effective way to help me be mindful when I’m busy or stressed. This is especially useful if I don’t feel like doing a longer meditation. Sometimes, taking a minute to only focusing on breathing with the phone on silent and the tv off is all I need for a reset.

“Fiction” is on my list to help me remember my why. My first love is writing fiction and it’s easy for it to fall by the wayside as I work on the blog and get caught up in my everyday routine. Having it as part of my habit tracker holds me accountable.

It feels strange to have “read” on my list since I love reading so much, but lately, I’ve needed the reminder to read for fun. It’s nice having a relaxing hobby on my to-do list.

The last item in my habit tracker, “declutter,” is so important but can be difficult for me to remember to do sometimes. I struggle with the idea that decluttering doesn’t have to take a long time, and so what I’m trying to turn into a habit is setting a timer for 10 minutes and seeing how much decluttering I can get done in a short amount of time. This is an area I’m still working on but I’m confident my habit tracker will help me reach my goal.

Did you participate in the challenge? I’d love to hear your thoughts about it, especially if it inspired you to change how you use your bullet journal. Tell me about it in the comments section.

The Bullet Journal Challenge Series

If you’re interested in participating in the challenge on your own time, I’ve listed each week’s topic here:

If you’re on Instagram, make sure you follow the hashtag #BulletJournalChallenge for inspiration! Also, if you’re reading this long after the challenge is over, I encourage you to do the challenge anyway.  Self-care is so important to your overall well-being, and it’s never too late to start taking better care of yourself.

More Tools to Use Your Bujo for Self-Care

If you’re looking for more inspiration for using your bujo for self-care, sign up for my email list to receive free journaling prompts and printable quotes for your bujo. I’ll be adding more freebies, so check your inbox for updates!

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Reflection on the bullet journal challenge
7 Ways to Use Your Bullet Journal for Self-Care: Reflection

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