How to Use Your Bullet Journal for Self-Care: Physical Care

Physical Care
4 Ways to Use Your Bujo For Self-Care: Physical Care

Welcome to Week 2: Physical Care 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 1, personal care, can be found here.

This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com and kawaiilands.com.  If you purchase products from these links, I may a small commission at no extra cost to you.  To read my full disclosure statement, click here.

This week’s topic is physical care. This includes:

  • Health
  • Fitness
  • Beauty
  • Nutrition

This an area of self-care that I struggle with, especially when I’m feeling stressed, sick, or tired. Physical care is always the first thing to go when I’m feeling overwhelmed, but the prompt this week is making me pause to consider why I do this. With that said, here are some ways that you can use your bujo for physical care, plus a few ways I’ve used mine.

Habit Tracking

The most obvious way you can use your bujo for physical care is to create habit trackers specifically for exercise, nutrition, beauty, and health. If keeping track of habits are new to you, or you’re trying to start a new habit, I highly recommend starting small. If you want to start exercising, but you haven’t been physically active for a long time, start with a smaller goal of exercising for 20 minutes or even simply walking around the block a few times a week. The last thing you want to do when building a new habit is to burn out before you even get started.

Other habits you could track are your water intake, keeping track of medications or vitamins, days you use a skincare routine, or if fixing your hair or makeup is something you’d like to do, but don’t always do because of time or energy, you could keep track of that as well. It’s important that you don’t overdo it trying to track too much all at once if habit tracking is new to you. I talk extensively about why keeping simple habit trackers is a good idea here, but the main take away is you don’t want to sabotage your attempts at building good habits by making habit tracking a chore.

Physical Care
I keep my weekly habit tracker simple, functional, and small. If you want your own Totoro pencil case, watercolor washi tape, or cat pencils, go to www.kawaiilands.com and use my code simply10 for 10% off your order.

Morning and Evening Routines

As part of a challenge I participated in over the summer of 2017, I created a self-care planner in a Moleskin journal and I loved it. I  still use it to this day, though it’s starting to get full and I’m in the process of migrating important pages from the self-care planner to my traveler’s notebook. One of the things I made a page for a morning and evening routine. As you can see in the picture below, I haven’t quite decided on an evening routine yet (I’m still figuring out what works for me now that I have two children) but I wrote down an ideal morning routine.

Physical Care
When I finally figure out an evening routine that works for me, I’ll update my page or I’ll migrate it to my current traveler’s notebook.

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

Make Resource Pages

A resource page would be like having a physical version of a Pinterest board in your bujo. You could list favorite exercise YouTube videos, your favorite health and fitness blogs, favorite healthy recipes, or books and magazines you want to read (or have read) about wellness. You could also make a list of challenges you want to partake in or accounts to follow that will help you with your health goals.

Exercise

Aside from using a habit tracker to hold yourself accountable to an exercise routine, you could print off or draw exercise routines and store them in a pocket on a page. I did this with some yoga routines that I found on Pinterest and I like how convenient it is to simply remove whatever routine I want to use. I don’t have to use my phone or computer to look up the routine, which for me, is a huge bonus because then I don’t get distracted before I start exercising.

Physical Care
I love using Pinterest to look for simple but effective yoga routines. Feel free to follow my boards here!

If you want to keep printed out routines in your bujo, too, here are some of my recommendations. If you purchase anything through my links, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I appreciate your support!

The Challenge

For me, the hardest part of this week’s challenge is actually following through with the pages I’ve made for physical care.  I don’t know how many times I’ve tried tracking exercise in my bujo, only to have it slide because of feeling too tired. I don’t personally keep track of the amount of sleep I get each night at this stage in my life because, at the time of this writing, I have a six-month-old that still likes to night feed. I talk more about how I decide which things I track here.

However, the Bullet Journal Challenge series has me rethinking how I feel about physical care. While exercise may not be a top priority for me, I do enjoy yoga and going on walks, so I’m going to make an effort to find ways to include my two young children in my physical care. Realistically, that is the only way I’m really going to make any sort of exercise routine work for me because if I have a moment to myself, I’d rather be writing, crafting, reading, or gaming (really, anything but exercise.) One thing that has started working for me is using playlists on YouTube to have dance parties with my three-year-old and finding mother and baby yoga videos to do with my 6-month-old.

The #BulletJournalChallenge Series

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

  • Week 1: Personal Care
  • Week 2: Physical Care
  • Week 3: Psychological Care
  • Week 4: Emotional Care
  • Week 5: Environmental Care
  • Week 6: Social Care
  • Week 7: Professional Care
  • Week 8: Reflection

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!

Subscribe

Subscribe for updates and free printables!

* indicates required



Do you use your bujo to help with physical self-care? Do you have any tips on following through with your routines? I’d love to hear your advice in the comment section!

Physical Care
4 Ways to Use Your Bujo for Self-Care: Physical Care

How to Use Your Bullet Journal for Self-Care: Personal Care

Personal Care
How to Use Your Bujo for Self-Care

Are you making the most out of your bullet journal? One of the best parts of keeping a bujo is that you can easily use it as a tool for self-care. 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.

Since I’m participating in the challenge, I was inspired to write a series about it. For the next eight weeks, I’ll go in-depth about the different aspects of self-care you can make pages for in your bujo. This week’s topic is personal care, which includes:

  • Journaling as self-care
  • What you enjoy doing for your “me time”
  • Ways to treat yourself
  • Creating lists for ways to turn around a bad day, morning/evening routines, and other self-care related lists.

Ways You Can Use Your Bujo for Personal Care

Journaling

My favorite way to use my bujo for self-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.

Listing

Another way you can use your bujo for personal care is to keep lists. Some people like to make lists of things to do when they’re having a bad day, morning routines, evening routines, or even things that make them happy. I find that having a list of things I’d like to do on an ideal day off not only gives me something fun to daydream about but when I do have a rare day to myself, I already have an idea of what I’d like to do. I don’t waste any time figuring how I want to spend the day, only to have it end before I could make the most of it.

Personal Care
I started a separate journal in July 2017 for self-care. This is one of my favorite list pages.

Habit Trackers

Finally, another way to use your bujo for personal care is to use your habit tracker to keep up with your self-care habits.  I talk about habit trackers more in this post here. Currently, all of my habits I’m tracking relate to self-care. One of the things I’m tracking this week is making sure that I journal. If I don’t plan on time to journal or keep track when I do it, it becomes easy to let it slide. If I’m not keeping up with my morning pages, I also include a  spot in my habit tracker for doing those as well.

Personal Care
My weekly habit tracker isn’t elaborate, but it’s effective. I like having my weekly tracker on the same page as the layout so that I can see everything at a glance.

The #BulletJournalChallenge Series

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

  • Week 1: Personal Care
  • Week 2: Physical Care
  • Week 3: Psychological Care
  • Week 4: Emotional Care
  • Week 5: Environmental Care
  • Week 6: Social Care
  • Week 7: Professional Care
  • Week 8: Reflection

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 Personal 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!

Subscribe

Subscribe for updates and free printables!

* indicates required



How do you use your bujo for personal care? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear about it!

Personal Care
How to Use Your Bujo for Self-Care: Personal Care

Use Stress-Free Habit Trackers for Practical Self-Care

 

Journal and Pen
Make Habit Trackers Work for You Stress-Free

This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com.  If you purchase products from these links, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  To read my full disclosure statement, click here.

What Are Habit Trackers?

Habit tracking is one of the reasons many people keep a bullet journal or bujo instead of a traditional planner.  If you search on Pinterest or Instagram for the hashtag #bujo or #habittracker, you’ll find hundreds of different habits people want to keep track of, from health habits such as water intake or logging hours of sleep to no spend days or time on social media.  They are valuable tools for trying to create good routines or break a bad habit.

If you’re unfamiliar with the bullet journal system, I encourage you to go read about it from the creator of the bujo, Ryder Carroll, here. I love the system because it’s so customisable and I plan on writing a future post about how I have mine set up since, like many bujo enthusiasts, my bullet journal doesn’t look exactly like the original concept.

Keeping Track of Your Habits Doesn’t Have to be Complicated

If you spend any amount of time searching for habit trackers or bujo layouts on Pinterest or Instagram, you’re bound to come across several gorgeous, intricate designs.  I have a board dedicated to these inspirational pages here.  Sometimes, though, I’ll come across a Pin that leaves me feeling intimidated, featuring habit trackers with over 30 items listed and fully illustrated. I don’t know about you, but the idea of having to check off so many things every single day sounds overwhelming. As a writer and work-at-home mother of two young children (3-years-old and 5-month-old at the time of this writing), my time is limited. Someday, I would love to try one of the many extensive trackers I’ve looked at, but right now, it’s not how I want to spend my time.

This is hard to admit, but I’m not sure if detailed tracker would work for me even if I wasn’t so busy.  When I try to change too many things at once, I tend to fail. I become discouraged by the lack of progress and nothing changes. When building new habits and routines, I have to start small and gradually work towards my end goal.  That’s why I’m currently tracking six habits in my weekly spread and have one year-long tracker for my mood.

Bullet Journal with Simple Habit Tracker
Weekly Layout from My Bujo.  This week featured my one little word for the year.

How I Use Weekly Habit Trackers

I’ve simplified how I use habit trackers since switching to a traveler’s notebook. The narrower pages for my weekly layouts made it an easy decision.  Each week, I think about what habits I want to maintain, which ones I’d like to start doing, and what I’d like to stop doing. I make an effort to keep the list short so that I don’t put too much pressure on myself.

My current list of six habits for the week are yoga, dance, read, write, journal, and craft. I’m trying to start an easy exercise routine, so I’m attempting to get back into yoga. I also want to teach my kids healthy habits, so I make an effort to have 20-minute dance parties with them. It makes exercising much more fun for me.  The last four habits are a mix of things I hope will help me professionally and keep me focused on self-care.

One final note about my weekly habit tracker: I’m not afraid to change what goes on the list. I used to track my morning pages and bedtime. However, I was consistently doing my morning pages, so I didn’t feel the need to continue tracking that habit. If I start slipping in that area, I’ll add it back to the list. I stopped keeping track of my bedtime because it was demoralizing. My baby still keeps me up at night and logging these long nights aren’t helping me. I’ll try tracking this habit again in a few months.

How I Use a Year Long Habit Tracker

Mood Tracker
My Year in Pixels page, heavily inspired by the many other mood trackers on Pinterest and Instagram.

I saw several variations of the My Year in Pixels mood tracker on Pinterest and fell in love with the idea. I’m a gamer and a nerd at heart, so I immediately knew that was going to go into my bujo this year.  I’m happy to report that so far, I’m off to a good start this year (even if I woke up grumpy on New Year’s Day.)

Close up of Habit Tracker
Closer view of My Year in Pixels mood tracker.

More Tips for Simplifying Your Habit Trackers

Here are a few more ideas to help you get started or simplify habit tracking:

  • Don’t be afraid to start small. If the idea of keeping track of seven things every day sounds overwhelming, don’t do it! Try keeping track of only one thing, such as water intake, doing morning pages, or no spend days.
  • If you’re consistently doing a habit every day, you may consider removing it from your habit tracker to free up space. Unless, of course, you want to keep it on the list because you love checking it off every day. There’s nothing wrong with that!
  • If you keep listing a habit in your tracker and never do it, consider why you feel the need to continue giving it a place in your habit tracker. Is it really a habit you actually want to have, or do you only think you should have it? You may be trying to be something you’re not. Don’t be afraid of removing a habit from your tracker- I did it!
  • If you genuinely want to start doing a habit but haven’t successfully done it yet, you need to take an honest look at your routine to see how you can make it happen. Maybe breaking the habit into smaller pieces (like attempting it once a week instead of every day) would help you get started.

As you start using habit trackers, you may decide a more detailed habit tracker. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to keep track of several things. It isn’t for me right now and that’s okay. Maybe someday it will be, and I’ll write a post called “Why Super-Detailed Habit Trackers are Awesome!” In the meantime, I’ll stick to admiring other people’s layouts online.

Tools I Use for My Habit Trackers

Here are a few supplies I love to use in my habit trackers. If you purchase anything through my links, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

  

What kinds of habits do you keep track of in your bujo? Do you prefer to track several habits at once or only a few at a time? I’d love it if you share what works for you in the comment section.

Bullet Journal
Make Habit Trackers Work for You Stress Free

Why You Should Do Morning Pages (Even if You’re Busy)

Morning Pages
Why You Should Do Morning Pages (Even If You’re Busy)

This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com.  If you purchase products from these links, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  To read my full disclosure statement, click here.

What Are Morning Pages?

I first read about morning pages in Julia Cameron’s famous book, The Artist’s Way. The concept is brilliant in its simplicity: before your day begins, free-write three pages in a journal, notebook, or if neither of those options is available, you could even use three scrap pieces of paper. The catch is, you can’t think too hard about what you’re writing. This is critical for morning pages to work properly, but it’s especially hard as a writer to not worry about punctuation or subject matter.

It took me a few attempts when I first started doing morning pages, but after making it a habit, it became easier to ignore my inner critic who worried too much about the quality of my simple journaling. If I didn’t know what to write on a particular morning, sometimes I would simply write, “I have nothing to say,” until the words finally came pouring out. This has been especially useful on days when I have writer’s block (more on this later.)

The second component to making morning pages work is to not immediately read what you have written that morning. Let it rest. In her book, Julia Cameron suggests not reading your journal for several weeks. I’m glad I followed that advice. After weeks had passed since I wrote my first entries, it made it easier for me to have a clearer perspective about how I was feeling at the time of the writing. For example, it’s much easier to read about a difficult time you went through after weeks have passed rather than too soon when the pain is still raw. It’s true that some things will still hurt, but at least for me, I found it to be therapeutic to revisit old entries.

The final, vital part of making morning pages work is to make it a habit. They work so much better if you make it a part of your morning routine. You have more material to work with later when you do actually read the pages and it becomes easier to write without worry the more you do morning pages. It’s also important to eventually read the pages to see if there are any recurring thoughts or themes that you need to address. You may find in your pages that you have a project you want to start or changes in your life that you want to make. Reviewing your morning pages can be a very helpful tool for goal setting.

How Morning Pages Have Helped Me

When I made my first attempts at morning pages, I was skeptical. I have always loved journaling, but at the time, I didn’t think that I would have much to say right after waking up. I felt silly writing, “I have nothing to say,” or complaining about whatever what bothering me for three solid pages if I woke up in a bad mood. But then a curious thing happened after a while: my morning pages were starting to flow more easily. Suddenly, it was as if someone had opened the gates to my subconsciousness and I wrote about things, both good and bad, that I didn’t even realize were weighing on me. It was an eye-opening experience to review those entries, and it helped me make necessary changes in my life to feel happier and more fulfilled.

While I’m still very much a work in progress, it gives me peace of mind to use my morning pages as a safe place for me to check in with how I’m feeling. Not every entry is filled with profound meaning, but they still serve a secondary purpose that has also helped me tremendously. Making it a habit to free-write every day before any other writing takes place has reduced my writer’s block. It feels good being able to write without any sort of pressure of it being good or meaningful. It almost feels like clearing the cobwebs from my mind, and I’m much more relaxed when I sit down to write later on in the day.

Journal with pen and coffee
Highly idealized morning pages set up. Maybe someday this will be the reality, but not today!

Expectation vs Reality

When I picture doing my morning pages, I envision waking up early to a sleeping, peaceful household, making myself an iced coffee, and sitting down to leisurely do my morning pages. The reality is, that isn’t going to happen during the particular season of life that I’m in. I have two young children, a 3-year-old and a breastfeeding baby that still occasionally wakes up for nighttime feedings. On top of that, I have never been a morning person. The idea of waking up early when I’m already tired horrifies me. Here is my typical routine:

  • Wake up to the alarm clock (or more likely, my youngest wakes me up, wanting to eat.)
  • Make my iced coffee.  This step is essential.  If I don’t have my coffee, I won’t be able to get anything done.
  • If my husband has to go to work, I make breakfast. Otherwise, on his days off, my husband usually makes breakfast for everyone while I feed the baby.
  • After breakfast, I set a timer on my phone for 10 minutes. My oldest knows that when I have my timer set to keep himself entertained while I write unless he needs help. I’m very lucky that he’s so sweet about it. When I’m writing, he says, “Momma’s coloring.”
  • When I’m all done, it’s back to reality as a stay-at-home mother to my little ones until their nap time, which I use as my primary writing time.

More often than not, I’m writing my morning pages with my baby across my lap while my oldest is playing nearby, sometimes loudly, but always enthusiastically. It may not be the ideal, tranquil way that Julia Cameron intended, but doing my pages does give me clarity about my needs and what I want to accomplish for the day. Maybe someday, when my children are older, I will do my morning pages the proper way. For now, this works for me, and I’ll enjoy my little bit of extra sleep in the morning.

Make Morning Pages Work For You

Keeping in mind that I don’t do my morning pages exactly the proper way, here are a few practical tips for finding time to write your own pages:

  • Instead of checking your email or social media first thing in the morning, write your pages. It’s amazing how easy it is to fall down the rabbit hole of mindlessly scrolling. You may even find you have more time in the morning if you don’t check email or social media during breakfast.
  • Before you go to bed at night, set your notebook or journal out where you plan on using it in the morning. Make it a convenient location- you don’t want to hunt down your materials every day.
  • If you are running short on time in the mornings, consider setting your alarm clock ten to fifteen minutes early. You shouldn’t need more than a few minutes to free-write. (I know this is advice I will never take myself, but maybe it will help out one of you, my readers.)
  • If mornings are truly too chaotic for you to even think about writing, consider making your morning pages your nightly pages and write them at bedtime as a way to unwind. You could also spend part of your lunch break writing your pages as a midday check-in, but take care to guard your privacy if you choose this route. You don’t want to worry about co-workers peeking over your shoulders while you’re writing. I would suggest only doing this in your car or if you have your own office where you can write undisturbed and as a last resort if you have no other free time.

More About the Artist’s Way

I could easily go on about how much The Artist’s Way helped me get through a terrible creative slump. In fact, it will probably be the focus of a future blog post. If you are interested in reading more about finding or rediscovering your creativity, I highly recommend this book!  If you purchase a copy through my link, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  I’ve also included links to journals that I have loved using if you want to keep your morning pages in a beautiful home.

   

Why You Should Do Morning Pages (Even If You're Busy) Journal with iced coffee and pen
Why You Should Do Morning Pages (Even If You’re Busy)