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I wanted to create some mental health resources for you guys and I thought I would start by sharing the planner I use. Ever since college I have been searching for the perfect planner system. For awhile I was loyal to bullet journaling but it was too unstructured for me. After awhile my bullet journal just became a regular journal and my to-do lists and planner pages got buried and disorganized. Bullet journaling is a great system if you’re an organized person but I am not in organized person. In fact I am a disorganized freaking mess most of the time. I created this mental health planner to solve my planner issues and let me put everything in one place. I thought I would share it so you guys could use it too! You can download it for free here. I keep it on my desk and it helps me have a clear vision of what to do each day and I’m able to stay on task. Here’s how I use my planner to help my mental health.
Even after years of managing depression it still creeps up on me once and awhile. During these times, I’m not able to get as much done as I usually am. If you’re functioning level is low, prioritizing your tasks can keep your life from coming to a halt while you’re in a depressive funk. Write down the top three things you need to do and don’t think about anything else until those tasks are done. If you’re managing a mental illness your energy is limited which means you have to be extra careful not to waste it.
I suck at drinking water. Dehydration has been shown to have some of the same effects as depression. It can make your energy levels low and make it difficult to concentrate. If you’re already managing a mental illness don’t add dehydration to the list of symptoms you are experiencing. I used to use an app on my phone to track how much I drink but now I just fill it in on my mental health planner at the end of the day.
Writing down everything I have to do helps me manage my anxiety. If I start to worry about something I just write it down and then I tell myself I don’t need to think about it anymore. If I have a clear to do list and a clear plan for the day it keeps me from worrying about other stuff too much. If my mind starts to wander, I just look over my list and remind myself just to focus on getting one thing done at a time.
I basically never want to work out. I have to schedule in my time to exercise or I will never get around to doing in on my own. Working out is key for my mental health and I try to make it a priority. If I just try to fit in exercise whenever I have time I’ll never do it. I use my planner to schedule in my workouts to make sure I get them done.
Affirmations & Gratitude Prompts
I included gratitude prompts in my mental health planner because I want to do them every day and having it in my planner helps me remember to do it. Practicing gratitude every day has had a huge impact on my mental health and made my life so much better. I’m not a naturally positive person but taking a few minutes each day to write down what I’m thankful for helps me focus on the blessings in my life instead of the struggles. If you’ve been reading this blog any length of time you know that I rely heavily on affirmations so I included them in my planner too!
Daily Plan and Weekly Plan
I use the weekly planner to make an overall plan at the beginning of the week. Each morning I sit down and reference my weekly planner page while I write out my plan for that day. This helps me keep a big picture in mind when I’m planning out my day. I have tried planners that were just a weekly planner (not enough details) or just a daily planner (I need to be able to look at the whole week at once) but neither really worked for me. I have the best way for me to stay organized is to use both a weekly and daily planner pages together.
Divide Up the Day
I like to divide up my day by morning, afternoon and night. I find that trying to plan things out by the hour is too structured for me but if I don’t have a plan for the day I get overwhelmed. This way I can just focus on the phase of the day that I’m in. I also keep a list of my important tasks so I remember what I really want to focus on for the day. This helps keep me from getting distracted and wasting a bunch of time doing things that aren’t really that important.
If you want to try my mental health planner system you can download it for free here. I’m planning on adding more pages to the mental health planner so let me know what pages you would like to go with it. So far this has been working for me but I’m sure I will make some changes and additions. I’ll let you guys know how it goes over the next few months! If there are any more mental health resources you would like to see please let me know.
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