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Bullet Journaling For Your Health

November 02, 2021

Bullet Journaling For Your Health

Whether you are looking for support in handling your medical condition or simply want to step up your self-care game, a Bullet Journal might be just the tool you need. 

 

But what is a Bullet Journal exactly? 

Basically, it’s a daily diary system that you create yourself.

Specific medical issues are often not well served by diaries / planners on the market – and when dealing with multiple medical conditions, finding an off-the-shelf organisation system for you becomes simply impossible!

This is what makes bullet journaling so great: it is flexible to be exactly what you need to be.

Before we delve deeper into the topic, let me reassure you on a couple of issues. Getting started with bullet journaling can be confusing, because the system uses certain specific terms like ‘logs’ as well as a set of symbols and shorthand. But bullet journaling is actually WAY simpler than it looks! There are tons of useful online resources you can look up, including an official ‘how to’ website.

Also, while the gazillion Instagram photos of perfectly illustrated journals would have you think otherwise, outstanding drawing skills are NOT required. In the words of BuJo inventor Ryder Carrol, "It’s all about ‘function over form’".

As far as supplies go, all you really need is a notebook (ideally with a dotted grid) and a pen.

However, some people do find that decorating their journal makes them more willing to use it every day. You don’t need to be a pro to make it pretty – you can rely on colourful pens and markers, sticky tabs, stencils, stickers or washi tape … The perfect excuse to get new awesome stationary!

So, how can you use bullet journaling to keep track of your condition and achieve your health goals? Let’s find out together … 

 

Bullet journaling for ADHD

 

Organisation help for ADHD 

When all of the usual systems on the market failed him, digital designer Ryder Carrol created the Bullet Journal specifically as a tool to better control his ADHD symptoms such as forgetfulness, thought overload and to help him stay on top of tasks.

Like many other people with ADHD, YouTuber Jessica McCabe swears by Carrol’s method. As she explains, the problem with traditional planners is that they are structured logically, consistently, sequentially – in a word, neurotypically. The predicament is ADHD brains don’t do very well with structure, but at the same time they need it to keep focused.

This why the Bullet Journal is a real lifesaver: it is structured enough to help you stay organised, but flexible enough to give your brain creative freedom. It’s comprehensive enough to contain as many ideas and information as you want, but simple enough so you don’t feel overwhelmed opening it.

There are a few spreads particularly helpful for ADHD. Future Logs, monthly, weekly and daily planners can ensure you won’t forget events or tasks that you need to accomplish. As Carroll explains, creating daily to-do lists will not only make you more productive, but also more mindful about the choices you make. The process of selecting tasks to will clarify what really matters to you and why, thus ultimately promoting focus and commitment.

Trackers are useful as well – their purpose is to make sure you actually finish a task.

Collections will help you remember all sort of things – birthdays, movies to see, books to read etc.

Brain Dumps are also super helpful: you can throw in there random thoughts and ideas that pop into your head, so they’ll help you remember a thought process without stopping what you were working on.

Have a read on Kyle's ADHD story

 

Bullet Journaling for Medical Conditions 

A bullet journal is a great way to keep track of emergency contact information, as well as an overview of your medical condition or medication. In an emergency, it can provide really detailed but actionable information. To learn more, read Saving a Life With a List.

Bullet journaling can help with all sorts of medical conditions, including:

  • Anxiety & Depression - An Anxiety Log is perfect to record triggers, negative thought patterns and possible concrete solutions to help you feel better. A Mood Tracker to complete before bed will give you a place to let out emotions and put them to rest, so that you have a fresh start tomorrow. A Self-Care Guide is another good spread, as it will give you motivation to do all those little things (e.g. tidying up, hot bath, time in the garden, calling a friend?) that improve your mood.
  • Diabetes - A page dedicated to hypo or hyper episodes can give you precious insight on managing your condition. You could create an Injection Location Tracker, so you remember not to puncture a certain area of your skin too often; or a Checklist with all the supplies you need to pack when travelling (insulin, low treats, documents etc.)
  • Epilepsy - You could create a Seizure Tracker, along with other spreads where you record triggers, seizure type, as well as the symptoms you experienced during and immediately after the seizure (level of awareness, speech, breathing etc.)
  • Allergies - A spread with a list of allergy-safe products from different supermarkets you shop at is ideal for food allergies. Also, an Allergy Tracker page can be extremely useful if you suspect you might have an allergy but need to figure out what exactly you’re allergic to: recording what you eat (lactose, gluten etc.) along with the times your symptoms flare up will be instrumental in finding the culprit. This is perfect also for skin issues like acne or rosacea, as it will help you understand what foods or ingredients in skin products or makeup you’re sensitive to. 
  • Autism - Both autistic children and adults often find a lot of value in creating consistent patterns around daily activities – so you could have some spreads with lists dedicated to setting up daily routines.

 

Bullet journaling for self care

 

Bullet Journaling for Self-Care 

For those of us with no specific medical concerns, bullet journaling is still fantastic to improve general health and wellbeing.

Some interesting ideas for spreads are:

  • A Meal Planner or Food Diary to make sure you fuel your body with nutritious and healthy foods.
  • A Sleep Tracker to help you get all the hours you need to function optimally.
  • A Water Tracker to make sure you get your ideal amount of water a day, and a grid for keeping track of medical check-ups.
  • An Exercise Log or a Daily Mile Tracker to help you get fit.

Don’t forget to take care of your mental wellbeing as well: you can create a list of things that make you happy or relaxed to turn to after a bad day; or you could create a Gratitude Log to help you see the sunny side of life. 

Why not check out our blog for Starting a Gratitude Practice for your Health

 

Here are some helpful links:

 

So, are you up for the challenge of creating a bullet journal to take good care of your health?

Hopefully this article has provided some inspiring page ideas, but please remember you can personalise it in any way that works for you. Your bullet journal is for YOU – and you deserve to be the priority in it.

 

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