Hello Planning Mashers!
When you’re struggling with mental health and emotions run wild, it’s very therapeutical to organize it all into a journal. It helps to create a sense of control and make a first step towards working through the issues.
I think it’s especially true if you use your Bullet Journal for mental health because just a process of creating different pages can bring you some peace and quiet.
And that’s what we’re talking about today – using your Bullet Journal for mental health.
Here are some reasons why you should use your Bullet Journal for mental health and then, as usual, some great page ideas to get you started.
Your Bullet Journal is a fantastic tool that can help you with anything. But you probably already know that from your own experience.
I can speak for myself – it really helped me to stay sane during the 2020 pandemic. I got stuck in the USA when the borders closed in March that year, away from everyone I know, and unclear when I’ll be able to go back home.
My Bullet Journal saved my sanity. With things being scary and unclear, I felt very frightened and out of control. Spending each day with my Bullet Journal though helped me to get back my sense of control, to have a little moment of the day just for myself, without any worries.
Honestly, I’m not really sure how much more damaging this whole thing would be for me if I didn’t decide to take my BuJo with me on that trip.
We’ll go through more details on why use your BuJo for mental health further down, but I just wanted to start the post from this little story.
Just in case you’re here looking for things to do for your mental health and aren’t really sure what Bullet Journal is, I have a blog post explaining EVERYTHING you need to know to start a Bullet Journal, as well as a FREE email course to walk you through setting up your own journal.
So let’s talk about using your Bullet Journal for your mental health, and I believe it can be of great help to you.
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Why Use A Bullet Journal
The Bullet Journal method is a very unique and customizable way to organize your life. It’s got all the best journaling and planning practices included in it. So you can really get tons of benefits by using one.
Here are just a few reasons you might consider doing so.
- Organization. Your Bullet Journal will help you organize your life and thoughts, which can be difficult if you’re struggling with mental health issues.
- Outlet. When struggling with mental health, it’s important to have an outlet that would allow dealing with all the emotions and problems. Your Bullet Journal can be that outlet.
- Find patterns. With the help of your journal, you’ll be able to see patterns in your life and make connections between your lifestyle and your mental health. This, in turn, will allow you to make better choices for your mental health.
- Change your way of thinking. By using your Bullet Journal, you can also work on changing your thoughts and attitude to life. Using some of the spreads below will allow you to develop a more positive and grateful outlook to everything that surrounds you.
There is one important point though if you decide to give Bullet Journaling for mental health a try – be sure it’s real. What does this mean?
It means that to get all the benefits from using one you shouldn’t make it for Instagram or Pinterest, you shouldn’t try for it to look flawless.
Always remember that social media is not real life. Even though the pages might look perfect in the photos, it isn’t really how they look in real life.
So when you use your journal, be sure you use it like it needs to be used, you use it for yourself, instead of concentrating on making all the pages look perfect.
Well, let’s take a look now at different pages that will make your Bullet Journal a super tool for tracking and managing your mental health.
First are the pages you can use to fight your anxiety.
Start by creating a tracker and writing down the time when you have episodes. Then elaborate on it by adding what triggered the anxiety feelings and what can be done to fix it.
I recommend having a tracker for anxiety attacks and triggers and maybe a separate page with ideas on how to deal with anxiety, the methods that work for you. So next time it happens, you can just look at the page and know what to do next.
I like this tracker – it’s kind of like a year in pixels, only it’s a year of anxiety attacks and not moods.
It kind of makes me very sad to see how much the artist suffers, but I must say that if it’s a common occurrence it might be useful to have a one big yearly tracker, so you can see your patterns better.
I kind of like the approach of this tracker. It really is important with each attach to figure out what caused it and how this issue can be resolved.
This really seems like a very useful spread format when you do therapy as well.
There is a lot of information in this tracker, but it’s all connected to anxiety attacks and it will be interesting to see it all filled. Eventually, the artist will have a much better understanding of her attacks and how they can be managed.
Tracking your moods can be just as important as tracking anxieties.
There are two approaches to a mood tracker. First, you can create a gradient from best to worst and just rate your days on a scale.
The second option is to assign colors to different moods and use them for tracking. When picking moods, think of how you often feel and choose those.
Tracking your moods will help you see your mental state and be more intentional about it. When you feel you’re down, you’ll be able to start thinking about how you can take a bit of extra care of yourself.
Just be sure that every evening you make time to evaluate your day and moods and check them in your tracker.
For more about mood trackers check my post 35+ Bullet Journal Mood Tracker Inspirations And How To Use Them.
Mood tracker is something I closely associate with self-care, so of course, bubble bath had to become a tracker at some point.
Fun fact – for the last 10 years I haven’t lived in an apartment with a bathtub, so this is really a huge treat for me to take a bubble bath.
Probably my favorite mood tracker from my favorite monthly theme – sushi. I actually figured out I drew too many so I had to color in the extra ones before I actually started tracking.
If you want to see more sushi pages check my post with Sushi Themed Bullet Journal Isnpirations.
Once I got my helix circle makes I got pretty addicted to creating everything in a circle shape.
As you can guess I didn’t really use this tracker, since I prefer to just grade my days from good to bad instead of choosing a particular mood.
This is the year in pixels page I mentioned before. The idea is to have a tracker for an entire year and fill it out as the year goes by.
It really comes out looking pretty cool and it’s a great way to see the bigger picture on how your moods fluctuate.
A great companion to your mood tracker can be a page with mood notes.
It’s a pretty similar idea to journaling, but with a more condensed format. It’s a spread for you to elaborate a bit on how you felt and what happened during the day.
Maybe you can write what caused you to feel that way, or include the note that you experienced some other feelings as well.
Self Care Ideas
If your mood tracker is telling you it’s time to get some self-care – be sure you have a page to consult with on that.
Creating a page with different self-care ideas, first of all, will make you think – what are the things that make you happy? What brings you that extra joy and shot of energy?
Take your time by creating this page and it will be an amazing guide for you. When you’re down and having issues with your mental health you won’t have any will to think through what to do next, but with this list, you won’t have to!
For more self-care page ideas check out my post with 23 Self Care Bullet Journal Page Ideas.
This is one of my favorite self-care pages, it’s like a reference guide. Every time I need a pick me up I can just look at this page and pick something from the list.
I loved the idea of dividing things by categories and it really helped me, cause sometimes I feel the need for a certain type of self-care. With this list, it’s easy to navigate.
Finding time for self-care is not easy sometimes, but finding 15 minutes in your day is a much easier thing to do!
With these ideas, you’ll be able to have little bits of self-care throughout the day and end up having a much better time.
Habit trackers are a very powerful instrument in creating better habits and routines, and for your mental health, it can be crucial.
It’s all up to you what you will be adding to your habit tracker and what format you’ll be using. I recommend starting with something pretty simple and maybe just a few things there.
Your habit tracker can remind you of things to do and help you create healthier daily routines. It also can make you question your desires – if you’re not following through on a habit – why is it? Maybe it’s something that doesn’t work for you at all.
The key while using a habit tracker is to treat yourself with kindness. Life happens and you don’t have to tick off all your boxes every day.
If you’re struggling with mental health, a few ideas on what you can add to your habit tracker are:
- Physical symptoms
- Daily routines
A huge habit tracker that you can actually use for creating routines in your day. which is a very important step towards having a better mental state.
I liked the idea of dividing habits by different areas. Mental health depends on many factors and that way you can see what are some things that really help and some that don’t really make a big difference.
A simple vertical habit tracker to help you stay on top of things.
I used icons here to signify different habits, like taking my vitamins and waking up early.
I had to include this type of habit tracker, just to give you a good idea of other formats.
This one is from my Boba Themed Bullet Journal Setup, in case you want to check out for inspiration.
Do you know what can help you see the brighter side of the day? A gratitude log!
Add a monthly spread with enough space to write at least one good thing that happened to you during the day.
You know what they say – not every day is a good day, but there is something good in every day.
A Gratitude log will help you find that one special good thing, so you’ll train your brain to positive thinking.
Check my post about the Benefits Of Having A Gratitude Log to learn more about why this is a very important page and how to use its full potential.
This gratitude log was very fun to create and to fill out. Plus I feel like it looks great filled with all those words. I just wish my handwriting was better here!
The idea was to have the huge letter G in the middle (for gratitude) and just write the gratitudes around it.
Empty gratitude logs always look kind of sad, but you can compensate by creating a fun header.
This one for example is from my Harry Potter Themed Bullet Journal Setup, the theme I had so much fun creating.
Here is a fun way to make your gratitude log look a bit more creative.
Plus here you can see how the artist just used a word or two for the gratitudes, instead of writing sentences like I usually do.
Finally, here is probably my favorite gratitude log ever! I decided to go with a bit different approach calling it “positivity notes” and I like how fun it came out to be.
This is from my September 2019 Back To School setup, if you want to check out more stationery-themed pages.
Another side of the gratitude log is rant boxes.
Sometimes things are just bad, so bad that you can’t just keep them inside. This is what this spread is for – just write all your rants down!
Writing things down has an extremely therapeutic effect. You’ll feel better and who knows, maybe when you see it on paper it won’t feel like such a big deal.
Creating daily to-do lists is very useful for organization and having things done. But sometimes it might feel overwhelming.
Do you ever look at the long list of to-do things and you just get anxious because it’s so many things and it’s just scary?
It happens to all of us and it might be a sign you need to try out a different format – a done list.
Start creating lists of things you have done during the day. You’ll be able to see that you accomplished much more than you thought, it will bring back your confidence and give you a little break you need to get back in the saddle.
Post Therapy Notes
If you’re having mental health problems and you’re seeing a therapist – this is absolutely a must-have page for you.
Having a session is great, but it’s also about the work you do outside the therapist’s office, and this spread will help you keep all the knowledge and insights you get from your therapist to keep working on it afterward.
Some things you might want to include in this spread are session summary, things to remember, things that were tough, for next time.
I also like to include the questions I got asked to think about later, as well as some insights I got from the session.
I like how simple this page is because let’s be honest – you need all the space for writing.
The only thing I’d do differently here is to use a bigger journal. I find that after each session I get so many things to write about that I’m actually using a B5 journal. I’m actually using a Mental Wellness B5 journal by Archer and Olive.
And speaking of Archer and Olive – if you decide to purchase anything from them, you can get 10% off if you use my code MASHA10.
Having a routine and starting your morning on a positive note can mean so much for your mental health.
That’s why I recommend you to add a morning routine page to your Bullet Journal.
It can be a detailed schedule on how you want your morning to go, or maybe just a creative list of the things you want to include in your mornings.
It doesn’t even have to be the routine you actually follow, for me it’s my dream routine.
But as long as you have this page and you have the idea of what your ideal morning is – you’ll know what you can do to make your mornings better and what you should be working on to follow through.
To learn more about creating different routines be sure to check my post Creating Routines In Your Bullet Journal For Structure And Success.
This is not actually an exact routine, this spread is more about brainstorming all the things I actually want to do in the morning.
I kind of use this page to try out different things for my morning routine before I figure out what works best for me.
This is my routine the way it was in February 2020 (check out my Bullet Journal Setup for that month).
Note how I don’t really have the time for all the steps – I don’t really have an exact waking up time and all, so I’m keeping things flexible.
Just like with the morning routine, having a set ritual to follow before you go to sleep might be exactly what you need to be sure you get a good night’s sleep.
Use this page to remind yourself to take good care of your body and create that perfect atmosphere for a complete rest during the night.
One more brain dump page, but this time it’s for the evening.
I must say by now I got a bit more obsessed with skincare, so I have many more things I do before sleep.
This is my routine at the time I got my sweet puppy Bruce. As you can see all I was doing was so closely connected to him that I simply added him to my routine spread.
Speaking of a good night’s rest – you might want to consider tracking it as well.
Good sleep is the key to both mental and physical health, so you might want to be sure you get enough good quality rest each night.
It’s also interesting to see how your mental health and moods are influenced by how many hours and how well you slept the night before, so you might want to consider using these trackers together.
To learn more about tracking your sleep and get some ideas for doing it in your Bullet Journal check my post 21 Adorable Bullet Journal Sleep Trackers For Better Sleep Habits.
A time-consuming part of creating a sleep tracker is in filling out hours of the day for each day. This format allows you to skip this step.
You learn how many hours you slept and then have a special graph to write the sleeping hours.
Love the creative approach to this sleep tracker. You get the day of the month and how many hours you slept that day.
Pretty much all the basic information you need and in a beautiful circle format.
Very cute sleep tracker and I love how much information it’s packing.
It’s also a great tracker to use when you have a smartwatch that can help you track things like deep sleep hours.
Another essential thing is drinking enough water. This is a very simple thing that can help you be more energetic and positive.
However, it’s also a very simple thing to forget. I usually drink only when I’m thirsty and that’s already too late.
Add a water tracker to your Bullet Journal as a reminder to drink enough water during the day. Stay healthy, stay hydrated.
To get more ideas on how to drink enough water (and a free printable), be sure to check my post Bullet Journal Water Tracker Ideas.
If you’re struggling with your mental health, chances are that you actually take some prescription medications.
I know for a fact it’s so easy to forget to take meds! It’s embarrassing how many times it happened to me.
So consider having a medication tracker in your Bullet Journal. It will remind you to take your pills every day and will be a great reference to keep track of the days you forgot to.
Super cute tracker and I love that little pusheen nurse.
It’s also extra useful to have the refills section here – you don’t ever want to run out of medications.
Just want to mention how much I love the quote used on this page – it’s so very true.
Whether it’s your physical or mental health, tracking your symptoms can be so useful.
It can be your first signal that the meds don’t work, or maybe that it’s time to go see a therapist and seek professional help.
Moreover, trackers like this will help you stay intentional and pay more attention to your feelings. By being more mindful about these things you can vastly improve your mental health by preventing any fallouts.
Working out is proved to be beneficial for your mental health, so add it to your daily routines with a workout tracker.
This will remind you to stay active during the day, and if you use it together with your mood or symptoms tracker you might see some interesting patterns on how working out influences you.
The key to keeping to your workout schedule is not to overdo it – if you never went to a gym maybe just start by walking every day and not going straight for 7 days a week of CrossFit.
Oh and if you need more ideas on fitness-related Bullet Journal spreads check out this post – 51+ Health And Fitness Bullet Journal Page Ideas
By going through all your trackers for the month you can see some new interesting trends that you can add to your review.
Plus generally, for a mental state, you will get a huge boost when you see how much was actually done and go through all the memories you made during that time.
You can also just use your monthly reviews to review how your mental health improved or how well you worked with your therapist.
Whatever you’d want to include in your review pages, just be sure you look back and learn from the time passed.
When I started doing my monthly reviews I approached it in a very structured way and decided to have these sections to fill out. It kind of helps me to see more positive things, as well as track my progress.
These days however I end up going a bit more creative with my monthly reviews.
This is a new monthly review I tried at some point. It’s more of a memory-keeping page, but I really had so much fun with this format I decided to keep it for a while.
I’ll probably start doing a mix of both of these formats now since I love memory keeping, but I also want to have there more goal-oriented things.
Lessons I Learned
Another similar page is “lessons I learned”.
Just like with the review pages, the purpose here is to learn from your experiences. Think of the breakthrough you had with your therapist, or a-ha moments you had from looking at your different trackers.
The thing is, if you don’t write it you will forget about it eventually. But if you add all your insights to a little page like this – the lessons will live on and will keep helping you lead a better life.
This was really a very fun page to create.
Coming up with things to write on this page really made me think about the entire year and reevaluate everything that happened.
I love that now looking back at this page I remember what actually happened to teach me that lesson and that is very valuable.
Things I Love About Myself
This is a cute little page that can be a great help with your mental issues.
When you’re down it’s so easy to start thinking you’re just the worst person in the world. I’m not suffering from any mental health issues myself, but I absolutely have moments like that and they are unbearable.
The page that helps me to live through these days is “things I love about myself”. I sat down one day and just went through all the things I love about myself, all the things my hubby loves about me.
Now this page is my stronghold. If I ever suffer from a lack of confidence or just feeling the worst – I always can look back at this page and remember that I love myself for all these reasons.
How To Use Your Bullet Journal For Mental Health
Before you hurry to create ALL the pages, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of it.
It’s very appealing to just jump into it and do everything, but in fact, that might have the opposite effect on your mental health.
Here are a few things to consider before you get started.
- Take it easy
In fact, starting by using all of these pages and more might be a bit too overwhelming. In my experience, it usually means you don’t get all the benefits and just add more stress about filling out your newly created pages.
- Keep it simple
I know there are tons of beautiful pages online, with perfect lettering and incredible drawings. But don’t make it your goal. It’s ok for your page to be different, something more simple and easy to create. The goal is to have something you’ll use, so just create it the way you can, without waiting to make it perfect.
- Be kind to yourself
This means if you make a mistake – don’t blame yourself and don’t allow this little thing to ruin the whole page for you. If you had a bad day and skipped filling out your tracker – don’t blame yourself, be more forgiving.
- Review your pages
It’s kind of important that you don’t just start using some of these, but also take some time to analyze it and see if it’s working. Maybe after some time you’ll need to change the pages, or maybe even try something completely different.
There are some free printable habit and mood trackers in the Resources Vault, as well as some self-care stickers you can use to decorate your mental health pages.
If you’re not part of Planning Mashers yet, be sure to sign up at the end of the post and get your access to the Resources Vault and more.
What pages in your Bullet Journal are you using for improving your mental health? Be sure to share it with us in the comments!
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And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling and Don’t Be A Blob!