I wanted to touch base on something that has got nothing to do with chronic illness, fatigue or doctors. Woo to the hoo. Why? Well, our lives are filled with enough shit without my chronic illness woes so let’s not over egg the pudding and discuss something else. The bullet journal. This is one of those things that has been floating around for a while, I’d first heard of it when one of my favourite bloggers mentioned it on her platforms. She described it as the organisation tool that every person regardless of job should have in their lives, this was three years ago. Three years later, I jump on the hype since my new year’s resolution was to try my best in editing and organising my life. I’m the sort of person who claims to have lost her keys when she’s holding them or whilst driving. My finest moment, driving my car to say out loud, omg where are my car keys? Well, the car was moving so I definitely hadn’t lost those. Now, I’ve always enjoyed writing in a diary, I find it very therapeutic and something that I’d recommend everyone try once in their lifetime whether it’s for a month or even for a week, it’s one way that I believe to be good for the ol’ mental health. I wanted to give you a few ways bullet journaling or writing in a diary. I wrote a blog post, back last year on writing in a diary so if you fancy a good read of that for a refresher, click here.
The bullet journal: Well, it does require you to buy the actual bullet journal because without the dotted page, I dont think it’ll be as effective. I tried the approach in a standard notebook but it was useless and I stuck with it for less time than I did with Love Island. Not long at all. The Bullet Journal is actually a methodology. It’s best described as a mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system. It’s designed to help you organise your what while you remain aware of your why. The goal of the Bullet Journal is to help its practitioners (bullet journalists) live intentional lives, ones that are productive and meaningful. I thought, I’d tell you why I love this approach and have found it really helpful for lots of aspects of my life and why should you add it into your lives.
I don’t mean to sound like a therapist, consultant or your GP but pacing seems to be the only form of treatment any person seems to recognise as a ‘treatment’ for ME which is unfair, because it’s not a treatment. I’d describe it as an approach for dealing with the illness. But, if like me you have to and enjoy working whether part time, full time or even freelance I find using a bullet journal a really enjoyable and efficient way of planning my month out. It ensures, that I can see which weeks or days are my busiest and which are my quieter days. I try to ensure it levels out so that I can have the days in between other busy days to rest, take time out and chill the hell out. I will say for disclaimer, that using this pacing system applies to anyone regardless of whether they have a chronic illness or not. I think with a chronic illness, everyone whether they’re a patient or not, can use the ol’ pacing and taking one day at a time malarky in their own lives. We spend so much of our lives, trying to cram things into one day that we forget about US.
I have also begun to use my bullet journal as a drawing platform, I’m no Van Gough but doodling a few images has become quite a nice way of zoning out of an evening and creating cover pages for each month has also become one of my favourite activities. I have my finest fine liners and just doodle away whilst watching the latest series on television and if you ask me that is a fine way of spending your nights. Even if, you colour your Breakfast at Tiffanys cartoon in navy, well what can I say, I love navy clothing.
I found that writing in a normal diary to feel boring and make me feel like I’d aged by 50 years along with a pension so I never found the system effective. Yet, bullet journaling has changed my outlook for diarying since I can make real notes of my upcoming activities without fearing panicking. I have one two page spread that looks like my calendar and then 1 page where it also details it out. Important dates and activities on one side, outgoing debits etc on the two page spreader. Works rather well indeed. Anyway, who say millennial only like their ICalendar or their Google Calendars? Smashing.
My therapist really encourages mindfulness as does the creator of the bullet journal. It’s a way of making the most boring activity feel therapeutic, productive and efficient without feeling like a chore that perhaps writing/noting dates down in a normal diary would do. I believe that since bullet journaling my approach to my schedule. I like to be able to write it in one box and feel like my tasks, activities and life doesn’t seem to feel like a blur. A way of managing my tasks without pushing myself and ending up in bed for a week. It’s also a way of feeling like you’re above the deep end, in the words of Lady GaGa, ‘in the shallow’ and with my efficient bullet journaling planning, I feel well alright in the shallow shallow end.
Are you buying a bullet journal anytime soon?