I write this post from a place of experience. As someone who has been diagnosed with Bipolar type 2 I understand what it is like to deal with mental health issues and the toll it takes on you physically, emotionally and of course mentally.
For anyone who is unfamiliar with Bipolar and wishes to read about it in a little more depth, you can refer to this article posted here by healthline.com.
If it is something you are unfamiliar with then sure, it may sound a little confronting at first. But by all means I do want to make it clear that personally I am a very level headed person who has her mental and physical health very much under control. As the saying goes, ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain!’ and that my friends, is exactly what I choose to do.
I have taken the bull by the horns and I learnt how to manage it and to live with it. It does not get in the way of my friendships, family, relationships, work life or personal life. It is just a part of who I am that isn’t going away so I choose to control it.
A huge factor that has helped me maintain a mentally and physically balanced lifestyle is by having an organised and structured life. I like to know that I am doing everything I can to help myself both in mind and in body. From meditation, understanding my habits, ensuring I am well nourished and well rested.
A bullet planner! Around mid year I received my very first bullet journal from http://www.bulletplanner.com.au and let me tell you, this little baby has certainly helped me through the times I’ve needed it most! It has helped me reach my health goals, achieve my personal goals as well as live and maintain a balanced, stress-free (or reduced!) life.
When your life and emotions feel uncontrollable and chaotic, creating structure around the things that you need to do and accomplish from chores, appointments, and every day duties releases a lot of the stress and overwhelming emotions. All of a sudden, seeing it clearly laid out in front of you becomes a lot more manageable.
Getting in the habit of using your Bullet Planner to track your habits, health and moods, it teaches you more about the patterns that you go through and will also help you identify what bad habits are getting in the way of achieving your goals. For example, lack of sleep will affect you physically in your fitness, bad eating habits can affect you in achieving your weight goals or too much TV or oversleeping may be affecting your mental over time (a sign to get up and start doing more!)
By being able to clearly see the good and the bad habbits you are taking on you can then identify much easier where you feel you may need improvement or even look back and celebrate your success in moving forward to achieving your goals.
- Schedule Self Care time: With this, don’t forget to schedule in your time alone. It is important to eliminate yourself from the rest of the World to take some time out for yourself mentally and emotionally. Schedule in your ‘Self Care’ days to switch off. It’s one of the simplest therapeutic ways to treat yourself.
- Habit Tracking: Habit tracking is where you note down the amount of hours you had to sleep that night, the servings of caffeine, amount of exercise, if you had a headache or migraine that day, if you were social or anti social ect. Whatever it is that you deal with daily/weekly.
- Mood Tracking: Mood tracking is very important when you are going through depression, anxiety, bipolar or whatever it is that is making you not your ‘usual self’. They allow you to see a regular pattern and assess if you are going down, up, getting better or worse. Overtime you may start to see a pattern in your behaviour, this could lead you to understanding what your triggers are.
- Medication: If you have been prescribed medication from your Doctor or Psychiatrist then you will understand how important it is not to miss your medication. Missing medication may result in some serious downfall. This also helps if your Doctor/Psychiatrist is having you test new medication or altering dosages. This way you can see what is working effectively and how you are reacting to it.
- Diet: Our diet plays a huge part in our lives. It gives us physical energy, helps us sleep better and also can clear us mentally. Whatever your diet goals are, tracking them can help you maintain living a clean and healthy lifestyle.
- Setting Goals: By keeping a clear focus on where you want to be and what you want to achieve from your life, having it constantly infront of you as a reminder always encourages you to get back up on that horse, even in the darkest of moments. It’s a reminder of what you have to look forward to.
As I mentioned above, my first Bullet Planner I received was from http://www.bulletplanner.com.au. The features I’ve loved most from Bullet Planner are the fact that I was able to completely customise the design and layout to my liking, including the cover! Featured all throughout the planner are words of encouragement and quotes which are my personal favourite.
A few of the features you can find in the planner and my personal favourite which I use are the yearly goals, holiday planner, favourite recipes, reflection page ‘Look back on my Year’, monthly habit tracker, goals for next year and the notes page. For my design, I chose the ‘Roses are Red’ and had it printed in colour.
If you want something a little extra, or a complete Bullet Planner isn’t for you then they also have a range of Meal Planning notes, Daily planning notepads and a Baby Keepsake journal too! So my friends, if there is one thing I hope you can take away from this post today is that you too can take the bull by the horns and take control of your future goals! There is no such thing as too late!
Article information References:
*This blog post is in collaboration with Bullet Planner Australia
* Please note that this blog was written purely from my own journey and own experiences living with Bipolar and Depression. Anyone who is experiencing mental health issues I encourage to urgently seek our professional advice from your doctor. All references related to this article have been listed above.