How Bullet Journaling helped me survive lockdown

What a year we’ve had!

2020/21 has proven to be the most challenging on so many fronts. I was already running my business from home so the working environment did not change, but having the family around 24/7 was the biggest difference. Luckily, we get on well, so I revelled in having the family brood back around me. However, there were times when moving everything online home and work frustrated me especially being such a pen and paper girl!

This is when my experience of daily journaling and particularly Bullet Journaling really helped me. For those of you who have not come across Bullet Journaling before it’s a system created by Ryder Carrol which combines productivity and organisation alongside a more mindful daily practice.

The idea is that your Bullet Journal becomes your daily companion where you create space to write down all the things that are important to you and your own wellbeing. Instead of having sticky notes and multiple notebooks on the go for different projects, you streamline it all into one place using the system.

It is a journal with purpose allowing you to customise it to suit your life (home and work) and start to take back control, so you focus on the daily tasks that have meaning to you or are important to your life goals.

So how did Bullet Journaling help me through lockdown?

I gained structure to the day.

First thing, rather than switching on the laptop and diving into emails or social media, I grabbed a cuppa and sat down with my journal. Just taking 5-10 minutes in the morning to set out a plan for the day, I worked out what my priorities were going to be and what time I would set aside for “Me Time”.

morning journaling
Built in Reflection and Gratitude at the end of the day. 

Just as I started the day with my journal, I would also end the day and write down 3 positive things that had happened or that I was grateful for. Even simple things like sitting in the garden at lunchtime and feeling the sun on my face would be a positive way to sign off the day.

It gave me a digital detox and a break from screens.

I loved drawing when I was at school but make little time for it now. That is until I started my Bullet Journal. There are lots of ideas online for highly creative spreads, but this was my journal for my eyes, so I simply enjoyed grabbing my pens and pencils and bringing some of my “collection” spreads to life. People often get put off from Bullet Journaling because they feel they are not “artistic” enough but that should not stop you from trying and it’s a fabulous way to get a screen detox.

Time for me with self-care routines.

It was easy enough to “hibernate” indoors particularly over the last few months, however that’s not always the best way to look after yourself. One evening I picked up my journal and created a “self-care” spread. Here I put in all the things that I enjoy doing, relax me and help re-charge my energy levels. Having a page like this in my journal acts as a little reminder so when I felt a little low rather than just crashing on the sofa watching TV, I could refer to this and do something which would make me feel happier and energised. Again, they don’t have to be big things, just simple things that can be done in ½ hour or an afternoon when I struggled with finding something to do.

Writing to clear the head.

We know from research that Journaling and writing things down is a very therapeutic way of externalising anxieties and worries. Having my journal as a space to write how I was feeling or things that have happened through the day similar to my old diary has been a great way to gain space to clear my head and allow time to put things into perspective.

Setting up collections and trackers that work for me.

Again, Bullet Journaling gave me the chance to create pages in my journal for things that are important to me and serve as daily reminders. I built in sleep trackers, exercise plans, meals for the week ahead.

I particularly loved over lockdown creating “Collections” How many times did we talk on Zoom about the latest movies or that “Must Watch” Netflix series and then you would forget it? I created spreads in my journal to list down those programmes or books or podcasts that people recommended. Now I can easily find information without it being scattered across lots of sticky notes on my desk.

I’m really passionate about Bullet Journaling and the benefits that it can bring to relieve stress and anxiety, bring organisation and focus to your life and all away from screens. We need to be careful not to lose the art of writing and the ability to create with our own hand. Taking time to reconnect with hobbies, look after our own wellbeing and plan for the future we want to live has never been more important.

If you want to try Bullet Journaling but feel you need a helping hand to get started then I run online workshops over Zoom and hopefully, in the not too distant future return to face to face workshops to really bring it to life.

I also have created an E-Course for those who would prefer to dip in and out of their learning and run at their own pace. It’s yours to then go back over if you need any reminders or ideas.

We also have some fabulous journals and tools to help you get started in the shop

I’m always happy to help so please leave a message if you need any further information

Keep Jotting – Sarah x

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