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“I am mine before I am anyone else’s”

I’ve been using my bullet journal consistently since I started it on August 8th, and it’s been incredibly helpful. I feel so much more organized, which gives me some sense of control even though things have been really chaotic. (I swear there’s something in the food or water or air or something making everyone act irrationally.)

I like having a structure yet room to play: there’s the future log, monthly calendar, weekly spread, and each day is laid out the same way … but in the middle I can do random artwork or take notes on a topic of interest or whatever else meets my fancy. Per Wakana’s advice, I now have a whole spread dedicated to making my cluttered apartment into a home, right in the middle of this week’s dailies. I can find it easily, though, because I wrote it down with its page numbers in the index.

I’ve also taken a page out of Boho Berry‘s book (pun intended) and started doing a simple daily planner at the top of each day. It’s 2 lines, the AM hours written above the PM hours, with color-coded shading to represent when I’ll sleep, attend meetings/appointments/events, spend time with loved ones, work on tasks, etc. It’s pretty and easy to process and just gives me a calm sense of knowing what to expect on a given day. It also helps me develop and maintain a realistic perspective of how much I’ll be able to do, so I don’t overbook or overwork myself. And if what I end up doing on a given day is completely different from what I’d planned, I can just jot down some notes about it or draw or whatever. No pressure, it’s my bullet journal.

For the month of September I’m going to track some habits I’d like to develop: taking my meds every day, doing something musical (singing, playing an instrument, even listening), movement, spending time outside/in nature, relaxing (meditation), dishes, and cleaning. I’ve intentionally kept it vague so a variety of possible activities can fit in each category, instead of potentially overwhelming myself with too many individual habits that I won’t be able to do every day. I also have a list of goals, right now the only thing on it is “Have a garage sale.” But that’s okay, I’m sure I’ll think of more in the next few days.

Today I downloaded an app on my phone to track my sleep, because I never wake up feeling rested. It’s only $4 for the full version, but I’m going to take advantage of the 2-week free trial: I figure one week to get my baseline, and a second week trying out the features that are intended to help you sleep better. For example you can have it detect when you’re snoring and make a noise to get you to stop; this week I’ll just track the snoring and next week I’ll turn on the feature, see if that helps any. Once I get a feel for how the app works, I might set up a sleep tracker in my bullet journal.

I also learned that it’s important to take breaks from being on the computer because staring at a screen causes one’s brain to work differently from doing just about anything else. So for example making art on the computer is still affecting one’s brain a certain way, while drawing and coloring on paper (for example) provide a completely different sensory experience. I spend way too much time each day on the computer, so it’s important for me to be aware of that difference.

Finally, I’ve discovered the wonders of assisted stretching (and stretching in general, I guess). The therapist was very gentle, explaining what she was doing and constantly asking for feedback, so not only could I control the stretches to remain within my boundaries but I also became more aware of my body and better able to communicate my needs. The hour didn’t seem long enough, but by the end I was relaxed to the point of feeling happy for no reason, an experience I’d kinda forgotten. It was so refreshing! Now I have images and descriptions of stretches I can do at home and motivation to try actually doing them every day.

So yeah. There’s a lot I could write about but I want to keep it positive, focused on the self-care I’m engaging in. I guess we’ll see how it goes …

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