This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada, which closed in 2021.

Bullet Journals Are A Simple And Effective Way To Be Kind To Yourself

Because sometimes just taking a shower is a big accomplishment.
Bullet journals can make you feel good about what you've accomplished, even if they're small things.
Andrija Nikolic via Getty Images
Bullet journals can make you feel good about what you've accomplished, even if they're small things.

Welcome to HuffPost Canada’s guide to helping you pick up an easy, everyday ritual that can make your life a bit better, in a small but significant way.

Canadians are stressed out, anxious, and are feeling disconnected from each other. Once a week, we’ll share a tiny tip to help you feel good. We’ve got your back.

Today’s habit

Start a bullet journal if you’re looking for simple self-kindness.

What it is

You’re probably familiar with journaling, wherein you share all your thoughts about how your day went, what your hopes and dreams are, and musing whether you should call your journal “Diary” or not. Bullet journaling is not this.

Now, I know it seems like I’m adding one more thing to your to-do list when the last thing you probably want is more stuff added to your plate, but hear me out.

What I’m asking you to do is write down one thing you did today. That’s it.

Did you stay in bed all day and watch Netflix? Great, write that down; you did something for yourself. Did you make a cup of coffee? Fantastic. Did you open a window and let in some fresh air? That can go in your bullet journal. Did you order some new moisturizer for your cracked hands? Yep, that goes in the journal, too.

Here’s an example of a self-care bullet journal:

There are many ways to use a bullet journal, self-care being one of them. But you can also write a gratitude bullet journal, which is pretty self-explanatory, as well as a happiness journal, where you write down one thing that makes you happy a day.

Another great bullet journal for these times is a “Things I can control” format, where every day you write down a thing that’s in your circle of influence — the the things you have control over.

For example, you don’t have control over how other people practice social distancing, but you can control how you practice it. Another example is you can’t control what people are doing in their free time, but you can take a break from social media.

Below is an example of what it can look like in a bullet journal format.

How it helps

People are dealing with self-isolation and social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic in a myriad of ways. Some are making sourdough, doing daily at-home workouts, creating cute beauty looks on Tik Tok, and even attending quarantine parties on Instagram.

But many of us feel like it’s a big deal just getting out of bed and taking a shower, and the thought of mastering a new language on Duolingo in our “free time” makes us want to curl up in ball and cry.

The reality is, it’s OK to not be productive during this time of upheaval.

WATCH: How to start a bullet journal. Story continues below.

At the end of the week, open it up and take a look at everything you wrote. You did all those things. You accomplished stuff. Sure, you didn’t learn a new language (but if you did, well done) but you took care of yourself the way you know how, and that’s what matters.

I remind myself every day that I have control over the following:

  • How much news I expose myself to outside of work hours
  • How much time I spend on social media, and what I post
  • Who I talk to over the phone or on Zoom
  • How I spend time with my son
  • What I read
  • What I do to help my mental health

For whenever you’re feeling ...

I think bullet journals are great when you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing and need a written reminder that even getting out of bed (or making the bed, or making breakfast, or going for a walk) during a time of uncertainty is an accomplishment.

At the end of the day, a bullet journal helps me work through my anxiety; it shows me that even the smallest things are huge accomplishments in this time of crisis, and it makes me feel grateful for my family’s health.

And that’s your habit of the day.

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