Is Bullet Journaling a Helpful Tool For You?

bullet journalIn today’s busy world, where we have to keep track of lots and lots of information, almost anyone can benefit from bullet journaling. This particular system of staying organized has some unique properties that make it particularly helpful for people who thrive on lists and appreciate a non-digital system. Here’s a quick rundown to help you decide if bullet journaling is right for you.

If You Use To-Do Lists Bullet Journaling May Be For You

If you’re a fan of to-do lists and have one sitting at your desk or your kitchen counter, then a bullet journal may work very well for you. Think of it as a large, ongoing to-do list that also helps you keep track of appointments, grocery lists and the likes. And since it’s all in one journal, no more frantic searches for that little list that held everything you needed to do today. (That is unless you misplace your journal – but that will be a bit easier to find than a piece of scrap paper).

If You Are Looking For An Analog System Bullet Journaling May Be For You

Our electronic devices are great, but sometimes you want to go back to pen and paper. If you want an organized, easy to deal with system that requires no batteries or Wi-Fi, then this will be a good fit for you.

Even if you think your Google Calendar handles everything for you, I would like to encourage you to give this a try. There’s just something about writing things down by hand that helps us process them differently.

If You’re Looking For a Creative Outlet Bullet Journaling May Be For You

If you are looking for a creative outlet but you just don’t have the time to sit down and sketch, paint, or create, then bullet journaling may be a good fit for you. As you plan your day, you can let out your creative side as you doodle and decorate your daily pages. Of course this is completely optional.

If You Feel Like You’re Keeping Track Of Too Much “Stuff” In Your Head Bullet Journaling May Be For You

Do you have a constant running tally in you head of everything you need to do and remember today? That takes up a lot of brain space. A bullet journal may be the perfect solution because it helps you jot down all those appointments, to-dos, meetings, and ideas you don’t want to forget as they come up.

Writing them down allows you to forget about them and stop running that constant long list of stuff in your head that you need to remember. Just think of what you can do with all that extra brain capacity and how much less stressed you’ll feel when you stop to worry about forgetting something.

If You Need Something Mobile Bullet Journaling May Be For You

A big advantage of the bullet journal is that it’s nothing more than a notebook and a pen. You can sit down anytime, anywhere to plan, check on your progress through the day, or add a new line item. There’s no need to hunt down a power outlet and it works just fine in bright sunlight.

Frankly it’s nice sometimes to unplug and get some thinking done away from your computer or smartphone.

Even if you don’t count yourself in all or even most of these groups, I encourage you to give it a try. You may not think of yourself as a list or “pen and paper” type person, but may find that this is just what you needed to stay on top of everything that’s thrown at you on a daily basis.

Although you can effectively use bullet journaling with a simple notebook, it is helpful to look at what’s available for ideas and possibilities. To here to explore what’s available, both in how-tos and purchased bullet journals:  Bullet Journaling for You?

 

 

 

Creating and Sustaining an Effective Wellness Routine

Wellness

Do you have a wellness routine? Creating or recalibrating a wellness routine is a do-it-yourself project that addresses our individual, unique needs. Cultivating wellness in our lives is a mindset as well as specific actions and routines.

So much of “healthcare” in our country is sick care – identifying what is already affecting us negatively and figuring out to treat it.  The prevention that we are encouraged often focuses on things like eating right and getting enough sleep and exercise. Of course, these are important. But there is more.

Beyond the physical practices, mental and emotional self-care are key to wellness. Sometimes self-care is seen as self-centered and even selfish. I hope you see how important it is to staying healthy and strong and available for others in your life. Having a wellness/self-care routine that fits your needs is important to the totality of your life.

Reject Extreme Goals, Adopt Sustainable Habits

I recently found an inspiring article which summarizes the approach used by wellness coaches Manda and Meleah Manning. They advocate “forming intuitive, sustainable habits rather than chasing extreme goals.” (You know, like eat no sugar or carbs, workout every day, no pain no gain approaches, meditate for thirty minutes or more daily, etc.)

The article describes four practices that can bring more balance into every part of a wellness routine: start a morning routine, make time to meditate, journal mindfully, and try energy cleansing. The first three are ones we’ve all heard about before. They are described in the article in some unique ways that you may find helpful.

The last one, energy cleansing, is new to me.  It is simple, doesn’t take a long time and is highly effective according to coaches.  They recommend this daily morning and evening routine: “Begin the day by ‘visualizing yourself safe and protected within a golden egg of light, almost like a forcefield’…. At the end of the day, think about releasing anything you don’t need anymore. ‘You can do this be visualizing yourself standing underneath a waterfall and feeling the cleansing water wash over you, cleansing your energy from the crown of your head out through the soles of your feet.’”

These energy cleansing practices are meditative techniques using the power of visualization and centering. Perhaps you find that many recommended techniques involve more time than you are willing or able to commit. These do not require much time at all. I love the image for each – golden egg of light in the morning and waterfall in the evening. No need to refer to a source article or book – remember the images and the accompanying thoughts will come to you once you have done it a couple of times.

If you lack a self-care/wellness routine, or are ready to revamp what you have, check out the article,  “Build Balance Into Your Wellness Routine With These Expert-Recommended Practices” by Annalise Mantz.

In addition, here’s a possible tool to consider. A Year of Self-Care, Daily Practices and Inspiration for Caring for Yourself by Dr. Zoe Shaw provides a daily practice that will take you about 15 minutes. Start whenever you want and see where it takes you.

Ideas for Valentine’s Day in a Pandemic

HeartsI have previously written about how those not in a couple might enjoy Valentine’s Day: https://carolbrusegar.com/planning-your-valentines-day-singles/ But this is not a typical year. This is Valentine’s Day in a pandemic!

Perhaps the day has sneaked up on you as it has for me, given all that’s going on these days. If so, many sources have come up with ideas to help us. For your convenience, here are links to a few places to browse; there are some duplicated ideas, but also different ones in each:

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/style/home-decor/g35031389/quarantine-valentines-day-ideas-at-home/  This has some great fun photos to go along with the ideas for a chuckle or two.

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/valentines-day-ideas/g35140980/quarantine-valentines-day-ideas/

https://parade.com/1150777/marynliles/virtual-valentines-day-ideas/  These are all virtual ideas – a variety of types.

https://people.com/lifestyle/how-to-celebrate-valentines-day-2021-coronavirus/  Ideas for both couples and those celebrating alone.

https://www.chicagoparent.com/play/holiday-fun/ways-to-celebrate-valentines-day/  If you have children.

https://www.funwithkidsinla.com/post/fun-smart-ways-you-can-celebrate-valentine-s-day-2021-and-be-safe-too  More family ideas.

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/valentines-day-ideas/a30472475/galentines-day-quotes-instagram-captions/   Galentines Day quotes, etc. Fun stuff.

The People Magazine article ends with these words, which I wholeheartedly endorse:

Most importantly, remember that it’s just another day. Whether you’re alone or celebrating with your partner in a way that you hadn’t imagined, just remember that Valentine’s Day is just another day to show the people around you that you love them and to show yourself some love. The less pressure you put on it, the less stressful it will be … and once it’s over, you’ve got one thing to look forward to: all of that discount Valentine’s chocolate to buy.”

Using Mind Mapping to Declutter Your Brain

mindmap

Decluttering our space, at home or at work, as a group or individual effort, is a much-touted strategy. You may have watched a few hoarder reality shows on TV and either been inspired or assured that your own clutter isn’t THAT bad.

Perhaps you have undertaken the task of decluttering your computer, deleting unwanted files, and organizing your desktop for maximum efficiency. You may have a regular schedule of doing that throughout the year. But have you thought of decluttering your brain?

Very few people think of their brain as a computer, if they think about it at all. Yet, the brain is a supercomputer and extremely powerful in the way it can make connections. It can also get overwhelmed and sometimes confused. Human beings tend to absorb tons of information and hold onto bits that are of no use and may even be harmful to their thinking.

There are ways to do minor brain decluttering, such as journaling or making tiny to-do lists. For large scale decluttering, mind mapping is an extremely effective strategy.

You may be familiar with other uses for mind mapping, particularly to brainstorm and plan. But using it to declutter your brain is very powerful. Here are areas of life where decluttering may be especially needed.

Relationships

Complicated relationships tend to overwhelm the brain and cause negative thoughts to develop like weeds in your yard. Those negative thoughts overtake the positive thoughts and clutter the brain with images that bounce around like a box of golf balls dropped from 100 feet. The thoughts are suddenly all over the place. When we speak of relationships, we are talking about significant others, children, friends, and even co-workers. A mind map allows you to take the core problem and then drill it down to find solutions. All the thoughts regarding the relationship are in front of you, placed in an organized process rather than helter-skelter.

Information Overload

We take in a lot of information from what we read, see, and hear. In today’s world, we are bombarded with information, and we do not need all of it to function daily. All this information bouncing around in your head causes serious clutter. Mind mapping helps you to put down the pertinent information you need right now, information you want to record and be able to access at another time, and discard what you don’t need.

You may have a large-scale work project, and the information is coming fast and furious. You may even find people giving you input that is not related to the project you are working on.

Mind mapping that project drills down to what is needed and what is not. It will also help you to organize and create new ideas that will help with your project. Working on a project without using a mind map means you may forget things that are in your head but not at the front and center of your thoughts. Capturing them and connecting to them to where they can be used is a great function of mind mapping. It’s a great part of an effort to declutter your brain.

Organizing Your Thoughts

With so many things to do in a day, your thoughts can become disorganized, and the clutter becomes overwhelming as your brain skips from project to project, relationship to relationship. This can be especially true when we are doing so many things virtually and there are not the usual clear delineations between home, work, school, etc.

Mind mapping eliminates the clutter as you have a focus point, which is the center theme in your mind map. Building out the main branches and sub-branches is similar to creating a well-written outline for a non-fiction book. By the time you complete all the branches, you can see where your thoughts are, what the route is, and where the journey ends. All the distractions are moved aside or deleted, and this will serve to declutter your brain and provide clarity and direction.

Mind mapping can be used as a daily tool as well as for longer time frames. Experiment with it and see how effective it is in decluttering your brain and helping you feel more in control.

I have written previously about mind mapping here:

https://carolbrusegar.com/creatively-planning-with-many-unknowns/

https://carolbrusegar.com/mind-mapping-enhances-innovative-thinking/

https://carolbrusegar.com/transforming-years-after-50-introducing-mind-mapping-multi-purpose-tool/

If you really want to learn about mind mapping from the originator of the technique, Tony Buzan published this just a couple of years ago. It’s a distillation of global research that has happened in the 5 decades since he first created this technique.

Mind Map Mastery: The Complete Guide to Learning and Using the Most Powerful Thinking Tool in the Universe 

 

Mind Map Book - Buzan