Back in my 2018 Resolutions/Goals post I mentioned one thing I wanted to focus on is my mental health. While my anxiety has reduced some, I still find myself having moments where my anxiety is really high and have even had a panic attack. I have also mentioned before that I have an autoimmune disease, Hashimotos Thyroiditis, but I didn't really anxiety and thyroid issues go hand in hand. This was a conversation I had with my Endo doctor and it really blew my mind. After this conversation, I decided to start researching how I could deal with my anxiety and I was pleasantly surprised to find out journaling is a method to ease stress and anxiety. I started looking into this further and found several different options for journaling: there are journaling topics, trackers, drawing books, etc. I found one that takes several of these and incorporates them all into one and I would like to share it with you!
Now, this may not work for everyone, but this has really helped me track what is going on in my life and what triggers my stress and anxiety. I want to take you through page by page and how this has helped me so far. Let's take a look...
This is the notebook I decided to use. I didn't go out an buy one, I had this Erin Condren notebook from an order I had placed earlier in the year. It is a normal lined notebook, but Erin Condren does offer a dot notebook if you would rather have that.
I marked the first page by writing the current month, I found writing and coloring calmed me down during the process, which then made me learn something about myself. I never knew something as simple as writing and coloring could take the edge off. I could've stopped there, but I decided to keep going.
This is one of my favorite pages for the month because it allows you to track how you are feeling emotionally, physically and also track your sleep. After doing this for a few months, I believe there is correlation between the hours of sleep you get and how you feel emotionally and physically. I don't fill this out everyday, but I try to fill it out most days especially if something has happened to trigger my anxiety!
This page has also been great for me because I work a high stress job, where people yelling happen quite frequently, so this page has come in handy for those moments when my blood pressure rises. I will typically grab a marker after a tough call and doodle something that will calm me down. I wish I could do this in Atlanta traffic, but that isn't too safe! I also like the two areas at the bottom where you can jot down what is making you anxious and what is making you happy. I think keeping track of when you are happy is just as important as tracking what makes you anxious. The happiness will always outweigh the things that make you anxious.
I'm not going to lie, but I haven't really used these pages like I should've. I have written down a few items in the daily gratitude, but I feel like I lose what I am grateful for on a day to day basis. I really need to start using this page more, especially when I am writing down things that make happy. The habit tracker I have tried to keep up with, but as I noticed today, I haven't marked anything since the beginning of the month. This may not be something I need to keep in the book and I may try taking it out next month to see if it makes a difference.
This one is by far my favorite item in the notebook...the anxiety log! I have used this so much since I started journaling. Anytime I have a trigger I immediately go to the book and document it. I have learned a lot from this page and my biggest lesson is that my anxiety is triggered by things I can't control. if you only choose to do one page out of this book, this is the one I would recommend. You will learn a lot about yourself.
I feel like I just let out a lot of personal information and I hope I can help someone out there who is struggling with anxiety. If you have any questions let me know, or if you are looking for another form of journaling check out items on Pinterest. I found this layout on Pinterest and they have so much other ideas out there. I hope to follow-up on this topic again on the blog and give y'all an update!