Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mental Health: Plan on It!

The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, 
but to schedule your priorities. - Stephen R. Covey


Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. - Pablo Picasso


When I'm depressed, I lose a sense of time and priorities. Everything in life is awash in grey. I get nothing done and as the days drip by, I become increasingly aware of a monster growing in the periphery: anxiety. All the appointments, tasks, projects, and people that have been neglected, await me at the entrance of my cave.

...happier days
I'm sitting here now, staring out - afraid to move forward, but knowing that if I don't do at least something, the monster will grow larger and larger. 

So, how do I get myself up and out when I feel so overwhelmed? How do I gain some control and get moving again back on my path? 

Among the many self-care tactics which I've written about before, there's one other tool in my kit: my personal planner. 

A personal planner keeps track of appointments, tasks, and contacts, yes; but it can also do so much more! {Those of you in the "planner community" (and yes, there is a planner community) know what I'm talking about!} A planner can be your road map and guide, as well as your creative outlet, mental health manager, and curator of your dreams!

I think I'll be digging mine out now to help me get rolling again.


About My Personal Planner

There are an infinite number of ways to set one up. Mine typically features these familiar sections:
  • Calendar
  • To Do
  • Notes
  • General info and key contacts

In addition, I've added "Focus" and "Goals" sections which contain:

  • Inspiration: gratitude list, list of my accomplishments, life's highlights and lessons, quotes, affirmations, visualizations, etc.
  • Lists: various lists and key information from diverse areas of my life, in alphabetical order.
  • Other sections dedicated to life areas for which I have a lot of info to track: my job, college, college club, etc.
Aside from its functional, organizational, and motivational elements, my planner has also become a creative outlet.

Personal planner decorating has actually become quite popular. A quick Google search will yield post after post and video after video of planner set-up ideas and decorating tips. 

When I was in PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) a few years back, one of the therapeutic activities our group did involved art. To help us relax, and express our emotions using our visual cortices, we drew, made collages, and yes, even colored. Decorating my planner has the same effect on me. It's a soothing, serotonin-raising hobby!

Some of my tools include:

a pretty planner,

sticky notes and stickers,

...the beaver's face cracks me up every time!

decorative clips,

washi tape,

colored pens,

decorative tab dividers 
with a great inspirational quote,

and finally, planner charms {see pics above and below}.

I've included just a few of the resources out there to get you started. Happy planning!


Special thanks to all my friends in the US, the UK, and Australia who gifted me most of these planners and supplies! I appreciate your kindness and friendship, and I promise to pay it forward when I can!

Planners by Filofax USA and Filofax UK

Inspirational Dashboards by tweetiepiecollage on Etsy

Planner charms by CraftersRetreaton on Etsy

Canoe do it? sticky notes {with that beaver face!} by Hatley

Washi can be found on Etsy and office supply stores are great places for sticky notes and pens.

Not shown, but also HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:

Planning pages, goals, and inspirational forms and lists by Life Is Crafted

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