Monday 17 October 2016

Creating a Good Mental Health planner/journal

If you've checked out my blog pages you may have noticed I'm into planners big time. Writing lists and keeping track of what I need to do on a daily/weekly/monthly basis helps manage my forgetfulness. Plus I get to use lots of stickers. 

One thing that's important to me is good mental health and I began to think how a planner designed specifically for that might help with dark phases. If you've ever done any CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) you'll understand the usefulness of recognising triggers and knowing how to break circles of negative thinking.

I am by no means a qualified therapist or counsellor but as a person who struggles from time to time with anxiety and depression I know what works for me. It's a starting point to create some kind of useful and hopefully supportive planner.

I began by creating emoticons. There are all sorts of them online but I wanted ones that were based on weather - feelings can be associated with 'sunny', 'cloudy' or 'stormy'. It's also important to me that I design my own. 

Pages of distraction images might be helpful - I know that getting focussed on a task, creative or not, can steer me clear of an unhelpful spiral. Rather than writing phrases of things to go and do, a simple image could mean many things. The pencil might represent drawing or doodling or colouring in. The television could mean sit down and watch a movie or a documentary or even switch off the telly and go do something else. 

I thought of decorative frames in which words could be written or dates and phrases of good moments and experiences. Or they could hold the dark moments, for good mental health isn't about ignoring the bad bits. It's about coming to terms with all of our lives, warts and all. 

A series of stars and suns making up a night sky filled with places to record moments, or a road winding its  way through the year ahead with achievable goals. When it's done I'll have pages available for free downloading. I had hoped to have this finished by World Mental Health Day but it's taking more thought and work than anticipated. Early days yet...

All constructive comments are welcome

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All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.

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