Back in March as Coronavirus emerged as a pandemic our nations were unequipped yo handle, I made the decision as a high-risk person living with another high-risk person to go into self-quarantine. Today marks day 28 of that isolation, so how have I stayed sane? I ask myself that a lot these days.
There have been some low moments, but I can confidently say that my practice of planning and using a bullet journal (or bujo) regularly has made a huge, positive impact on my mental health. It’s not perfect, and I’m still working out the kinks, but it helps.
Here are some tips for your bujo building to help you hold yourself together as we struggle through this pandemic. Each of these elements can be as simple or as complex as you choose since you’re the one plotting it out. Start simple. You can skyways expand it later.
1. Habit Tracker
A daily habit tracker has been a key feature of this month’s bujo. It worked wonders last month, but I hadn’t expected it to be as helpful as it was. This tool is what keeps me focused on the four requirements of any isolation plan: mental health, domestic chores, physical health, and work/productivity. For mine this month, I color coded each item to help me see how I’m balancing my seclusion time and see patterns in my behavior that could improve. I even track my shower days since, lately, even the energy for little things take a lot of motivation.
2. Daily Log
I’ve been keeping track of my daily activities to help break up the differences in each day and reassure myself that I have indeed done more than watch Netflix and zone out (even when that’s the highlight of my day). When I get depressed, I return to this log. I’m often surprised at all I’ve managed each day despite not leaving the house. Remember: small steps are still steps.
3. Track Days in Quarantine
At first I did this inspired by films depicting a prisoner counting days. However, this is actually a very useful tool for anyone in isolation. Not only does it help solidify the time table (if this exile has a beginning then it also has an end), but it helps you find out how long you’ve been Coronavirus free. If you had to get close to people, this can help assuage your fears. And if you become infected, you have a log doctors can use to tracks your infection.
4. Track Budget
We’re all taking an income hit right now. Unless you’re a trust fund baby or filthy rich, you’re likely struggling with lost income one way or another. keeping a written budget or payment can help. Not only is it easy to check at a glance without getting distracted by other phone apps, but keeping it simple can put the financial situation in perspective.
These are just my strategies for managing the days, and they’ll probably evolve over time. My thoughts on this though are that every little bit helps. Like piling sandbags to stem a rising tide of depression, each bag helps stave off the flood. One step at a time.
If any of these strategies work for you, please let me know. Stay safe out there.