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Journaling can be really beneficial to help with stress, heres how a Bullet Journal works for Stuart 
Just four days into lockdown and I don’t know about you but I’m already bored with it. I’ve bought a dozen books to read and some puzzle books and jigsaws but whether I’ll get around to it all who knows. This time around the weather isn’t so great so sitting in the garden really isn’t the same, which means mental health is an even bigger concern so what do we do? 
One of the problems we have that causes our stress levels to rise is the amount of stuff and noise in our heads that doesn’t allow us to calm and relax. Our brains are buzzing around never stopping it seems, our emotions are like a rollercoaster and our bodies are now flooded with way too many chemicals all trying to give us different messages. Its like a Microsoft email server up there and we need to stop it. 
Something that really helps and is often discussed in mindfulness courses is journaling. Writing everything down, all your thoughts and problems and ideas and all the things whizzing around your head get them out of your head and onto some paper. The idea is that if you write everything down, you now don’t have to remember everything you only have to remember where you wrote it and you use the journal to organise your thoughts. So where do we start? Well a few years ago a man named Ryder Carroll also faced this dilemma so he took his notebook and designed a system of note taking and to do lists and called it a Bullet Journal. I started using this method a couple of years ago and I really like it, its definitely helped me to become more organised and to forget things less. How does it work then? 
You start off with a notebook, originally each page had a grid of dots rather than lines but it really doesn’t matter if you have lines. then we start with a mind dump. Go through everything in your head, all your jobs, events, ideas, everything you have to do or remember or want to and make a huge list. I doesn’t matter if it goes on for pages or is just a few lines to start with, get everything you can out of your head and onto a page. Secondly we go through the list and prioritize between things you have to do now, things that need to be done soon and things that are really a future task. 
Then what I do is to make a calendar on a page, one line per day and list any events or deadlines that happen in that month. Next I’ll go through my list of jobs and write down everything that I need to do or want to achieve in that month, everything else goes on a future list. Then each day I sit down for ten minutes, usually over breakfast or with my morning coffee and plan my day. I make a list of all the things from my monthly list that I want to do that day and I ignore everything else. Now my day is sorted and I can stop thinking about everything, I just have to remember where my list is. At the end of the day I spend another ten minutes ticking off everything I have done, and anything that didn’t get done I move over to the next days list or if I decide that it has become less important it goes to the future list. The next day I plan my day again but this time with my undone tasks from yesterday already in my list. I have found this makes life easier and I don’t forget anything. As soon as I have finished one job I check my list and pick up another job, my whole day becomes a production line. 
So that’s how it works for me and I find its helped tremendously in organising my day, especially as I have a business to run as well as my personal life to organise. If you hop around the internet you will find plenty of groups and websites dedicated to bullet journaling and you will see people decorate their journals, add some artwork, doodles, random thoughts all interspersed amongst the lists. Its your journal you can add to it what you like. I’m not the greatest artist so mine is mostly words, but I know Holly uses a bullet journal and hers is full of pictures and sketches as well as her lists. 
Of course this wont solve all your stress problems and it wont cure you of covid, but it does help to organise things and gives you a little extra time. Remember to add in some fun things every day to spend time on yourself. Make a cake, read a book, watch a tv show or a movie, go for a walk, whatever you enjoy, add a little into your daily list and it forces you to do it. 
Hopefully that will help, and remember to look around the internet for bullet journals and bullet journaling websites and facebook groups to see just how creative you can become. 
Stuart :) 
Alchemy Therapy Centre 
Check out our facebook page for details on our weekly meditation podcast, or join our facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/alchemymindbodyandspirit 
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