Subsequent to my self-care week, I tasked myself with creating BuJo weekly/daily goals spreads to keep the momentum of daily self-care and of realising goals (however small). This is something I had been tracking in an unfocused way already but wanted to gain focus to maximise the benefit.
Last summer in therapy I was engaged in behavioural activation (BA) as the first step in managing my depression. The aim of BA is to improve mood by engaging in enjoyable or rewarding activities. Initially I was tasked to complete an activity-mood tracking sheet on which I would record what I was doing throughout the day and assign a score between 1-10 on how my mood was at that time. It is hoped that the activity-mood sheet would highlight situations or activities that are beneficial to mood or conversely, that lead to poorer mood.
It was apparent that stress was a significant factor in lower mood and that activities such as gardening or meeting with friends was beneficial. I also discovered that early morning was linked with a lower mood, also when I was driving. From this my therapist and I could determine what activities may be beneficial and work to schedule these on a daily basis. With BA it’s important to try your best to carry out scheduled activities in order to gain the benefit.
I began by scheduling piano practice first thing in the morning. Learning and playing piano uses every bit of mental processing power my mind has, it’s enjoyable, challenging and rewarding when I get it right. It is the perfect activity to override those early morning negative feelings, and I found it really helped. It helped in having a focus to start the day, and it helped calm my mind and inject a bit of positivity.
You can read more about BA here (MOODJUICE)
This is a really good self-help booklet (PDF download) on BA from the University of Exeter (link here)
I spent part of yesterday incorporating self-care into my journaling, daily goals spread -it’s very much a diary format but as with most journaling these things can evolve over time into what best suits yourself, and weekly goals spread.