In the past few years, using a bullet journal in lieu of a planner has boomed in popularity, particularly among adolescents. This is partly due to social media sites such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube (often found under the #bujo or #bulletjournal hashtag), where people can turn to for ideas and where to start, if not an aesthetic to hopefully achieve. They’re colorful, creative, and an opportunity for people to have their journal truly be a reflection of them. However, though it is mostly used as a means of writing down homework assignments, future goals and tasks, and an organized place to jot down ideas and sketch, more people are finding that it can be used as an aide with their mental health.
While journaling in itself is often associated with stress relief and mental health, free writing what goes on in one’s head, bullet journaling takes a slightly different approach. Bullet journaling is ultimately used as a tool for organization, and having a place for decluttering the mind can help ease anxiety. Once tasks and assignments are laid out in a way that feels achievable, it can give a sense of comfort and security.
Bullet journaling can also be used as a habit tracker. Here, people can list what they did that day, from the mundane as coffee intake to the accomplishments such as working out. In conjunction, they can also have a section for a mood tracker for the day, making a note about how they felt that day, maybe on a scale from 1-10, maybe with a simple smiley or frowny face. Using either or both can help detect patterns in behavior or mood, possibly finding out if anything is specifically triggering anxiety or depression.
As a journal, bullet journals can also be used as a place to write down how one is feeling that day, having a private space to let their thoughts run free. They can also use it to sketch or even doodle, using the space to keep their hands busy doing something if they find themselves getting anxious.
Bullet journaling is meant to be used as a journal without restrictions, giving the user the freedom to use it for whatever they want and need. While the options of what they choose to use it for are limitless, there are just as many ways that it can help with their mental health. Whether that is through an intentional mood tracking chart or unintentional relief with planning out important dates and due dates, starting a bullet journal can be a tool that your child can incorporate into their daily routine. It’s important to keep in mind however that it may not be for everyone, and if your child is feeling pressured to upkeep a journal, bullet or otherwise, they don’t have to continue.
Do you know if your child journals or bullet journals? Would you consider discussing with them if they want to start one?