Today I want to share with you something I’m doing in my journal/planner to help me become more mindful of some important areas surrounding my general health and well-being.
In my experience the most powerful tool you can use in areas of personal growth, development and behavioral change is mindfulness. I’ve written about mindfulness before (http://www.everydayjournalista.com/12-days-of-mindful-gratitude/). About how wonderful it is for helping us become more centered and present in our everyday lives.
I think that anytime you bring awareness to your feelings, thoughts and/or behaviours the more opportunities you have to not only create more meaning and value in your life but it can also allow you to identify areas that need more focus.
An area that I have wanted to become more mindful about for a long time is the amount of sleep I get. It’s an area that I have been deficient in for years and I know how important sleep is for my overall health and wellness. It’s when our body recovers, deals with stressors both physical and mental and it’s when our mind assimilates and rests from all the stimulation of our busy daily lives. I know all this to be true and yet I tend to feel like the next task on my to do list is more important than getting my 8 hours.
Initially I was just tracking my mood using this beautiful mood mandala I created (Inspired by one I saw Boho Berry create). And while it was nice to look at and great at encouraging me to be more mindful of my mood and feelings throughout the day, it did nothing to show me any patterns or trends related to my mood.
In an attempt to convince myself that getting more sleep should be a priority I began to track both my sleep and my mood in a habit tracker in my planner. By tracking these two metrics daily I had hoped to find some relationships between my mood and the amount of sleep I was getting.
I chose to track my sleep and mood on the same tracker using a separate line graph for each. This allowed me to clearly see each behavior on it’s own but also as they related to each other.
Again I found this layout nice to look at and easy to use. I was able to see more of a relationship between the two but I felt that visually it still wasn’t easy to identify patterns in my sleep and mood. During this month I also realized that I wanted to include the days of the week to see how that came in to play as well.
This is what I came up with.
I’m really happy with how this tracker has worked for me and how it looks visually as well. It’s pretty easy to see a relationship here between my mood and the weekends right off the bat. I’m still trying to figure out the sleep piece but I think I see a pattern of my mood slipping following a couple of days of decreased sleep.
It’s been so much fun to do this tracker and it’s something that I continue to track each day of the month. The next step will be to see how my mood changes month over month and as the seasons change.
Thank you so much for stopping by. Please do tag me @theeverydayjournalista if you post any of your tracking creations on Instagram. I would love to see them!