It’s time again for a new Bullet Journal! I’ve finally reached the end of my old one, which I’ll dearly miss. (It was a gorgeous DesignWorks layflat journal.) But every ending is a new beginning, and this beginning is gonna rock. How do I know? Well, because I’m giving myself an easy cheat sheet for self-care right at the start of my new book. I’m sticking methods from DBT in the bullet journal up front and center.
The new journal I’m using is a notebook from Class Act Stationery that apparently doesn’t exist anymore lol but it’s similar to this one from Greenroom except it’s only 80 pages instead of that one’s 250. (Jeez, 250? I might have to buy that one…)
How to do DBT in the bullet journal
So my inspiration from all of this comes from The DBT Skills Workbook by McKay, Wood, & Brantley. I bought the book about a year ago on a trip to Barnes & Noble. I’ve been trying to tackle it ever since, but, you know. Things happen. Books get shoved under the bed. Or into a closet. Or left in a moving bin. Or whatever.
But not this time! This time I went at it with gusto and decided that I was gonna start putting this stuff right in front of my bujo-obsessed face. Or in other words, put the DBT in the bullet journal!
I started with an extra spiral bound notebook I had handy, for planning it out. (I buy armfuls of those when they’re on sale in the fall, you really can’t go wrong for $.10!) I went through the chapters I had read, and started making lists of the exercises and tips the book provided. Then, I separated them into sections that made sense: Do, and Say.
Do section things are, well, stuff to do, like when I’m distressed, triggered, or otherwise upset. I broke that down into distraction techniques, soothing techniques, and visualization exercises. The distraction techniques are what I believe I’ll be using most, so those are the very first thing I put in. I arranged them into a chart that displays what I perceive to be the energy level necessary for each activity. It’s also got a blank section on each line for me to tally when I use a technique. That way, I can track which ones I use most often.
Say section things are things like coping thoughts, self-affirming statements, and mantras for radical acceptance. These are things I can read and repeat to myself to help me feel better. Eventually I’m also going to have a section of uplifting or inspirational song lyrics, but that’ll come later.
And that’s how I do DBT in the bullet journal.
New markers? Yessssss!
You might notice that there’s a bright pop of color on these pages. I recently bought myself a pack of Tombow dual-tip brush pens. And I’m loving them! The fine point end is small enough for me to use as basically a pen. (It’s a little thicker than the Papermate Flair pens, if you’ve ever used those.) And the brush end is beautiful for lettering or coloring in my weird chevron-shaped time schedulers that I’ve been doing lately.
I’m not very good at the brush lettering yet, but I’m sure it’ll come with practice.
These buggers came about from me trying to mess around with making my previous Spiraldex-inspired scheduling dealies easier to work with.
First, I scrapped roundness entirely. It’s way too hard to pull out a compass every time I want to do a little bit of scheduling. (Plus I tend to forget mine at the house a LOT.) An angled shape with straight lines is much simpler for me.
Then, I focused only on half. I like being able to draw lines describing what each section I’m working with represents. That’s really hard in a full “circle” (or diamond) drawing, at least for me.
Next, I stopped trying to estimate (or worse, measure) where each sixth of the “clock” was. I cut each shape in half, then in half again, then in half again. This gives me either 4 hours or 8 hours depending on how small I want the sections to be. (If it’s 4 hours, the smallest sections will represent half hours instead of full hours.) Because of my work schedule, this actually turns out super useful for me.
Finally, the fun part: color coding! Using my Tombows I can color code to my heart’s content. (I don’t use yellow very much? It’s hard to see against the paper I use. But all the other colors get used plenty!)
Another project I’m using my Tombows for is my rune study. I’m actually super excited about this! I’ve worked with runes on and off for years, but I’ve never actually fully studied them as they deserve until now.
“WTF are runes, Alexi?” Well, the ones I’m talking about are specifically the Futhark runes of Germanic & Scandinavian origin. Essentially they’re an alphabet, but among Heathen and Asatru folks they’re taken to be a magical – or at least, very significant – piece of our religion. Our mythology tells us that our chief god Odin came to know the runes by sacrificing himself. He pierced his side with his spear and hanging himself upon the World Tree for nine days and nights. They came to mankind by the god Heimdall (you know – Idris Elba?) in a disguise as he wandered the world.
A lot of Heathens (and some non-Heathens) use these runes for divination, like Tarot cards. (Some people use them exactly like Tarot cards, but we won’t get into my ruffled feathers lol.) There isn’t actually a historical record of ancient Germanic or Scandinavian peoples using them for this exact purpose. But, it’s a commonly accepted modern usage nonetheless. Personally, I like using them as the basis for sigil magic. But that’s another story.
I’m approaching this study from somewhat of a practical and historical place. I’ve started with the runic poems of old Norwegian and Icelandic origin. Later I will move on to scholarly works on the matter. (Self-five for having access to J-Stor!)
Is that a dot-grid I spy?
It is and it was $5. Yes I’m serious. I got two of them. They’re only 110 pages and the binding is :/ well, it leaves something to be desired. (Definitely not lay-flat.) But it’s a $5 dot grid book so honestly I’m happy with it.
What’s going on with you?
Any new study projects or religious projects you’re engaging in lately? Have you started using new markers or a new notebook? Do you incorporate DBT in the bullet journal, or another form of therapy or self-care? Let us know in the comments! Or, share with us on Twitter (mention me @thealexidavis or use the hashtag #adblogtalk).