As much as I wanted to get off to a running start with my writing on January 1st, there was one project that I was absolutely set on getting finished before I did anything else. It’s been quite the learning curve involving 12+ hour days. I write that not for sympathy but to explain why I haven’t been doing much else.
What has resulted is not a book or even a short story. However, it is something I am very proud of. If you’d like to take a peek, I have more explanation and some pictures behind the ‘more’ tag.
If not, I’ll be back soon and prattling on about writing things.
This past holiday season was a rough one for my mental health. Usually I can manage things without anyone knowing there is/was a problem in the first place. Most of December shattered all that. What happened to me isn’t the important part. What’s important is that the experience reminded me of something that I’ve been told quite a few times over the years: one of the best tools for managing your mental health is tracking/awareness.
I felt inspired to create this ‘heart project’ not only for myself but for others as well. I wanted to create a planner that functioned like any other planner but with that little bit extra to look after mental health as well. I wanted to integrate the two to show that looking after your mental and emotional self can be a regular part of the day like anything else.
The planner cover page. This can be printed as either A4 or A5. I have personally test printed this on my home printer and experienced no loss of quality either way.
One of the things I love the most about this planner (and one of the reasons it took so long) is that you can choose whether to write or type in your details. If you open the PDF in Adobe Reader, you can highlight the text fields. Click inside one, and you will be able to type in your name, address, emergency contacts and other details that could be important to you and anyone trying to help you in an emergency.
In the week-to-spread portion of the planner, each day comes with boxes for you to not only track your mood but track other influences as well like stress or exercise. (There is a bar at the bottom of each page listing out what the three-letter combos mean.) At the end of each month, there is a full, one-page chart of the entire month so you can get a ‘longer’ view and, perhaps, start to recognise trends and cycles. There is also a notes page next to the chart.
The planner comes with a contacts section that you can choose to either type in or print off and write in. Or both – this could be a great way to keep a digital version of your changing contacts list.
There is also a ‘Dates to Remember’ section in which you can type or print and write things that happen every year like birthdays and anniversaries. Like the contacts, you can add or delete as you please through the year, enabling you to print off a fresh, updated version whenever you want to.
There it is. My reason for not writing. If I am to have a reason, then I think this is a pretty good one. Once I have finished with a final proof of the PDF, it’s back to writing for me. My characters haven’t taken kindly to such neglect…