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Hannah holding bullet journals

How bullet journaling helps me manage my MS

Hannah Smith

A year after my MS diagnosis a dear friend suggested that starting a bullet journal might help me manage my MS.

What is a bullet journal, I hear you ask? It was created by Rydor Carroll. It’s basically a paper diary in which you use a system to help you keep organised, which you can customise to suit you. You can use it for things like to-do lists, sketching, diary logs etc. You can create it however you like, using any journal. There’s some great videos on YouTube explaining the basics of how it works.

It appealed to me because I’m very creative, quite organised and anything that involves stationary gets me hooked!

> Find out more on the bullet journal website

A tool for planning


Open bullet diary on table

I’ve planned mine like a diary, however I also use it to track any new symptoms, medication, etc. I also take it with me to appointments with neurologists to help me explain what’s been happening. I use it as a food log and meal planner too so that I know what I’m going to be eating. And if my MS is playing up then my partner can look in it and he’ll know what to cook. (Any excuse to get him cooking! *joke*). I also use it to keep track of my monthly budget.

I’ve found keeping a bullet journal has helped me in so many ways! It’s been an escape, my focus and also a support. Having everything organised in one notebook helps me on a daily basis and helps me keep my stress level down. I know it’s not for everyone but I love it!

Time to be mindful, rest and be happy

For my new journal for 2018 I’ve done a whole spread on ‘Mindful Mornings’ and ‘Restful Evenings’. This is to make sure I take time to switch off and have a technology detox because I feel I’m on technology way too much!

Open bullet diary on table

I used to set goals for the new year but now I just carry on and try to live a positive happy life. I set goals at the beginning of 2017, however having four relapses during the year, those goals haven’t been completed. Instead of becoming upset or beating myself up, I’m just going to carry on. Those goals are still there, just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean previous goals need to be forgotten about. I won’t be setting any goals for 2018 and I’m happy with that.

Caring for myself

For me my Bullet Journal has also taught me to love myself, especially the spread I created called ‘MS Achievements’. I look back at everything I’ve achieved and feel proud of myself.

I also have a spread about writing one positive affirmation about myself every day. And on my monthly tracker I have a task called ‘self love’, so that I try and have at least one day a week doing that I love and want to do. This could be as simple as having a PJ day watching my favourite films, creating an at home spa night or reading a new book.

Loving and caring for myself is so important to me. We deal with so much in life and it’s important to take a break and look after ourselves more often.

    About Hannah: Hannah is 27 and loves blogging and doing makeup. Read more from Hannah on her blog or follow her on Twitter (@HannahEliza1) and Instagram (@Hannaheliza_1990).