Hi there! Leah here with you today, showing you how I’ve set up my wellness planner. I am calling it my “wellness” planner because I want it to be an inspiring place to track my fitness journey, as well as my emotional wellness. The goal of this planner is to help me work towards strengthening my body AND mind.
I am going to be really vulnerable with you all in this post. I have struggled for the last couple of years to maintain any sort of fitness regime. I have a million excuses I could give, but the truth is, there has been a serious mental block holding me back. Our mental and physical healths are SO intertwined. It wasn’t until more recent years that I realized that I struggle with anxiety. It looks differently for everyone - my anxiety is a lot different than the anxiety my mom has struggled with most of her life. For this reason, I ignored all the signs for years thinking that I couldn’t have anxiety. I knew what that looked like. I saw what my mom went through, and how the anxiety attacks could completely take control of her mind and body. While I would certainly consider my anxiety to be a milder form than my mother’s, I am still very impacted by it in my everyday life and now find myself on a journey to understanding MY anxiety and how it affects me physically and emotionally. I am learning ways to manage it, and hope to eventually overcome it completely. It is a JOURNEY though, and I am constantly trying to remind myself to take it one step at a time and to not be too hard on myself. There will be days where I feel like I have “failed” because my anxiety got the best of me, but I’m learning that on those days, sometimes I have to be willing to cut myself some slack so I can focus on dealing with how I am feeling, rather than feeling defeated by what I’m NOT getting done.
When setting up my wellness planner, I had a few things in mind. I needed this space to feel peaceful and uplifting. Although the Faith collection has a religious theme, I am not using it in that way for this planner. I chose to work with this collection because I find the colors and designs to be very comforting. The collection has a lot of nature-inspired elements and I find a lot of solace in nature, so it felt very appropriate to use in this planner.
I wanted this planner to feel inviting, so I put a little more work into the curb appeal, a.k.a. the front of the planner and what you see when you first open it. The pockets of the planner are decorated with florals and other natural elements that inspire and calm me, as well as several uplifting and motivational messages to remind me to remain confident in my strength and perseverance.
I used mostly die cuts, the SN@P! Pack and the Faith sticker book to decorate the pockets.
I have the planner separated into two main sections: everything pertaining to mental and emotional health is up front, physical fitness stuff is in the back. I am using the Faith inserts in the front section, only a couple of the dividers, and a few of the journaling and “Inspired” pages. I will use these inserts to track my emotional goals (such as meditation/reflection practices), as well to journal some of my thoughts, my inspirations and motivations, and notes on helpful things I have read or listened to.
I decorated a few of the dashboards that came in the Faith Insert pack, and then laminated them so they were sturdy. My favorite is this jar of flowers. I decorated the jar with some washi tape, uplifting sentiments and a couple of stickers.
The front dashboard has a laminated card clipped to it, cut from this 12x12 elements sheet. I laminated it so I can change up what I put on there. Right now, I have a photo that makes me smile stuck to the card with washi tape. The photo can be easily moved. I could also use a wet-erase marker to write something inspiring on the laminated surface.
I used ALL of the metal clips from the Faith collection along the right edge of the planner as decoration, but they can easily be used as tabs too. I find that they allow me to turn the pages easier than the paper tabs, so I put one on each divider as well.
Check out how adorable this Carpe Diem planner charm turned out with a few stickers to dress it up!
In the back of the planner, I’m using the Fitness Inserts to track my physical fitness journey. I laminated this clipboard dashboard from the pack so I can change up what I write on it. Right now I’ve written out my everyday goals. They are a mix of physical and mental goals.
I’m using the Doc-It journal tucked into the back pocket for journaling more private things. For example, if I have a bad anxiety day – I am taking time to write about it. This is helping me in so many ways. I’m able to have an outlet for the thoughts that are giving me anxiety, and it’s helping me track anxiety triggers, as well as what worked and what didn’t work as I worked through the anxiety.
When I put together this planner, I knew there may be some days I have to open it when I’m not in the best state of mind. One thing that helps my anxiety is taking time to create. However, on high anxiety days, I often find myself pretty tired and very easily overwhelmed by too many choices. To help me with this, I’ve packed up a few essentials that I plan to bring out only when I am journaling in this planner. I punched holes in the packaging for these brads so I could put them right into my planner. I also tucked some extra stickers into this pocket insert.
I packed up the Faith SN@P! Pack and Bits and Pieces die cuts into a Simple Stories planner pouch. Again, limiting what supplies I packed by sticking with one collection so I don’t overwhelm myself with too many options.
I’m carrying all the new Simple Stories washi tapes in another little pouch.
And then both of the pouches above are tucked into a larger pouch holding the Faith collection sticker book and the 6x8 paper pad, the Fitness collection sticker book, and other basic tools that I use often (a few roller stamps, stamp ink, adhesive, watercolor paints and a water brush, doilies, a wet-erase marker, a hole punch, mini stapler, scissors).
I hope to show you more details of the inner workings of this planner as I start putting it to use. I am really hoping it will serve its purpose in helping me strengthen my body and mind. I know there are a lot of other women out there that also struggle with anxiety. It can be uncomfortable to talk about, but I have found that for me, giving anxiety a label and talking about it more openly helps give me more control over it. If you are struggling with anxiety, please remember that it looks differently for everyone which means there is no one perfect cure for all. I’m definitely not an expert on this topic, as I am still on my own journey, but I hope you will remember to allow yourself some grace as you confront how you are feeling and determine the best way to manage it, for you. You don’t have to do it alone – never hesitate to ask for help from friends, family, and/or a medical professional. Whatever it takes to help you through it.
You can follow me over on my Instagram, www.instagram.com/sunny.leah, to see more of this planner as I begin to use it. There is also a ton more inspiration using the Faith and Fitness collections over on the Simple Stories and Carpe Diem planners Instagram accounts. Please be gentle with yourselves friends, and remember to take time to take care of YOU.