There are certain products and books/resources that I use in my own practice as a professional as well as those that I also use for my own self-care.
Some are to help busy people stay organized (and, thus, less overwhelmed), some are to help track moods (finding daily/hourly patterns) and mindfulness (increasing gratitude), and some are general reading lists (from self-help to inspiring books). That all said, I need to provide the following disclaimer:
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The first group of recommendations I have are related to planning, journaling, budgeting & scheduling in order to maintain motivation and ultimately become less overwhelmed. Many of my friends, family, colleagues, and clients have asked about the products I use to balance my own life. Those who got similar products have reported similar results as I have had:
More time, more fun, more motivation, and at least a little less stress!!
This planner is my go-to sanity-saver. Friends, family, colleagues, and clients frequently ask me about this planner when they see it because it is not only eye-catching, but noticeably high quality and durable. While I use the coil-bound version of this, I know several people who prefer the binder as it can be refilled and frequently added to. Both options are fully-customizable to your needs and preferences.
This planner not only allows enough space (and time slots if you choose the “hourly” style) for me to plan my variable hours, but also enough flexibility for me to add some flare and creativity. This might seem odd to some, however, when I plan, it is now more of a creative process than “making and checking off to-do lists”. I look forward to seeing what the days to come will bring as opposed to dreading how hectic my schedule can sometimes be.
I recommend “enjoyable and leisurely” planning to all who struggle with a busy and chaotic lifestyle as it truly improves productivity and decreases stress.
If you end up ordering the Coil Bound LifePlanner, there are so many dashboards to snap in.
Daily gratitude logging helps with mindfulness and contentment in a busy, worried, depressed, or overwhelmed person’s day. This is not to say that gratitude journaling will eliminate these difficult emotions. However, there is research that is linked to a decrease in intensity, frequency, and duration of these emotions.
In my years of being a therapist, I have recommended daily gratitude logs countless times. Here’s what my clients were frequently faced with, though: when they were experiencing difficult times or unpleasant emotions, it was so hard to think of things to be thankful for…
This journal takes away the need to wrack your brain. It gives clear and concise prompts.
I tend to recommend this type of journaling frequently to those in high-stress/high-trauma jobs or to those who have high-stress home-lives. Think: teachers, emergency personnel, physicians and other medical staff, counselors… also think: parents of high-need kids, those who are experiencing trauma/grief, and those who have mental health symptoms.
Similar to the Gratitude Journal, the Self Care Journal gives you clear and concise prompts to log your mood, goals, coping mechanisms, etc… in real time when you’re struggling, having a good day, and everywhere in between.
The Daily Customizable Agenda is something that is easy to carry around and can actually serve the purpose of decluttering the to-do list areas in your regular planner. Since I wear many hats, I use this to prioritize what needs to be done each day. There are some days that don’t need filled and so the benefit of the customizable one is that you simply fill in the days you need to fill in and leave the rest out. You can view two days at a time.