Hi lovely people!
It’s Rachel here, and today I’m sharing with you how planning and mental wellbeing go hand in hand for me.
I’ve shared on my social media channels at various times that I have had clinical depression in the past. I have also recovered from a period of PTSD as a result of a very difficult experience a couple of years ago, and so looking after my own mental wellbeing is pretty much the number one thing on my priorities list. Without that being in a good place, I won’t have the capacity and ability to give and invest into others – my family, my friends, my community, my business. These days, I am well – and I am grateful for that! I share this not for sympathy, or to be over dramatic, but because I want you to know a little about where I’m coming from with this – I’ve lived through it, and I actively work to keep myself well now. I’m sure you get the idea!
So what has planning got to do with this? Put simply – EVERYTHING! And Cocoa Daisy has been a massive part of my journey since 2016, and that little box of happy is one of the highlights of my month. I look forward to it arriving and to share that joy is something I love to do (apparently several of you also like me sharing the joy – the hashtag #RachelMadeMeDoIt has been used a few times I believe!).
Here’s a few of the reasons that planning – and specifically creative planning with Cocoa Daisy – help me look after my mental wellbeing.
Creativity is the most amazing gift – and we all have the capacity for it. I believe that wholeheartedly! Doing something creative is just fun – to play with colours and supplies, and create something is a wonderfully mindful and engaging activity. I love using stickers – there’s something so satisfying about placing them and seeing a page come to life. There are lots to choose from too!
COLOUR & QUOTES
Oh how I LOVE LOVE LOVE colour! It makes my heart happy and I get so much pleasure from seeing beautiful colours and patterns put together. The palettes which Christine puts together each month are so visually pleasing, and I love seeing how they are used throughout the kits.
Now, I can’t mention colour without talking a little about my love of rainbows – I mean, it’s kind of my signature colour palette, right?! #rainbowismyfavouritecolour
And so, whenever there’s an element of rainbow in the kit, I’m happy – and when last month featured ALLLLLLL of the rainbows in Up and Away, I was super excited!
The quotes which are sprinkled through the Cocoa Daisy planner pages and booklets are like buried treasure, waiting to be found as you turn to a new page.
There’s always something that speaks to me each month – and what I really like is that there’s no ‘false positivity’ here, but encouragement, thought provoking ideas and a good dose of humour too – I’m looking forward to including this ‘Welcome to the Zoo’ card from the June Serengeti kits in my planner next month!
I have been doing ‘The One Thousand Gifts Challenge’ by Ann Voskamp since 2014 – so this is my seventh year! Looking for the good, however small, helps to keep my focus off my own feelings and circumstances. There are studies to show that people who physically write down three things they’re grateful for are up to 25% happier than those who don’t. That blows my mind – something so simple having such a huge effect!
I love to use the stickers and washi from the planner kit to decorate the pages of my Hobonichi Techo (A6) which is where I’m keeping my list this year – they just add a little something, and when I flick back through the pages, it’s lovely to be reminded of the kits and see those beautiful colours and artwork.
THE BEAUTY OF A NEW PAGE
New mercies for a new day with a new start – that’s something that kept me going through some really dark times. Knowing that a new day was coming, and believing for it to bring a new start – that feeling of hope and possibility is somehow embodied in turning to a new planner page each morning. I’ve tried planning everything into a weekly view; I’ve tried putting everything into a week on two pages – but I hate seeing the to do list from the previous day. Especially if it has things I didn’t get done on it – it’s a visible reminder of (in my head!) failure. But a new page – that means I get to start again, and with pages as beautiful as these, that’s just even better!
The space in the daily pages for personal rings is fantastic – I can jot down my appointments, to do list, as well as highlighting the most important things and having space for notes. Plus – if it gets messy that day, it’s not a problem as there’s a new page for tomorrow!
Now, this can be a slightly double edged sword (I’m being very honest here!). On the one hand, there’s a wealth of inspiration and ideas and beautiful photos to peruse, as well as people to connect with, chat about all things planning and all things Cocoa Daisy.
On the other hand, there’s a gallery of other people’s creativity and artistic flair to look through – and if I’m not careful, that can lead to the ‘my planner isn’t good enough/ pretty enough; I can’t do it like that person so I’m not doing it well enough and I’m not good enough to do this’ – see how that can spiral so quickly?
So here’s my way of avoiding that spiral. Go to the Cocoa Daisy social media channels with the sole aim of finding connection with other people. Whether it’s to join in a discussion, or to leave some likes and kind words on someone’s photo that they’ve shared, or however you choose to engage, in my experience online community is only fulfilling and worthwhile when you participate to give and not to get.
So be encouraged – if you’ve not joined the Cocoa Daisy Facebook group, come on over! If you’ve never browsed the Pinterest boards or the Instagram account, take a look – but maybe try doing so with the aim of leaving more than you take.
I hope you’ve found something of value in this slightly different blog post from myself – I wanted to share what was on my mind and please know, I’m writing to myself about these things as much if not more than anyone else!
Until next time lovely people, take care, and enjoy your planning!