I created this wellness journal over a decade ago and just revised it last month to give it a few upgrades. I find this an incredible way to keep track of what is going on in my body, and my medical team really appreciates me bringing it with me to keep them fully informed. I first created it when I was having a health crisis and there were so many different things going on from day to day that I would forget to tell my acupuncturist certain symptoms and would only remember later in the day after the session was over. I realized I needed to start keeping better track and recording what was happening in order to have more productive doctors and acupuncture appointments.
I kept the design simple so if you are printing this out at home you won't use up all your ink! If you want it to be a little prettier, I would just recommend picking a color paper that makes you happy and print it out on that. There are ten main components the Wellness Journal features and I would love to explain what they are and the benefits of why I included them. I really tried to keep everything as simple as possible yet thorough.
Affirmation There is an affirmation at the top of the page to help you stay positive about your health and well-being. I find saying this aloud or simply reading it to yourself can be a powerful reminder that healing is possible. I find when I am dealing with pain and fatigue on a daily basis and my body just won't cooperate with anything I want to do, it is easy to feel like I am drowning in suffering. This serves as a simple reminder that the human body is amazing and has the potential to heal. I know I need the reminder so I hope it helps you too!
I personally feel like I can get caught up in my health issues and can get lost in the day to day struggle if I don't set a goal to focus on. Striving for goals when you don't feel good and can't depend on your body from day to day can be extremely challenging! These don't have to be massive life goals, it could simply be to track your symptoms and use the journal for 28 days straight and that alone will help you get a clear picture of what your health really looks like over the course of a month.
This page is a new addition that comes from my fitness and massage background. I have always had clients make x's or circle any problem areas but last summer I took a workshop with Pamela Herrick and she had a different approach to actually color in how the body is feeling. I thought this was a wonderful way to be creative and get a more vivid and clear picture to see how the body feels. You can get super creative with colors, textures, and symbols to represent how you are feeling. I don't use this feature every single day but I think it is good to do at least once a week and anytime a new pain or problem arises.
Mental & Physical Symptoms
I feel like this is the essence of what the journal was made for. I created the symptoms on a scale of 0-10 because circling 0 can help you feel more grateful that you don't have those issues going on! There is a pretty complete list of symptoms and also a couple blank slots you can fill it in if your issue isn't on the list. I also try to jot down what time I have the symptom arise if it is not an all day thing.
I added a meal planning sheet that you can use monthly or weekly if you want to pay a little more attention to what is going into your body. Eating is extremely difficult for me. I don't have an appetite, sometimes just a few bites of food gives me extreme nausea, and some days I am just too weak to stand up in the kitchen, so the more advanced planning I do - the more likely I am to get the calories my body needs. This is one area that really makes me remember that a failure to plan is a plan for failure!
Daily Food Journal
This is really important to keep track of for two reasons. When tracking your food, you become more aware of what you are eating. This may help you eat healthier as most people have an internal level of guilt when writing down they ate an entire package of Oreos or a full bag of chips! The second reason is to help you connect what you eat to how you feel. I always look at my food from the day before to see if I can find any patterns in how I feel. I know the more cooked food I eat, the more sluggish and heavy I feel so for me it helped me realize that I feel my best when I stick to a mostly raw, vegan diet.
I added this for two reasons too! One, I don't want you to need a separate planner for your daily schedule. Two, I want you to see how your activity levels and schedule effect how you feel.
These prompts help me plan my day and focus on the positive. One prompt is to write down the top three things you want to accomplish today. I love this prompt because it helps me pick my focus for the day and if I only accomplish these three things, I am happy. If I get on a roll and get these three done first, it sets me up for a super productive day. But honestly I have other days that I can't do more than one task but I still write it down and give myself permission to rest. Other prompts include highlights of your day, gratitude, self care, and help to plan for health in all areas of life.
When I think of true health and well-being I think of more than just physical health. We are multidimensional beings and if we don't focus on health in other areas of life beyond our physical body, I don't think we can truly be healthy. These prompts will help you think of ways to improve your physical health, financial health, mental health, spiritual health, emotional health, and social health on a daily basis. You may be absolutely fatigued and think this is impossible some days but on the rough days "rest" would fit into just about every category so you are still a success!
I always recap my week on Sundays. I think it is important to reflect on the week that has past in order to plan the week ahead. This is a great way to check in and reset. This will give you a few minutes to pause on what has worked well over the past week and what you would like to do differently this coming week.
This is my latest addition to the planner. I have upgraded it a couple times over the last month as I run into issues on my own journey. Even though I have been tracking my symptoms, I feel like I have had a killer month and can't remember the last good day I had. So it occurred to me that it may be helpful to rate each day on a scale of 1-10 and just write my worst complaint that day. It helps me see the ups and downs, notice any weekly patterns due to my schedule, and connect more dots.
That's about it! I know how helpful this journal has been for me so I am deeply hopeful it will help other people too. The Wellness Journal only costs $7.77 and you can print it out at home and stick it in a three-ring binder or send it to Kinkos or Staples to get it printed and bound. Ready to purchase? Click here.