Planning Through Mental Health

Dear Reader,

I want to start with a disclaimer. This is not an advert, I am not affiliated with Cogtoolz I am not getting paid or rewarded with anything for talking about this. I just think its something that could be beneficial to a lot of us. For a long time, I’ve tried to find a planner that really works for me. I’ve used Filofaxes and diaries and they lack something and I’ve never been sure what that was. But, I found something called Cogtoolz. And it looks really interesting.

Firstly I want to say that I don’t have a planner yet, I have only backed their Kickstarter, it’s fully funded so if anyone wants to go along and have a look at the video and for more information on it. If you back it you are guaranteed a planner now that it’s fully funded.

Here is the link. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1110251517/cogtoolz-proven-wellness-tools-in-one-simple-weekl

I’ll be honest, part of the reason I’m writing this is because I really want it to reach its next stretch goal if they do we can get a bracelet from Puravida and I LOVE their bracelets! Also check them out here: http://www.puravidabracelets.com/

So again, more honesty. I have been in contact with some of the people who are involved in the Cogtoolz planner, but I would again like to reiterate that I am not affiliated with them, I don’t know them personally  nor am I getting anything from writing this post.

So, I really wanted to show you guys this because I have never seen anything like it before. I asked for a sample and I was sent a pdf. I really wanted more information because I’ve never backed a Kickstarter before, and I didn’t think I could really give any valuable information to you guys about it until I had seen it in a little more detail.

I want to talk about the Cogtoolz Wellness Planner, they also make an academic version which maybe useful to some of you guys who are in education, its slightly different, but not too much.

The planner has a two-page spread per week. I like this, I’m not a diary writer. I don’t sum my day up in a diary every day but I do write down the events of the day and the right page of this planner gives me the right amount of space for that! The left side, however, is more interesting. This is the part where I think this could really help me (and you guys) it has a part for reflection, where you can write the week’s focus, a gratitude list, a section to list things that you think affected your thinking negatively. And these are questions that I often embarrassingly ask myself and don’t answer because I feel silly asking myself what I am grateful for. But this gives it a purpose and that a big deal to me, that makes me feel more inclined to write it.

When I was first diagnosed with Bipolar, I spent a lot of money on textbooks, something that came up a lot was the idea of a “safety plan” it was something I kept meaning to do but didn’t really know where to start. So I brushed it off, but it was always in the back of my head because I know that it would be useful to me. Well, the planner has one and it’s really simple to fill in. What’s great about a safety plan is that it gives you a distraction. You see, a few weeks ago I cut myself. And I honestly believe if I had stopped, had I looked at a safety plan I don’t think I would have done it. A lot of us know how spur of the moment this thing can be. And so I am very much looking forward to that aspect. Purley because I think it’s going to help me personally SO much.

The planner has a really interesting section on thinking errors, again something that is really helpful. I know that information is probably widely available on the internet, but to have it there physically with me, that’s important. I don’t always want to trawl the internet looking for information, if I have it right in front of me. Then that’s fantastic!

Finally, the planner uses an acronym to help you plan your daily activities, which is something ive wanted to start to do more. Routines are so important to me, and that’s probably to do with the Aspergers, but also I think they are important for my mental health, to stop me from just sitting there doing nothing but thinking about things that I don’t need to keep repeating over and over in my head, and start doing something productive like read, or go for a walk, or learn something!

The acronym is GRAPES. It stands for

G – Gentle with self
R – Relaxation
A – Accomplishment
P – Pleasure
E – Excercise
S – Social

I mean, I havent seen everything the planner has to offer, if you watch the video on their Kickstarter you can see that they have an adult colouring sections in there too, and you all know how much I LOVE colouring!!

So if you think that this planner could be beneficial to you, check it out, its $18 (+ $10 postage outside of the US or FREE postage if you’re in the US) I think that’s really reasonable, I live in the UK and that’s about £20, which is less than I have paid for a Filofax, multiple times, Promising myself I was going to make it the object that Cogtoolz already is.

Anyway, Looking forward to discussing this planner more with you when I receieve it and begin using it!

As Always,

The Elephant in the Room

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