Feature image from ITPANDME
Moleskin Diaries. I can’t remember a time when I did not have a WELLNESS JOURNAL. I love them. A few years ago I found the Moleskin Wellness Journal in a bookstore in Newtown and have not looked back.
This little black book is where I keep track of everything. It is my ITP book. I write down medications, vitamins, supplements, exercise, moods, appointments and questions. If you don’t have an ITP Book I recommend you get one.
I have since, brought them for friends and family as Christmas presents, baby shower gifts, birthday presents and when a friend seems like they need a bit of love. Moleskine Journals are very trendy at the moment and therefore tend to be a little expensive. I bought a few from independent Sydney bookstores, but they are also for sale online from Amazon at a lot cheaper price.
So here is how I use my Wellness Journal
Before then, I had not been keeping any records of my health or platelet levels. I now call my Wellness Journal ‘My ITP Diary’ and it is my way of keeping all my medical bits together. Since I started using it, I take it to every appointment and my doctors now joke about my little black book. The journal is divided into a number of sections ready for you to fill and customise to your needs.
1. The Personal Goals Section
This is the first section of the journal. It gives you space to write down your life goals, your yearly goals, monthly goals and finally week by week goal milestones. This is where I write all kinds of goals, not just health and ITP related, but I often have ITP in the back of my mind. My exercise goals are always a little focused on ITP. Meditation goals are usually for ITP too.
3 Tips for WRITING GOALS: 1. Always write down the goal in a way that a stranger would understand if they read it. 2. Make sure you write what you will get out of achieving the goal, for example, strength, flexibility, stronger sense of concentration. If the goal doesn’t actually give you anything or improve your life, you won’t feel the need to achieve it. 3. Write down the reward you will give yourself once you achieve your goal, new jogging shoes, an indulgent magazine or a whole afternoon in your garden on a weekday.
2. The ‘Classes’ Section
The second section of the Journal is labelled Classes and is divided up into small units for every class. I use this section to keep track of the regular, structured exercise classes that I attend. At the moment I go to one Ballet class and one Yoga Class a week.
I like to use this section to record how hard I worked out during the class, making a note of how I feel in relation to my platelet count. I also record how I feel the next day and the weather I have had any problems recovering from the exercise. It was during this process that I realised very strenuous exercise was terrible for my body no matter how ‘fit’ I thought I was getting.
3. The Diet Section
I don’t often use this section, but it is very handy for a few things. I use it when I feel there might be something wrong with my diet or I am trying to return to a cleaner diet after travelling or getting really drunk at a friends wedding.
I use the Diet section when I am interested in changing my diet in any way. I used it a lot when I wanted to keep track of how much sugar I was eating. I also used it to help me when I transitioned into a full-time Paleo Eater. I used it not only to write down what I was eating after I ate it, I used it to plan my diet in advance so that I was reminded of what I could eat and ideas for breakfast.
This is my favourite part. It has everything all together, vitamins, herbs, health care and body therapy.
I use this section to record all the dates, times and details of my appointments. I have a separate section for my Haematologist and my GP. I record how much medication I am taking and whether it is going up or down. It can be interesting to open up the diary and realise I have not been to see my doctor in three months, time flies and it can sometimes feel like you were just there, when you weren’t.
5. The Workouts Section
This is where I write down all the details of me exercising from home. I guess you could call it integrated exercise, but that sounds so scientific. For me this is all about variety, riding my exercise bike while reading, doing yoga in the lounge room at home, ballet video in my office, a long walk to the beach or a ride to Oaklands for coffee. I try to keep these ‘workouts’ regular and do something light every second day. Also helps me to maintain variety, reminds me of an exercise I have not done in a while.
6. The Inspiration Section
This is a blank section of the journal. I have all kinds of things here, nice quotes from books, photos from holidays, recipes I have stolen from friends and travel plans, but I also have a chart of my platelet levels I’ve drawn in by hand. I have added a chart of the ups and downs of my medication and supplements.
7. Build Your Own Journal from Here…
The rest of the journal is designed to be customised by you. Here is what I have done with the rest of my journal and how I made it my own.
I have made a section for all my wish lists, including books I’d like to buy and movies I want to watch.
I have a budget section that I don’t really use.
I made a section for my physiotherapy and stretching – recording stretches I learn from the physio for specific trouble areas.
I made a small section for mindfulness with a few tips on meditation and a record of when I try it and for how long, brings my attention back to long gaps between practising. And oil pulling – I am very bad at morning routines.
And another section for the DENTIST and ITP.
And an abandoned section for Chinese Medicine. I had to let this go temporarily because the Chinese Herbs started to cost a whole lot of money. I think I will return to Chinese medicine when I am a millionaire.