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October 03, 2023

How to Make the Most of Winter with a Wellness Journal

Yop & Tom

How to Make the Most of Winter with a Wellness Journal

Wellness in winter… It’s kinda  hard. The days are shorter, the weather’s colder, your motivation’s lower. It’s no wonder you’re struggling to check even half the things off your to-do list.

Healthy habits fall by the wayside. It becomes all too easy to cocoon at home and avoid the world. And sometimes, that’s exactly what we want and need. But others? Other times you could do with a little bit of a boost.

That’s where your wellness journal can help you out.

lady reading a book in her bed. Photo by Kinga Howard on Unsplash

What is a wellness journal?

We could argue that  all  journals are wellness journals. The practice of journaling boosts your  mental health, gets you in tune with the things you want (and the things you don’t) and helps you live a more fulfilling life. You know, the sort that has you saying to yourself  this is what I was made for”. 

But a wellness journal is more focused. It guides you as you tune into specific wellness factors that give you the extra boost you need.

It’s all-encompassing. It covers your mental health, mood, physical health, fitness goals and plenty more. All the things that come together to impact your  overall wellbeing.

And just like all  types of journaling, it’s 100% tailored to you.


This is how your wellness journal could look in winter

The options are so open. Where do you even begin?

This is what our dream wellness journal would contain. It’s filled with the juicy yet simple things that give our wellness a boost, make us feel good and, ultimately, help us show up as our best selves.


🚶 A daily walks habit tracker

Winter typically sees your Vitamin D intake fall, with levels  peaking in September and falling to their lowest point in March. Yet that sunshine vitamin is the thing that keeps your  bones, muscles and teeth nice and healthy. And those are pretty essential to your overall wellness.

So we like to add a daily walk habit tracker to our wellness journal. Each week, we set ourselves a goal based on the other activities we’ve got going on, how our energy levels are looking and, yes, the  weather. This is winter after all!

There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing all those “ticks” at the end of the week. Mission accomplished.


😄 Morning wellbeing checks

It’s easy to let your mood run away from you in winter. In the US, around  10 million Americans get Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Typically, that means a lower mood, less motivation, struggles waking up in the morning, reduced energy and an increased appetite. Plus some difficulties concentrating.

That’s where your mood tracker comes in. When you use your wellness journal to check in with your mood each morning, you’re able to watch for any wobbles or stumbles along the way. Making it that much easier to act, ease the pressure and ask for help when you need it. All things we support, 100%.


☕️ Morning Pages sessions

For a clear and calm mind, you need to check out  Morning Pages.

This simple practice gets all that “stuff” out of your head and onto paper. All the stressors, all the what-ifs, all the gosh-I-really-need-tos. They’re all gone.

You clear your mind and leave it open for better things. Which is especially important when you’re spending more time at home, with your thoughts.


🧡 Plans for cosy moments

Planning for wellness isn’t just about green juices, daily movement and virtuous habits. It’s also about looking after your soul.

What does that look like in winter? Well, it depends on you and the things you love. You might want to read your book for an hour each night, treat yourself to a weekly hot drink in your favourite cafe, call a long-distance friend for a catch-up, schedule a movie night at home or do whatever else makes you feel good.

Add it to your wellness journal. And then make it happen!

lady sitting and looking outside the window glass

How to build healthy wellness habits in winter

Create a habit tracker

When you make a new habit it needs to be two things: front of mind and  doable.   Your habit tracker does both.

By keeping a habit tracker in front of you, whether that’s on your fridge or in your wellness journal, you see it every day. So there’s no “oops, I forgot” excuses. 

Plus, you’re able to scale up your habit. Rather than going straight in, full pelt. You can start with a mini version of your habit, before scaling it up to something you do more regularly.

Start habit stacking

Already got a habit that’s so easy, so effortless you do it without even thinking about it?

Whether it’s brushing your teeth or whipping up your morning coffee, there are some things that just happen.

And then there are other new habits that just… don’t. But they become a whole lot easier when you stack them on top of a habit that already exists.

When you make your morning coffee, you also journal out your mood inside your wellness journal. When you brush your teeth, you write out your tasks for the next day. Get the idea? Good.

Your wellness journaling equipment

  • A wellness journal - your wellness journal can take any form you choose. From a more structured  undated planner to a  lined journal or  dotted notebook. What’s key is that you love the design and that it matches your needs.
  • A pen- you always need your favourite pen! It needs to be easy to hold, comfortable to write with and, ideally, in your favourite colour.
  • Stencils or stickers - these aren’t obligatory but they can help to bring a little bit of fun into the wellness space. Whether it’s a sticker to remind you of certain habits or stencils to bring easy illustrations to life, it all adds up to your wellness boost.
  • Grid guide - this can be really handy if you want to practise your bullet journaling or build your own habit tracker. You’ll find them included in all Yop & Tom  dotted notebooks.

11 wellness journaling ideas

Before we start with a whole hamper of ideas for your wellness journal, remember we’re all different. This is about finding wellness activities that feel good to you (and passing on the ones that don’t).

So don’t feel obliged to try them all. Instead, just try the ones that appeal to you.


1. Mood trackers

Add a  mood tracker to your wellness journal to monitor your mood through winter. Watch out for too many consecutive dark days and take a look behind the scenes to see what’s boosting your mood even when it’s cold outside.


2. Fitness goals

When you get super specific about your fitness goals, they become that much easier to achieve. You know what you need to and how you’re going to do it. 

Turns out, fitness can be fun. When you make it accessible to yourself.


3. Morning Pages

Morning Pages are your morning brain dump. Your chance to get all your worries out of your head and down onto the page.

Freeing up more space for creativity, productivity and all that other good stuff.


4. Fruit and vegetables tracker

Winter = extra nutrients. But it’s also the time when we gravitate towards comfort food.

By aiming to add  more  good stuff to your diet, you’re giving yourself the winter energy boost you need.


5. Water tracker

For some reason, it feels far easier to sip on water when summer’s here and the days are hot than in winter when all you want to do is make another cup of tea.

Your water tracker is a gentle nudge to up your hydration levels, all year round.


6. Daily to-do-lists

A to-do list probably isn’t the first thing you picture when imagining your new wellness journal. But, if you struggle with overwhelm, breaking your tasks down into manageable chunks is bound to make you feel a little better. 


7. Walking routes to try

When you need to get outside but the weather isn’t so great, it helps to make it more appealing for yourself. 

That’s where keeping an idea list comes in handy. With endless ideas and routes to pick from, long to short, challenging to easy, you’ll never get stuck on the “but where shall we go” stage again.


8. Meditation practice ideas

Meditation can add a little calm, quiet and focus to your day. Things that are especially useful at a time when your mind might be struggling to get going.

Try keeping a list of simple practices to try. Remember, start slow and small. Then, build it up from there.


9. Reflective journaling

This is old school journaling. Simply getting all those thoughts out of your head. Whether it’s the worries you’ve had that day, stressors that just won’t leave you or a reflective puzzle you’re trying to figure out.

Once you see it on the page, your mind becomes that bit calmer and it all feels a little easier to process. 


10. Sleep tracker

We typically associate tracking sleep with getting  more of it. And that might be exactly what you need.

But it can also be all too easy to sleep  too much  in winter. When your motivation’s waning and you’re struggling to get out of bed, this might be a sign of something a little more serious. 

Keep track of it. And if you need to, reach out for support.


11. Your own prompt, shaped by you!

What will you add?

As you can see, wellness journaling is a fully flexible practice that’s designed to be shaped around you, your needs and your own unique approach to wellness. With that in mind, we can’t wait to see where it takes you!


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