The past few days have been hard for me. I woke up yesterday with a reaction on my face. It was painful and I had no idea how to fix it. I spent most of the day applying a cold flannel to my face. As a result, it calmed down a little. Luckily I had today off work. My plan was to blog all day. Yet that obviously didn’t happen. In fact, I spent most of the day in bed. With Netflix on. Being grumpy. Not only is it causing me pain, it’s really affecting my mental health. Self-esteem has never been my strong point. Having burn marks certainly hasn’t helped. While I could complain about it, this post isn’t about that. Perhaps if I was a beauty blogger, I’d talk about it. But I’m definitely not one.
And after spending all day in bed, I decided to get up and do something I could do. I can’t magically remove burn marks. They will take their time to heal. I cannot rush that. What I can do, however, is play with stationery and practice self-care. Self-care comes in many forms. I cannot tell you what it means to you – no one except yourself can. There’s plenty of non-stationery related ideas, such as having a bath or going for a walk. I’ve also listed some stationery related ideas in a previous post – my stationery self-care challenge.
Today, however, I thought I’d do something to try and encourage daily self-care in the New Year. It’s a simple idea but I created myself some “self-care trackers”. I created a sheet that I printed out and can add into a Traveler’s Notebook insert. It has 31 hearts on it. After adding the word “January” onto it, I now have a tracker for the whole month. Every day that I do something to promote self-care, I’ll colour one of the hearts in. At the end, I’ll easily be able to see how many days I did it and how many I missed.
I used some Manuscript products to help me create this. The dip pen and nib are from the Manuscript Italic & Poster Set. I chose the “Tape Nib 1.5mm” and used it with the Chinese Black Ink they offer. You can use absolutely any product you like – this is just what I have to hand as I’ve been testing it out.
This is a super easy thing to make. It didn’t take me long to get the exact design I wanted. So I’ll quickly go over the steps for you so you can make your own.
How to make your own:
- Draw the icon you want to colour in. I chose a heart.
- Scan and send this to your computer.
- Open any software that allows you to edit photos. I used a graphics software that I’ve purchased but you could easily do this on Microsoft Word too.
- Size the paper to the desired size. I’ve made mine 11cm x 21cm. You can make yours A4, A5 or any other size you would like. If it’s not a standard size, you may have to cut the page down, like I did.
- Add the icon onto there and change the size.
- Replicate the icon 28, 30 and 31 times. This way you have one for all of the months next year.
- You can use a font to add the month at the top before printing, if you would like.
- Print it off on some card
- You may have to cut the page down. I printed it onto A5 card and then trimmed the edges down.
- As I didn’t add the month before printing, I added it afterwards.
And voila! You’re done!
Remember: Pick appropriate paper to print onto. If you plan to use marker pens to colour in the icons then make sure the paper you use is marker pen friendly. I’d recommend testing it out on a bit of scrap paper beforehand.
I chose regular card for this as I’m planning to either colour it in with pencils or watercolours. You could use watercolour paper but as I am adding only a tiny bit of water, I don’t mind using normal card. The paper will warp if you add water to it but personally I don’t mind. If you’d rather use watercolour paper then do that! It’s all about personal preference.
That’s all there is to it!
Let me know what you think of this idea. If you track your self-care routine, I would love to know how. Personally, I plan to use mine in a traveler’s notebook insert that I am going to set up for the New Year. It will have various things like my goals for the year, perhaps some journaling throughout the year and now self-care tracking. For now, I decided just to make one page for January and see how it goes. If it works out well for me then I’ll create the rest of the months and add them into the book too. I’ve saved the design so all I have to do is print it.
Although it didn’t take me long, making this has definitely improved my mood. I mean, I haven’t even used it yet but it’s helped. I guess just making it is self-care for me. It involved drawing, practicing some calligraphy and getting creative. Actually making something that I can use is a bonus too. It certainly makes me feel like today has been somewhat productive – even though all I did before this was lie in bed! And feeling productive makes me feel happier and better.
If you want a copy of my one, let me know and I’ll be more than happy to share it.
You can use any products you want to create this. However, if you do want to use the same ones I’ve used then I got mine from Manuscript. The exact products were:
- Italic & Poster Dip Pen & Nib Set
- Chinese Calligraphy Ink
And regular white card. I’m not sure where I got the card from – it’s just cheap but thick card. I think it’s 160gsm but like I said, it depends on what you plan to colour with!