First Published: April 15, 2021 | Last Updated: April 15, 2021

The gist: Tracking your self-care in Notion is a great way to use the productivity habits you've already built to prioritize self-care, too. Here are 9 ideas for self-care dashboards in Notion.

I always like to say systems are my self-care. And following that line of thinking, Notion is the equivalent to a day at a spa for me. 

The ultimate self-care experience.

So I want to talk about some of the ways you can use Notion for your own self-care and experience the mental calm that Notion can bring.

I cannot wait to tell you about my smile file, so stay tuned. 😀

Why Use Systems for Self-Care?

Alright, so before we get into the specific ideas, I want to address any possible objections to tracking and systemizing self-care.

A lot of people consider self-care to be something that should be fun and relaxing and think that using a digital productivity tool will ruin that.

And honestly, maybe it might!

But when I actually convince people to try it, more often than not, it's super helpful.

And here's my theory as to why:

Since we were in school, different work and productivity habits and mindsets have been drilled into our heads. And this means we are way more conditioned to prioritize that than we are our self-care, which for the most part we were never taught.

So my approach to prioritizing self-care over work more and taking better care is to use those ingrained habits like checking a productivity tool, or knowing your way around a database, to your advantage.

To make something good out of the addicting feeling of checking a task off your to-do list.

Instead of trying to replace those habits completely, it's so much easier to just adjust them so you're using them for your self-care.

So especially if you're already using Notion for work and other stuff, using it for your self-care should make self-care a lot easier.

Alright, now that I've convinced you to use Notion for self-care, let's talk about different ways you can do so.

Start systemizing your self-care with a Notion bullet journal

A digital bullet journal is the perfect way to bring your different self-care systems together in Notion! Get started today with our free Notion bullet journal template:

1. Self-Care Habit Tracker

The first way to use Notion for self-care is a basic habit tracker. This is simple and general, so it's a good way to start experimenting with Notion self-care.

Because it might not even require a new dashboard or page in your Notion account.

If you're already tracking other habits, like general personal or productivity habits, this is super easy, because you can just add self-care habits to that.

If not, a simple checklist is all you need, and Notion has a habit tracker template built into the app already.

And if you want something a little more advanced, I offer a gamified habit tracker in the Work Brighter with Notion Bundle.

Tracking self-care is a fantastic way to prioritize it daily, instead of waiting until you're burnt out, like I talk about in my self-care plan video, so I definitely recommend using a self-care habit tracker of some kind.

2. Daily Journal

Another self-care staple in addition to a habit tracker is a journal

In analog form, these are usually one and the same, but in Notion you can create separate customized databases for each.

There are also a lot of different ways to use Notion for journaling, but I have videos about both my daily and monthly journaling databases that I'll link to below.

You can choose to have templates with journaling prompts built in, like I go over in those. Or you can have a database of prompts related to a database of entries.

Again, the great thing about Notion is that you can get as simple or complicated as you want to.

3. Mental health tracker

Another great way to use Notion for your self-care is tracking your mental health

Keeping a log of different emotions you feel, symptoms you experience, triggers you face, and how you react are all really illuminating things to track.

This helps you get a more objective view of how your mental health is doing, since part of having mental illness and other mental health problems is that it's hard to be objective in the moment.

There have even been things I've noticed in mine I was able to bring to my therapist to talk about and get help with that I would have been totally unaware of without tracking.

4. Physical health tracker

And the same way you can track your mental health in Notion, you can also track your physical health, which is especially important if you have chronic illness.

Since I experience both chronic physical and mental illness, and they're so connected, I have combined tracking both into one database, but you can just track what you need.

Some ways you can track your physical health are by logging your sleep, steps if you track them, exercise, any pain or symptoms, and medications taken.

Start systemizing your self-care with a Notion bullet journal

A digital bullet journal is the perfect way to bring your different self-care systems together in Notion! Get started today with our free Notion bullet journal template:

5. Workout planning & tracking

Now, I currently track my exercise after the fact in my health tracker, but that's just a general description.

As my mental health requires less attention and I shift more of it to my physical fitness, I'm looking to get a bit more detailed and specific.

One thing that I want to do is create a workout planner.

This is where I would have different exercises for different functions and areas of the body planned out for myself. Since for me being in the mood to workout and being in the mood to come up with a workout never happen at the same time.

So when it's workout time, I could just bring up the planner, say I'm gonna do some cardio and some flexibility training, and see a list of exercises to choose from.

Or if I'm not feeling as great I can easily view all the physical therapy videos I've saved.

And going hand in hand with more detailed planning is more detailed tracking.

If you have workouts in Notion, and you're journaling, it's just a mention or related field away to track them.

6. Meal planning

Honestly, you will probably never see me meal planning beyond saving baking recipes. But that doesn't mean a detailed as hell dashboard for meal planning won't be perfect for you.

If you meal prep or meal plan, the relational database feature of Notion makes it really easy to organize recipes, ingredients, and tools in an easy way. The gallery view lets you view things how they'd look in your kitchen, too.

All in all Notion is kind of perfect for meal planning. I doubt you can get better in a general productivity tool and not a dedicated meal planning app.

7. Organizing hobbies

So the reason I won't be doing meal planning in Notion is because cooking and appreciating food isn't necessarily a hobby or passion for me. But the things that are more active hobbies for me, those I absolutely create dashboards for.

I have a database for saving baking recipes and logging notes from different baking attempts to help me more actively learn from it.

For example, when I was first learning to bake challah: I would note note long I kneaded the dough for and let it sit for to find the right combination for the climate of my old apartment. And now that I've moved I need to completely redo that experiment. 😂

I also have a similar database to log progress with my houseplants.

I record how much water they get each watering, upload progress pictures to watch the transformation, and link to care guides for each type of plant I have, which is just two but I can't wait to get more.

And then finally I also have a Sims dashboard, because if you've seen my video about The Sims you know how important it is to my self-care.

But at some point last year, when I was playing a ton to escape reality, I started to get bored with it. So I needed a way to challenge myself more, and decided to play it more intentionally.

Where I come up with quests or challenges for myself, either on my own or trying existing Sims community challenges.

And those are all collected and planned in a Sims dashboard.

8. Gratitude journal

The next idea for using Notion for self-care is to keep a gratitude journal.

For me, list looks like having a field in my overall daily log for a highlight of the day. This isn't always something I'm grateful for, sometimes it's something I did, but I do put gratitude affirmations there sometimes.

You could easily break this out into its own simple database that would become this amazing collection of all the good things in your life to scroll through.

And that can be something you do as a regular part of your review or reflection process. For example, I have a rollup of all my highlights for the week in my weekly review database.

Or it can be something you save for more situational need, like when you're super sad and feeling in need of a cheer up, you can scroll through it as a mood booster.

9. Smile file

And speaking of mood boosters, the final way I suggest using Notion for self-care is to create a smile file database. A smile file is something I talk about in the Work Brighter self-care action plan, and it's essentially a digital location that you can collect entertaining, funny, and cheerful content in.

So I have a smile file database that rolls up all of the things I've curated that I tag with funny, and when I'm sad and don't want to be, I go watch some of the videos or read the articles I've saved in there.

I cannot tell you how many times I've had to go in there and distract myself over the past year.

Start systemizing self-care

Those are just a few ways you can use Notion for self-care, but like I said, the possibilities are endless. So I would love to hear in the comments what parts of self-care you use Notion for, or are going to try now.

And if you want more videos on Notion and self-care, hit the subscribe and thumbs up button below and check out my whole playlist of Notion videos. Bye, and have a bright week.

Start systemizing your self-care with a Notion bullet journal

A digital bullet journal is the perfect way to bring your different self-care systems together in Notion! Get started today with our free Notion bullet journal template:

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