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3 Self-care Strategies for Fall


Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash


We are now fully immersed in fall and there are so many ways to celebrate the season. If you have ever searched for new fall activities to try, you know that there are countless suggestions listed and many of these are family friendly. Of course, there are those classic activities such as apple picking, carving pumpkins, watching football, and hiking to see the fall foliage that are often included. However, there are also many other creative and unique ideas to add to your “bucket list.” Fall game nights, for example, can be a big hit. Recently, I was inspired to revisit a popular game that has been around for ages: Bingo.


This version of bingo I played, with the template being created by Resilience Week Virginia, included a clever twist to the game. The entire card was filled with self-care strategies! When the self-care strategy was called, participants were allowed to mark their square if they had completed the strategy in the past week. To be honest, playing this game really allowed me to reflect on my current self-care practices. As therapists, we also need those reminders to check in with ourselves to make sure we are engaging in effective self-care, and practicing these strategies can also help combat secondary trauma. While I think that all the ideas listed on my bingo card are great recommendations, I want to highlight three in particular that I feel are thought provoking:



  1. Said no to someone.

For this one, I had to think for a second, and reorient myself to what this statement was representing: maintaining boundaries. We know that boundaries are so important to us, yet why can it be so hard to not only set them but stick with them? There are so many reasons for this. Relationship dynamics we know can be difficult to navigate, and in therapy, the discussion of boundaries is frequently addressed with helping clients be curious about exploring their boundaries and ways to help keep them. That one word “no” is profound: it protects your peace. If you found yourself with this bingo square, would you be able to say that you did this in the last week? If not, what made you feel like you needed to say “yes” instead? Reflecting on factors that may be impeding your ability to maintain your boundaries can be a great step for helping you make the change you desire.


2. Did nothing.


At times, have you found yourself feeling guilty about “doing nothing?” Maybe your view has been that you wasted your time or were not productive. If you have been in this situation, you are not alone. Given the many demands that are self-imposed as well as placed on us by others, it can feel like we do not have time to “do nothing” and we can feel bad about it if we try to take time for ourselves. Self-care is not selfish, and in reality, the act of “doing nothing” is a wonderful tool. Having downtime can help us recharge and improve mood and creativity. The act of “doing nothing” can look different for each person. If you are struggling on how to define this for yourself, you may want to ask, “What can I do to simplify or relax?” This fall, give yourself permission to put “doing nothing” time on your schedule.


3. Tried something new.


I appreciated seeing this strategy on the bingo card. Sometimes it can be so easy and convenient to stay with a typical schedule. There is comfort knowing what is going to happen and having structure and routine is certainly important for a number of reasons. At the same time, it can also be beneficial to remind ourselves that we can evolve no matter our age. We encourage children to try new things, however, as adults we may find that we are less inclined to do this ourselves. If you are looking for inspiration, check out our recent blog which shares practical tips on how you can help yourself dream about the future.


This fall, we encourage you to start making the wellness bingo activity your own. You may wish to fill out a bingo card for yourself and also create a separate family bingo card of activities you can all do together. While one option is to have a continuous bingo card of self-care strategies, you also may consider creating different versions for each season. Involving your children and teens in creating these bingo cards and even having them make their own is a great way to help reinforce their learning and engagement.


As always, we are here to support you in your wellness journey and encourage you to engage in healthy self-care activities. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at info@thinkhappylivehealthy.com or call 703-942-9745.


Author:

Liz Bresnahan, Licensed School Psychologist at Think Happy Live Healthy

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