"If one more person asks me to do one more thing for them today, I'm going to lose it!" This is what you’re saying to yourself as you make your way home, unaware of the satisfying sensations of your new boots crunching down on the leaves that have just fallen on this crisp fall day. You are bone-tired, you are forgetting yourself. And no amount of pumpkin-spiced anything is going to do it for you.
Fear not. Fall is all about starting fresh and letting go.
I like to think about the fall in terms of potential energy. Change is everywhere you look in the fall: the turning of the leaves, the rotating of seasonal wardrobe and activities, for many: a drive for organization, and, for parents and academics/teachers: the return to a new school year.
So, if you’re longing to take better care of YOU (or if you’re just waking up to the fact that you need to), now is a good time to capitalize on this change-minded energy and give it a try! Below are a few self-care tips to help jumpstart your efforts. You may find that saying yes to one or all of these will boost your ability to feel more present, more joy-filled, and more available.
1) Invest in something that forces you to spend more time & energy doing what you love.
If there is something out there that you have been longing to do (classes, coaching, organizing, travel, serving your community to name a few), spend some time figuring out how to make it work and INVEST IN IT! And, keep in mind that investment does not necessarily mean financial. There are many other ways to exchange: time, energy, trades, etc. Be creative. Find a way to prioritize this longing and go for it. Denying yourself growth opportunities is doing nobody any favors. The world needs more of you, so get after it.
If this is a stuck place for you, I or another therapist or helping professional can assist you in working through this block. Don’t be harsh on yourself. Many people struggle with worthiness and prioritizing self-care.
2) Feed your mind. Pick up an inspirational or educational (or just plain fun) book.
…or, if you spend a lot of time in the car, download some audios. Several audio platforms have membership fees that include one free book a month. If you’re looking for suggestions, head over to my resources page. A really fun read is Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please. It doesn’t all have to be self-help, just whatever feeds your soul.
3) Take a break from social media and news outlets; replace that time with self-care.
Tragedies and global crises have been dominating our newsfeeds. Sometimes the pain and sense of hopelessness can feel overwhelming. If you’re feeling burnt out by all the heartbreak, you may need to assess your self-care and evaluate how you spend your precious time. Ask yourself: Is what I’m taking in actually helping or hurting?
If it’s the latter, consider limiting your online/media exposure. And then…
Remind yourself that there are so many ways to help which don’t require you to be constantly tuned in.
Go outside, get exercise, shake or dance it off, connect with others, eat nourishing or comforting foods, drink your water and sleep (read that book I mentioned!), refrain from self-medicating.
Seek additional support if you or someone you know is impacted directly or struggling with carrying the pain of our collective (reach out to a therapist, a spiritual counselor, a coach, or trusted friends and mentors).
You know the saying: You can’t pour from an empty cup. So, consider this: once your cup is refilled from trying any or all of these strategies, you can then proceed with caring for others in a more balanced and healthy way.
Here’s to harnessing the power of the fall and reigniting your spark! Happy Solstice, Halloween, Back-to-School, Diwali, Fall Fest and More! I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to drop me a line.