It’s summer time and the living’s easy as the song says. But with busy lives and seemingly non-stop pace, life may not always feel so easy for everyone. Why not take some time this summer to think about self-care? Here are ten tips suggested by the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) and the National Council for Behavioral Health:
- Enroll in one of CSB’s Mental Health First Aid courses. There are now modules for older adults, people who work with youth, people who work in the higher education field, and people who work in public safety roles. You’ll learn how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and how to connect people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care.
- Explore your local farmer’s market. Take advantage of seasonal produce and local vendors. A trip to the farmer’s market can be a great opportunity to try new foods and incorporate healthier options into your diet. Find a farmer’s market near you.
- Start a garden or join a community garden. Gardening can be a nice way to meditate and enjoy the outdoors. Perhaps visit some local gardens for ideas.
- Make a summer feel-good playlist. Music can be an effortless way to improve your mood and motivate you to get moving.
- Try a new exercise. Check out the CSB’s Chair Yoga session in Reston on July 30. New friends. New fun.
- Look for things going on in your community. Search online or in the newspaper for events going on around town. The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts outdoor movies, festivals, farmer’s markets, concerts, dance classes and more. Making fun plans can help you feel excited and give you something to look forward to.
- Start or continue a journal. Writing can be a great way to express how you feel and check-in with your emotions. Or, it can just be a place to doodle or draw. Make it whatever you need.
- Reconnect with someone or make new connections. Call an old friend or visit one of CSB’s Peer Recovery Centers to get involved, have some fun, and make new friends.
- Volunteer. It’s far more than doing a good deed. It’s a way to develop new skills, learn more about career options, socialize and, importantly, have an impact on your community. Whether it’s volunteering at the pet shelter, in the parks or more, you can enhance your summer while giving back to the community. Check out ways to volunteer in Fairfax County.
- Check your mood online. The CSB offers a free online service that can help you identify a concern and offer resources for support. How did your last week go? Is there anything you could do to make next week better? Maybe you need more sleep, more social time or to prepare some healthy meals before your next busy week. Take a moment to reflect and think about how you can make time for whatever you need to best care for yourself.
Why not use these ideas to make your own self-care checklist this summer? Even small changes to your routine can improve your self-care and overall mood. Focus on new ways to be active, get outside and get involved with your community.
Contact for news media inquiries: Lucy Caldwell, Communications Director, 703-324-7006 (office), 703-856-5210 (cell).