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Fall has always been your favorite season. The cool crisp mornings are perfect for walking the dog. You love the warm softness of your favorite sweatshirt while watching football and cheering on your alma mater. Can anything taste better than grilled cheese sandwich and a cup tomato soup?

There is another reason to welcome fall. It gives us permission to let go and embrace self-care.

During my Refill Your Cup retreat, we were all reminded of the symbolism of the leaves falling in the forest just outside the window. The trees were letting go of the dead things that no longer served them. Shouldn’t we make time to do the same?

With this intention in mind, we talked about the importance of self-care in making new habits. I believe self-care is a critical part of Foundation, one of Gretchen Rubin’s Pillars of Habits. Foundation means if we don’t have basic needs met we can’t focus on higher-level aspirations. In other words, if we’re starving ourselves and functioning on four hours of sleep a night we’re not going make new habits like running four days a week or kicking the 2 pm Snickers habit. We have to let go of these old unhealthy habits to allow time for our bodies to recover and new habits to grow in their place.

I also think Foundation doesn’t just mean our basic physiological needs our meet. It also means making time for the things we enjoy and that recharge our batteries. In other words TREATS are also a very important part of your foundation and self-care. For me (and perhaps many of my fellow introverts) quiet time with a good book can be the best treat of all.

Sitting in the nook just off the library at Timber Creek, I started this fall reading list. I think each of these books speaks to the ideas we explored during the retreat and make excellent picks for dark evenings or rainy fall days. They can help you both with self-care and letting go.

  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown: I found her discussions on shame and vulnerability life changing. Check out her TED talk here and make this your next book club pick. You’ll want to discuss this one with the other women in your life.
  • Radical Acceptance by Dr. Tara Brach: Loving kindness and compassion are missing from this world. So is learning to accept and love ourselves just as we are. Her combination of Buddhist teaching and psychotherapy may be just the nudge you need to start to believe you are enough.
  • 10% Happier by Dan Harris: If you’ve always been a little skeptical about meditation this book is for you. His exploration of meditation is both humorous and enlightening with a journalist’s critical eye. It also is a great audiobook pick if you need something for your commute.
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: A short but beautiful story, this tale of searching for treasure may help you understand where you are on your path.
  • Gift From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh: The problems of a woman finding time for self and searching for her purpose are not new. These essays written in 1955 could easily have been written today. Set aside an afternoon for yourself to read this one cover to cover.
  • Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin: This is the book that introduced The Four Tendencies. Take the quiz online here and then dive into strategies that will work for you, not against you.

Reading with tea
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Of course what is a fall afternoon with a good book without a cup of tea? Please let me recommend some perfect fall tea blends.

Reading in the morning while everyone else is still asleep? Try Greyline from Hugo Tea Company.

Reading in a cozy chair in the afternoon sunlight? Try Plum Deluxe Oregon Breakfast Decaf Tea.

Reading at the end of a long day before you drift off to sleep? Try Restore Cleansing Tea from Amoda Tea.

How do you treat yourself and make sure you practice regular self-care?

What are you reading right now?

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