Visual Calendars: A therapeutic technique?
I’m back. Two posts in one day, I’m sure you all are fainting with excitement. I need to go to bed, but decided to quickly upload some pictures I took today. I snapped a picture of my visual calendar right before I uploaded.
I lost 40 pounds on Weight Watchers about 5+ few years ago, and until OT school started, I pretty much kept it all off. Then the stress began and I drank a lot of milkshakes to try and calm that stress and we all know how THAT works out. So I’ve been working really hard on re-losing the 15 pounds I’ve regained. I know all the normal tricks – drink lots of water, eat slowly, eat on a small plate, put your fork down between bites, eat lots of fiber, check ingredient labels, blah blah blah. And obviously, exercise. But probably the biggest help to me lately in regards to my exercise has been my visual calendar. I got this tip off some random website a few months ago, and I cannot tell you how great it is. I’ve decided to use the color green on days I don’t exercise, orange on days I partially exercise, and pink on days I fully exercise at least a hour. I live for pink days and hate green days, so every day I color in on my calendar what kind of day it was. I’m so desperate to avoid green days (except twice a week as rests) that it really motivates me to keep working out. Plus, at a glance you can see how you are doing, visually. Seeing all that pink makes me happy.
I think this visual calendar technique (which may be a common OT technique, I don’t know) could be used for a lot of clients in different ways. You could use it with depressed patients to monitor bad days, average days, and good days. You could use it as an exercise or food calendar with people who need to develop better food or exercise habits. The possibilities are endless. The key is to keep it simple, no more than 3 colors. This way the client and/or therapist can just easily see how things are progressing with just a glance across the room at a wall.
All I know is, I love me some pink days!