Autumn is here and with it comes a busier schedule, colder weather and shorter days! It’s becoming ever more apparent that an autumn self-care routine is impartial for my wellness, and I’m sure you feel the same!
This season is often considered a popular time for gratitude and reflection due in part to its proximity to Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year. Not to mention all the time that many of us now spend indoors. But, with the darker days, comes more opportunities to indulge in seasonal self-care activities!
Why do you need to practise self-care?
We all know self-care is important. We’ve established its connection to mental health and well-being. But how can we adjust ourselves for autumn self-care or even winter? And why do we need to adjust? There is a distinct increase in time spent indoors during the colder and darker months. While this can make it easier for us to spend time on self-care, it can also increase feelings of isolation, loneliness and instances of seasonal affective disorder.
It becomes important to set aside time for purposeful self-care and to avoid the trap of self-soothing. You need to actively set the intention each week to look after yourself and make yourself a priority. Sometimes this might be turning your phone off for a few hours and watching some trash TV, or it might mean recognising the signs of declining mental health and taking steps to improve it.
And, remember, self-care doesn’t mean a huge grand gesture every day, just a small way of putting yourself first. It is proven to boost your mental health, your self-worth and your self-esteem.
Here Are Ten Autumn Self-Care Activities That You Should Try.
1. Declutter Your Space.
Autumn and Winter usually mean spending more time inside because of the cold or bad weather, so your physical surroundings must cultivate a relaxing and positive mood. Having a cluttered space can affect your mental health and lead to problems such as poor sleep or bad organisation. Decluttering can be therapeutic and the result is, usually, a clear and organised space (and mind).
2. Make A Meal From Autumnal Vegetables.
Getting more vegetables and good food into your diet is always important, but more so in the colder months when there is a greater chance of illness. Vegetables like butternut squash, cauliflower, sweet potato, cabbage, Brussel sprouts and swede are all in season and widely available. So it’s time to create some new and interesting dishes. Soups, casseroles and stews are all wildly popular this time of the year, and help to keep us both warm and feeling fuller for longer!
3. Light A Scented Candle.
Lighting candles can be a simple way to bring you warmth and cosy light. There are so many Autumnal-inspired scents that can give your home that cosy and warm vibe; perfect for when it’s cold or rainy outside. Creating that calming atmosphere will help you to relax and reduce stress and anxiety.
4. Stay Hydrated.
Staying well hydrated isn’t just reserved for the warmer months of the year. During the colder months, it’s likely that you’ll have the heating on a lot which can easily dry you out. To avoid cracking and dull-looking skin, it is important to drink plenty of water. And let’s not forget that Autumn and Winter increase the number of bugs and viruses doing rounds. If you’re properly hydrated it helps to give your body the strength it needs to fight off bacteria and other infections like the flu.
5. Get Baking.
Baking is a mindful self-care activity that can be a great way to express your creativity but also reduce stress. For many people, baking brings back fond memories of childhood and is even considered a great way to express your love for others.
There are so many delicious Autumnal recipes that you could try.
- Pumpkin pie
- Apple cake
- Rhubarb crumble
- Cinnamon buns
- Banana bread
- Gingerbread muffins
- Apple crumble
- Apple pie
- Chocolate chip cookies
6. Go On A Hike In Nature.
Autumn changes mean that nature has so many gorgeous shades of orange, yellow, red and brown. With this change, it makes your hikes all the more fun and scenic! Even in the dreary overcast weather. Walking can help to shed stress, invoke calm energy, increase mindfulness, improve your mood and much more!
When it’s dry, take advantage of the weather and get outside for that vitamin D!
Journaling is a well-known self-care activity that has proven physical and mental health benefits. Journaling evokes mindfulness and helps us to remain present and gather perspective. And, above all else, it allows you to reflect on your thoughts and feelings.
Other benefits of journaling can include;
8. Create An Autumnal Exercise Routine.
Exercise is a very important part of any self-care routine. Physical activity can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases with immediate and long-term health benefits. Even if you dread getting started, once you do you’ll experience the power of the feel-good endorphins! This can be useful on a dark and gloomy day.
9. Enjoy A Bath.
In the colder months, it’s much more pleasant to enjoy a long soak in the bath than to have a shower. Take the time to enjoy a bit of pampering; a bubble bath or a bath bomb, a face mask or even some podcasts! Taking time out to relax and look after your body physically will also enable you to reduce any feelings of stress or anxiety you’re experiencing.
10. Binge Watch Your Comfort Shows.
There are so many streaming services now that there are shows for everyone to enjoy! On a cold evening, you can get cosy under a blanket with your favourite snack, pop on a good show or movie, and just relax. My husband and I are currently enjoying One Piece and with over six hundred episodes of the anime to watch, we’re in it for the long haul!