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As fall gets into full swing, it’s an excellent time to consider ways to take care of yourself. The fall season is a time for slowing down and taking stock of your life. It’s a time for reconnecting with nature and enjoying the cooler weather. Here are some fall self-care ideas to help you enjoy this season to the fullest.
Let’s talk about self-care
Before we get to the list, let’s talk about self-care for a minute. What is it? Why do we need it?
Self-care is anything we do to care for our physical, mental, and emotional health. It’s about taking the time to nurture ourselves so we can be our best selves. We all need self-care, but it’s especially important when going through a busy or stressful time.
Self-care can be simple, like taking a break from work to go for a walk outside, or it can be more involved, like taking a weekend trip to get away from it all. It’s different for everyone, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. So the important thing is that you’re taking care of yourself in a way that feels good to you.
Just like your car needs gasoline to run (unless you happen to have a fancy electric car…) and your phone needs to be charged, you need to recharge and fill yourself back up to function at your best. When you don’t make time for self-care, it’s easy to get run down and burnt out.
When you’re feeling depleted, it’s hard to be the loving, patient, and present person that you want to be. That’s why taking care of yourself is so important – it allows you to show up for the people and things that matter most to you. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish – it’s essential. And when you do, everyone that you come into contact with benefits.
What kind of self-care do you need?
We all have different self-care needs or areas that need a little more tending to than others. For example, some people need to make time for physical activity to blow off steam and relieve stress. Others might need to focus on getting enough sleep or eating healthy foods.
It’s important to get in touch with what you need and make sure that you’re taking care of yourself in all the different areas of your life. Here are some different areas of self-care to consider:
Physical self-care is anything we do to care for our body and health. This includes exercise, eating nourishing foods, getting enough sleep, taking care of our skin, and seeing a doctor when something feels off.
When it comes to physical self-care, we all have different things that work for us. Maybe you love going for a run to blow off steam or prefer a more gentle yoga class. Maybe you love to cook and experiment with new recipes, or perhaps you like to keep things simple. There’s no right or wrong way to take care of your body – it’s all about listening to what your body needs.
Mental self-care is anything that helps you take care of your mental health. This can include things like relaxation techniques, journaling, and therapy.
Being aware of your mental health is important for everyone. Sometimes we all need a little help to keep our minds healthy and balanced. That’s where mental self-care comes in!
You can do many different things to take care of your mental health. Relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation can be really helpful. Journaling can also be beneficial, allowing you to express your thoughts and feelings in a safe and private space. If you feel you need more help, therapy may be a good option.
No matter what you choose to do, mental self-care is all about taking the time to nurture your mind. When you make an effort to take care of your mental health, you’ll start to feel more balanced and at peace.
Emotional self-care is anything that helps you nurture your emotions. This can include things like spending time with loved ones, expressing yourself creatively, or taking some time for yourself.
It’s normal to feel a wide range of emotions, and it’s important to allow yourself to feel them fully. When we stuff our feelings down, they tend to come out in unhealthy ways. But when we allow ourselves to feel our emotions, we can process them and move on.
One way to do this is to spend time with people who make you feel good. Surround yourself with loved ones who make you feel supported and understood. Another way to nurture your emotions is to express yourself creatively. This can be anything from painting to writing to cooking. And lastly, it’s important to take some time for yourself! Make sure you’re doing things that make you happy and help you relax.
Spiritual self-care can include prayer, meditation, or simply taking time to connect with your inner thoughts and feelings. Whatever helps you feel more connected and at peace counts as spiritual self-care.
For some people, spirituality is an important part of their life. It helps them feel connected to something larger than themselves and find meaning in their lives. If this resonates with you, there are plenty of ways to nurture your spiritual side.
One way to do this is through prayer or meditation. If you don’t feel comfortable doing either of these things, you can simply take time to connect with your inner thoughts and feelings. This can be done through journaling, reflection, or simply spending time in nature.
Social self-care is anything that helps you nurture your relationships. This can include things like spending time with friends and family, going out on dates, volunteering, or joining a club or group.
Relationships are an important part of our lives. They help us feel connected and supported. When we nurture our relationships, we’re also taking care of ourselves.
One way to do this is to spend time with people who make you happy. This can be friends, family, or even a pet! Another way to nurture your relationships is to join a club or group. This can help you meet new people and expand your social circle. And lastly, volunteering is a great way to give back and feel good about yourself.
Having strong relationships is an integral part of a healthy life. When we feel connected to others, we feel supported and loved. This can help us to feel happier and more fulfilled.
Discovering your own self-care needs
Adequate self-care is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Different people have different needs, and those needs can change over time.
For example, I’ve found that my social self-care requires the least attention. I’m naturally introverted, so I don’t need to put in much effort to stay socially recharged. But on the other hand, my physical self-care is something I have to work on consistently. So I need to make sure I’m getting enough exercise (hello, desk job) and eating healthy foods.
Do you remember the old Sims game with the meter bars for needs? Those little Sims would get hungry, tired, or dirty, and you had to take care of them, or things wouldn’t go well for them. It’s like that in real life – you feel depleted when your self-care needs are neglected. So make sure you’re paying attention to all the different areas of self-care and giving each one the attention it requires.
One final note on self-care: it’s not just about caring for yourself when you’re feeling bad. It’s also about preventive care – taking care of yourself regularly so you don’t get to the point of feeling bad in the first place. Don’t wait until you’re stressed out, burnt out, or sick to start taking care of yourself. Make self-care a priority now, and you’ll thank yourself later.
Why is fall a perfect time for self-care?
Self-care is essential all year round, but it’s especially important in the fall. The days are shorter, and the weather is cooler, so it’s easy to fall into a funk. But with a little effort, you can make sure that doesn’t happen!
Fall is a time of transition. The leaves are changing color, the days are getting shorter, and winter is on the horizon.
But fall is also a time when we start to reflect on the year that has almost passed and plan for the year ahead. This can be a time of renewal and growth. We can use this time to set some intentions for ourselves and prepare for what’s next.
15 self-care ideas to try this autumn
So, whatever your mood or feelings may be in the fall, there is something for you. Take some time for yourself and try out some of these autumn self-care ideas.
1. A fall-themed home spa day
At-home spa days are the perfect way to recharge and take care of yourself. They can be as simple as taking a relaxing bath with some scented oils or using a face mask.
Try a pumpkin face mask this fall to get in the seasonal spirit! Pumpkin is packed with antioxidants and nutrients, so it’s great for your skin.
To make your own pumpkin face mask, all you need is 1/2 cup of pureed pumpkin, 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt, and 1 teaspoon of honey. Mix all the ingredients together until smooth, then apply to your face. Leave the mask on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse off with warm water.
2. Book a massage
A massage is a really lovely way to relax and take care of your body.
And, if you didn’t know, many spas offer fall-themed massages, such as “pumpkin spice” or “harvest moon,” that can help you get into the autumn spirit. So it’s a great way to treat yourself after a long summer!
Hop on Google and see what the spas in your area have to offer.
3. Make healthy fall recipes
Eating seasonally is a great way to get fresh, local, and nutritious food. And fall is the perfect time to do it! So many delicious fruits and vegetables are available in the fall, like apples, pumpkins, squash, and more.
Not sure where to start? Check out this list of healthy fall recipes from Eating Well.
4. Take your exercise routine outside
One of the best things about fall is the weather. After a hot and sticky summer, fall brings cooler temperatures and fresh air. So why not take your exercise routine outside and enjoy the weather?
You can do tons of great outdoor workouts, like running, hiking, biking, or even just walking. And if running is your thing or you need some motivation, there are plenty of fall races to sign up for.
5. Organize your space
Spring cleaning might be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do a little fall cleaning. This is the perfect time of year to declutter and organize your space. Not only will it make your space look nicer, but an organized and clutter-free environment will also help you feel more relaxed and less stressed.
Start by going through your closet, putting away your summer clothes, and getting rid of any clothes you don’t wear anymore. Then, move on to your drawers, desk, bookshelves, or any other areas of your home that need a little TLC.
6. Schedule some time for yourself
This can be as simple as sitting down with a cup of tea, a cozy blanket, and a good book. Or, just watch a whole movie (without interruptions).
Whatever you do, make sure it’s something you enjoy and allows you to relax. We all need some time to ourselves every now and then!
7. Talk to a therapist
Talking to a therapist is a great way to “fall” into self-care mode. (See what I did there? 😉)
A change of seasons can be tough for some people. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, have a tendency to deal with seasonal depression, or just need someone to talk to, consider making an appointment with a therapist.
If you’re unsure if therapy is right for you or don’t know where to start, talk to your doctor or another healthcare professional. They can help you find the right therapist for you and answer any questions you may have.
8. Put together a fall playlist
Create a playlist of all your favorite fall songs, and listen to it whenever you need a little pick-me-up. (I particularly like old music from the 40s and 50s for fall.)
If you need some inspiration, here are a few fall-themed songs to get you started:
- Autumn Leaves by Nat King Cole
- Autumn In New York By Ella Fitzgerald And Louis Armstrong
- The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson
- Autumn Serenade by Coltrane & Harman
9. Treat yourself to a fall mani-pedi
There’s nothing like a fresh fall mani-pedi to make you feel put together and ready to take on the world. Plus, it’s a great way to show off your fall style!
If you don’t have time (or money) for a professional mani-pedi, you can always give yourself one at home. Just make sure you have all the supplies you need, like nail polish, a base coat, a top coat, and cuticle oil.
10. Journal about what you’re grateful for
One of the best ways to practice self-care is to focus on the positive things in your life. And what better time to do that than fall, when there’s so much to be grateful for?
Get a journal (or use a notebook) and dedicate a few pages to gratitude. Every day, write down at least five things you’re grateful for. It can be anything, from the big (a new job) to the minor (a good cup of coffee in the morning).
Not only will this help you focus on the positive, but it’s also a great way to reflect on all the good things that have happened recently.
11. Visit a fall festival
There’s something about fall festivals that just make me feel happy. Maybe it’s the crisp fall air, the fun activities, or the delicious food. Whatever it is, I always enjoy going.
To find what’s happening in your area, just Google “Fall festivals near me“
12. Collect leaves, acorns, or other fall items
Appreciating the beauty of small things is one of the best ways to practice self-care. So go on a nature walk and collect some leaves, acorns, pinecones, or whatever else catches your eye.
You can use them to decorate your home, make fall-themed crafts, or just enjoy looking at them. No matter what you do with them, they’ll help you appreciate the simple things in life.
Here are a few ways to use them: 42 DIY Fall Decor Ideas for a Festive Autumn Home
Giving back to your community is a great way to practice self-care. And fall is a great time to volunteer for a local charity or nonprofit.
There are all sorts of opportunities to choose from, so you’re sure to find something that’s a good fit for you. And who knows, you might make new friends in the process.
Check out VolunteerMatch or visit your local churches to find volunteer opportunities near you.
14. Try a sunlight lamp
If the lack of daylight that comes along with fall and winter is getting you down, try using a sunlight lamp.
Sunlight lamps mimic the effects of natural sunlight, which can help improve your mood and give you a much-needed energy boost. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use.
15. Have a fall-themed movie marathon
I’m big on do-nothing days as a form of self-care. And what could be cozier than a day snuggled up on the couch watching fall-themed movies? It’s a great way to disconnect for a bit and recharge your batteries.
Here are a few of my favorites:
31 days of autumn self-care journal prompts
Journaling is a great way to practice self-care, so I wanted to include some fall-themed prompts to get you started. It’s a chance to unload all the thoughts and feelings swirling around in your head and get them down on paper. Plus, it’s a great way to document your fall memories. Here’s a full month of journal prompts to get you started:
Day 1: What are three things you’re grateful for?
Day 2: What was your favorite fall memory?
Day 3: What are some fall activities you’re looking forward to?
Day 4: Describe your perfect fall day.
Day 5: What self-care ideas do you want to try this fall?
Day 6: What are some things you want to let go of this fall?
Day 7: What are some goals you have for this fall?
Day 8: What are some things you’re looking forward to in the next season?
Day 9: What are some things you’re grateful for in your life?
Day 10: What are some things you do that make you feel good?
Day 11: What are some things you do to relax?
Day 12: What are some things you do for fun?
Day 13: What are some things that make you happy?
Day 14: What makes you feel most alive?
Day 15: What are you passionate about?
Day 16: Who are the people you are grateful for in your life?
Day 17: What are some things you love about yourself?
Day 18: What are your strengths?
Day 19: What do you like about your appearance?
Day 20: What are some things you’re proud of?
Day 21: What do you appreciate about your life?
Day 22: What do you love about your job?
Day 23: What do you love about your family and friends?
Day 24: What are some things you’re grateful for in your community?
Day 25: What are some things you’re grateful for in the world?
Day 26: What are some things you’re grateful for in nature?
Day 27: What are some things you’re grateful for in the present moment?
Day 28: What are some things you’re looking forward to in the future?
Day 29: What is your personal definition of self-care?
Day 30: What are some self-care ideas you want to implement in your life?
Day 31: What are you most grateful for in your life?
I hope this list of fall self-care ideas has inspired you to take care of yourself this season. Remember, self-care is all about taking the time to do things that make you feel good, both physically and mentally. So don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment until you find what works for you.
Do you have any favorite fall self-care ideas? Share in the comments below!