Autumn is here and this season comes with a busier schedule, colder weather and shorter days. Soon, Christmas will be here and we will be seeing out another year. What better time to practice some Autumn self-care than during these dreary months!?
Autumn is a popular time for gratitude and reflection due to being close to the end of the year. It also provides time to indulge in self-care activities that are seasonal and help you to look after your physical and mental health during the colder months.
Why do you need to practise self-care?
Daily life can include a lot of stress and we can all experience stress in our lives, but we can try to reduce negative stress and the effects by practising self-care. Without practising self-care regularly, the feelings of stress can be overwhelming.
Practising self-care is something you need to choose to do, setting the intentions each week to look after yourself and making yourself a priority. Regularly partaking in activities that relax you shows self-love. There can be some guilt around treating yourself and should not be the case.
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 10 autumnal self-care activities that you should try.
1. Declutter Your Space.
Autumn and Winter usually means spending more time inside because of the cold or bad weather, which means that it is vital for your physical surroundings to 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. Having a declutter can be therapeutic and the end result can be a clear and organised space.
For some people, clutter is liked with increased levels of anxiety and depression. You could bear in mind that Autumn is an ideal time to clear our clutter and make your home a calming and relaxing haven.
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 or your body needing extra vitamins and minerals. Vegetables like: squash, cauliflower, sweet potato, cabbage, Brussel sprouts and swede are all in season and widely available.
Dishes like soups, casseroles and stews can be a simple way to include lots of vegetables and give you lots of warmth.
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 you can give your home that cosy and warm vibe; perfect for when it’s really cold or rainy outside. Creating that calming atmosphere will help you to relax and reduce stress and anxiety.
4. Keep Hydrated.
During these colder months, it is likely that you will have the heating on a lot, if not all the time, which can dry out your skin. To avoid cracking and dull-looking skin, it is important to drink plenty of water.
Autumn and Winter increase the number of bugs and viruses that do the rounds. When you are properly hydrated, it helps to give your body the strength it needs to fight off bacteria and other infections like the Coronavirus.
Baking is a mindful self-care activity that is a way to express your creativity but also can reduce stress. For many people, baking brings back fond memories and you can also express your love for others.
Baking is a self-care activity and you can benefit from: engaging your sense, practising mindfulness, giving you a sense of accomplishment, can reduce anxiety and stress.
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 means that nature has so many gorgeous shades of orange, yellow, red and brown. It makes hikes fun and you ca enjoy the scenery. Walking can shed stress and enhance calm energy, increase mindfulness, releases endorphins to improve your mood and much more besides.
When it is dry, it is important to take advantage of the weather and get outside, get some vitamin D and some exercise as wet weather can keep us indoors more than usual.
Journaling is a well-known self-care activity that has proven physical and mental health benefits. Journaling evokes mindfulness and helps you to remain present and gather perspective. It gives you an opportunity to reflect on your thoughts and feelings.
If you have not journaled before, you may be at a loss as to where to start, so journaling prompts can be beneficial in exploring your thoughts. Other benefits of journaling can include:
- Improved self-esteem
- Boost in memory
- Reduction of stress
- Improved writing skills
- Boosted self-confidence
8. Create An Autumnal Exercise Routine.
Exercise is an important part of a 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 have started you will experience the power of the feel-good endorphins and it will boost your mood. This can be really useful on a dark and gloomy day. Regular exercise can help to reduce the risks of the general illnesses that are present in the colder months by improving your immune system.
9. Enjoy A Bath.
In the colder months, it is much more pleasant to enjoy a long soak in the bath than to have a shower. Being able to enjoy a bit of pampering – bubble bath or a bath bomb, a face mask or even some music. Taking time out to relax and look after your body physically will also enable you to reduce any stress or anxiety you may have.
For me, as I have Fibromyalgia, the colder weather causes my pain to increase, so baths are high on my self-care routine in the colder and damper months.
10. Binge Watch Your Comfort Shows.
There are so many streaming services now that there are shows for everyone especially Autumn themed films and TV shows. On a cold evening, you can get cosy under a blanket with your favourite snack to enjoy. I love Autumnal themed films and shows. Some of my favourites are: You’ve Got Mail, Gossip Girl, Turner & Hooch and Gilmore Girls.
These are just 10 self-care activities that you can practise during the Autumn months. Self-care is an activity that is healthy and supports emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. Self-care is an all year round experience; however, what strategies we use may depend on the season.
What self-care activities do you do most in the Autumn months? I’d love to hear in the comments.
Kindly contributed by Lauren from Bournemouthgirl.