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Your self-care routine should change with the seasons. Brighten those cool, grey fall days with these tips for practicing autumn self-care.
I don’t know about you, but taking impeccable care of myself feels pretty easy for me in the summer.
The weather’s warm and sunny, I eat tons of healthy fruits and veggies, and exercising is as easy as a swim in the pool or a family walk after dinner.
It’s like my natural instincts just automatically help me feel good.
Then autumn comes, and if I’m not careful, I can start to neglect my self-care.
I’m not in the pool anymore, fresh fruits and veggies aren’t as satisfying, and because I’m getting fewer hours of sunlight each day, my mood can really start to tank.
Autumn is a lovely season with its own delights, though, and by being intentional about self-care, we can be sure to keep our physical and mental health intact throughout the fall.
Remember, there are 7 types of self-care that we ideally practice regularly: physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social, relational, practical. Let’s chat about how we can practice all of them this autumn.
Physical Autumn Self-Care
Physical self-care is the typical self-care we normally think about—all of those things that appeal to our physical senses–the bubble baths and massages, for instance.
Autumn is, indeed, a great time to soak in the tub, (especially with a pumpkin spice bath bomb). Look for other “warming” ways to pamper yourself, too, whether it’s sitting by the fire, donning the softest pair of socks ever after soaking your feet in a warm foot bath, or drinking your favorite warm drink. (I love this recipe for a whole food, homemade pumpkin spice latte.)
Some other great ways to practice physical autumn self-care include:
- Switching up your aromatherapy to include an autumn-scented candle, spicy essential oils, or even a simple recipe like this one bubbling on the stove
- Changing up your beauty routine to include autumn ingredients and more moisturizing formulas that will combat winter dryness
- Using your oven to bake treats you’re craving, roast healthy veggies, and heat up your house
Emotional Autumn Self-Care
Emotional self-care involves paying attention to the way we’re feeling and making adjustments as necessary.
How might we practice emotional autumn self-care?
- Grab a new journal. JMB Living makes fantastic ones every season that are sort of a combo of journal, planner, and magazine.
- Enjoy a new music playlist—in the autumn my husband loves to tease me about the “rainy day mixes” I have on repeat. They help me lean in a bit to the melancholy way I sometimes feel on a chilly, cloudy fall day. Of course, if I start to feel too sad, I can always switch to some bright, sunny pop music.
- Switch up your affirmations. I firmly believe in the value of thinking positive thoughts on purpose. Consider some lovely autumn-themed affirmations such as:
During this exquisite fall season, I give myself permission to care for myself.
I breathe in the crisp fall air, and I feel calm and relaxed.
My stress and anxiety fall to the ground just like colorful autumn leaves.
Intellectual Self-Care in Autumn
Intellectual self-care is the sort we practice when we’re actively feeding our brains or learning something new.
Wondering how you might practice intellectual self-care in the autumn?
- Picking up a new fall-friendly hobby such as candle making, knitting, or fantasy football
- Trying a new autumn-themed craft such as leaf-pressing or pumpkin-carving
- Reading a cozy novel or one with a gothic theme
- Learning about the autumnal equinox, why fall leaves are different colors, or the history of Halloween
Spiritual Autumn Self-Care
Spiritual self-care is the kind we practice when we’re tapping in to our sense of awe and our connection with God, the Universe, or whatever we like to call the divine.
Practicing spiritual self-care in autumn can be as simple as taking a walk outside—noticing the beauty of the autumn colors and reflecting on how magnificent the trees look as they prepare themselves for winter.
In the U.S. and Canada, Autumn brings us Thanksgiving, a wonderful opportunity to practice gratitude for all of the blessings in our lives.
Nearly every faith tradition has fall celebrations and rituals to celebrate the harvest, the shorter days, and the changing of the seasons. Mindfully practicing these is a wonderful way to connect to your spiritual side.
NEED A BREAK, MAMA?
Check out the FREE No Time, No Money, No Problem Self Care Challenge! It’s 7 Days of fast, free, and fun ideas you can use to pamper yourself–all delivered via your favorite podcast app. You’ll also be subscribed to updates from Mama Goes Beyond.
Social Self-Care in Autumn
Social self-care is about nurturing relationships with people outside of your own family. Even the most introverted among us humans are social animals. And I think it’s especially important as moms that we connect with people who remind us of who we were before we became somebody’s mommy.
Here are some easy ways to practice social self-care this autumn:
- There are loads of fun fall activities that might be more fun with a girlfriend than with your kiddos. Add some of them to your calendar.
- If you’ve been baking or crafting as part of your self-care, share your bounty with your neighbors and friends.
- Contribute to a cause or participate in a 5K or fun run to benefit a charity
- You might even practice social self-care by adjusting boundaries with people who want more of your time or energy than you’re available to give.
Relational Autumn Self-Care
Relational self-care involves nurturing the relationships with those closest to us. We can really go on automatic pilot as we interact with our families. Make the commitment this autumn to care for yourself by giving special care to the ones you love most.
You might practice relational self-care by:
- Having a family photo taken in the lovely fall leaves and making sure all the relatives get a copy
- Creating a new tradition for the autumn equinox, Halloween, or Thanksgiving. (Or honoring an old one).
- Making time to jump in the leaf pile, sit by the fire, or just snuggle under a blanket while you give your family your undivided attention
Practical Self-Care in Autumn
Our last type of self-care is practical: all that stuff we do to care for our environment, safety, and future security. When done mindfully, these tasks feel not like boring chores, but like the most loving thing we could possibly do for ourselves.
How can you practice practical autumn self-care? Why not try:
- Creating some new routines: different weather, hours of daylight, and family commitments might mean that exercise routines, cleaning routines, nighttime routines, etc. might need to change. What can you put on automatic pilot for yourself so that you don’t have to think about it?
- Being proactive about your mental and physical health: make sure you’re doing your best to keep yourself physically healthy with all the fall germs around. If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, a light like this one might help your mood.
- Making a fall menu plan featuring all your fall favorites
- Updating your fall wardrobe
- Decluttering: fall is a terrific time to get rid of things—especially if you’re planning to exchange seasonal gifts
I hope these new ideas make practicing autumn self-care just as easy for you as practicing summer self-care. Remember, nobody but you can give you a life that you love. You deserve an autumn full of joy, and showing your kids through your example what a vibrant, joy-filled life looks like is the best way to ensure that they live vibrant, joy-filled lives, too.
Now go out there and have an awesome fall, Mama!
Do it now:
- Start a list of things you want to be sure you enjoy this fall. Schedule them on your calendar so they don’t get missed.
- Purchase any items you might need for your autumn self-care toolkit.
- Get in the habit of asking yourself, “how will I practice self-care today” EVERY morning, and doing something kind for yourself daily, no matter how small.
- Take my “No Time, No Money, No Problem” Self-Care Challenge.