After the success of the round-up of self-care activities you can practice during spring, I decided to do a similar article for this season. Because to me autumn is all about comfort and coziness: The perfect time to practice self-care. But I also find it an ideal time to make room for new beginnings after summer. This top 10 is inspired by those themes! I hope these fall self-care ideas will inspire you to do lovely, if not great things.
10 fall self-care ideas
Review your (summer) habits
I usually tend to spoil myself a little during summer. This counts for food and drink, relaxation, but also for allowing my schedule to be open and flexible. This is why I prefer gaining a little bit more structure again during the fall. In fact, at some point I simply long to be more constructive again!
Time to review those habits which have slowly slipped into your life during the warmer months. Are they any good? If they are, that’s great! But if you catch any habits you find less than desirable, it’s time to kick them to the curb*.
* This article from Lifehack.org shares some great tips to beat bad habits!
Create a reading list
Speaking of habits: Lately I’ve been realizing the television is turned on a little too often in this household. This is why I decided to read a little more on the couch. A perfect self-care activity for fall, as reading generally provides a more educational form of relaxation. My first plan is to invest in a good overhead reading light (right now I am considering Ikea’s RANARP) and my second is to create a reading list to keep my literature diverse and exciting.
Right now I am half-way A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon (the Outlander series, which I am currently completely obsessed with). I am also reading Ed Stafford’s Walking the Amazon which is an exciting and interesting read about well, Ed walking the entire length of the Amazon. And the first book on my to-read list will be Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life. This way I am trying to keep up a nice rotation between fiction, non-fiction and self-improvement.
Walk the woods
I know – this has to be the most cliché-worthy fall season tip out there – but stick with me. There is something very therapeutic about spending time in the woods during fall. The transition of the lively and lush forest to an almost skeletal and leafless state never ceases to make me nostalgic about summer – and to make me anticipate for winter.
So make sure to put on some sturdy shoes and visit the woods in all it’s colorful splendor, now you still can! And do yourself a favor by keeping your headphones in your pocket.
Sort through your (photo) memories
Speaking of being nostalgic: Autumn is a great time to sort through your photos. This might be something you do on a regular basis when you actively use a photo camera, but in the age of the mobile phone it’s easy to snap away without giving your pictures the attention they really deserve.
Consider creating a photo album of your family or friends. Try thinking out of the box: You can consider looking for a reoccurring theme (for instance, the amount of images I have of nature walks with my toddler is staggering), make an album about a certain era in your life (I made one a while ago called “the roaring 20’s”, which held all kinds of images of parties and piled up dishes) or even create an album to gift to someone close to you. It’s a great way to give your pictures the attention they deserve, and sorting through them allows you quiet time and room for personal reflection*.
* In case you’re interested of capturing your day to day life with a little bit more love and attention in general, make sure to check out this 30 Day Challange to photograph your life as it is!
Refresh your recipes
After a hot summer – which I spent avoiding the stove – I completely lost all my cooking inspiration. Besides the resolution to start meal prepping my lunches I decided to update my personal recipe database.
Pinterest is a great source of recipes for any season, and any occasion. But I also love getting my hands on a pair of new cook books (as Jamie Oliver is a reoccurring favorite, I still have this lovely specimen in mind). But I am also a big fan of the recipe cards and magazines some supermarkets provide; they often make great use of seasonal ingredients.
Invest in tea time
There’s little more comforting than brewing a hot cup of tea, and nurturing it in your hands on a cold, windy day. To make your tea time truly special, consider looking out for some different kind of teas and flavors.
One of my old favorites is jasmine, but I feel a good quality chai tea is very autumn appropriate. Or study the art of making a great cup of matcha green tea while you’re at it! Good tea isn’t only delicious; it is also healthy for you due to the high amounts of antioxidants.
Hygge up your home
I once wrote an article about how to battle winter depression the Northern way. The clue was to embrace the season for all it’s worth. And how better to do that than to make use of the Scandinavian concept of Hygge: Coziness and comfort from a perspective of wellness and sociability.
Make your home comfortable for the impending colder season by investing in some winter necessities: Fuzzy slippers, furry throw pillows, a nice board game to play with family or friends and a nice and warm blanket to cuddle up on the couch. To name a few! Just make sure the inside of your home reflects the weather outside, in a good way.
Redecorate (and get crafty) for the occasion
On a related note: The colder months contain a plethora of festive – and decorative – holidays. Why not spruce (get it, “spruce”? – wink wink nudge nudge) up your home by crafting your own holiday decorations?
As we tend to spend more time indoors, fall is a great time to get creative. I like heading into the woods to gather leaves, twigs, chestnuts and holly to create wreaths and centerpieces. Halloween is also a great excuse to get crafty (pumpkin carving, anyone?), and don’t hesitate to make a timely start for Christmas!
Plan a get-together
Don’t postpone all social occasions until the Christmas holidays. Start planning some social gatherings in advance! Have you ever thought about having a movie night (or depending on their age, an afternoon) with your little cousins? Hosting a murder mystery dinner for your friends? Having a high tea with your grandmother? The possibilities are endless, yet they will freshen up your relationships – and if you do it well, give you a new injection of energy! The colder days after summer provide the perfect opportunity to catch up.
Create your personal self-care kit
What would you put in your personal self-care kit? A couple of items (maybe even put together in a designated box or basket) to whip out when you feel you can really use some me-time?
On my wishlist are definitely a couple of comfy slippers, some of my favorite tea, and maybe even that awful yet awfully comfortable sweater I am considering to throw away.
Let’s be honest; a lot of comfy, plushy things are especially suitable for the colder days. So why not put some effort into creating your own personalized self-care kit*? You could even put a thing or two on your Christmas wishlist!
* I am actually working on creating my own self-care kit at the moment. Expect an article about it online soon!
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How do you practice fall self-care? Share your ideas in the comments!