How do you ring in the season of pumpkin spice and Halloween candy? Do you head to pumpkin patches, go apple picking, or get in the fall spirit by decorating your home? However you enjoy the fall season, one thing is for certain: your mental health deserves attention as the weather changes. In the blink of an eye, the holidays will be here and stress levels will skyrocket. Making a point to devote time for self-care in the fall can greatly benefit you towards the end of the year.
Why Do You Need Self-Care?
Stress is a natural part of life for everyone. Sometimes, stress is that little extra nudge you need to complete a project on time. There are a lot of negative stressors in your life, though, and you can’t avoid all of them. Self-care helps to counteract the negative effects of stress! Without self-care practices, stress can build up in your system, boiling over and wreaking havoc on your body. Stress goes beyond anxiety and mental exhaustion; rather, it can make you eat unhealthy or physically ill.
Self-care is all the steps and actions you take to nourish you physical, mental, and emotional health. Exercise, talking with a friend, cleaning your house, soaking in a bath, getting a massage, or making a meal count as self-care practices. As the seasons change, it is nice to adapt your self-care practices. You don’t have to make extravagant changes, but it can be nice to embrace certain aspects of fall and incorporate them into your life. Read on to learn about some helpful self-care practices for fall.
Embrace The Sunshine
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) impacts about one in every 20 American adults. The change of season, no matter if the weather transitions from warm to cold or cold to warm, triggers the condition. For those who suffer from this condition annually, it can be beneficial to embrace the sunshine whenever you get the chance. If you notice that your mood dips as the days get shorter and weather gets colder, go outside if the weather permits. You can also speak with your doctor about taking the right steps to treat SAD with light therapy. Many people find that this therapy greatly improves their mood and SAD symptoms.
Savor A Warm Drink
Half the fun of colder weather is enjoying an amazingly soothing warm beverage. While we don’t encourage you to consume sugar-laden pumpkin spice lattes on the regular, and occasional one may bring you joy. Tea, coffee, cider, or cocoa are the classic hot beverages that seem to warm the soul. Maximize this self-care practice by taking the time to enjoy the beverage. Don’t simply gulp it down in the car while commuting; rather, take the time to sit, relax, and enjoy your drink. Listen to a podcast, read a book, or watch an episode of your favorite show with your hot drink.
Spruce Up Your Space
A change of seasons is a great opportunity to give your space a thorough deep cleaning. Getting rid of unnecessary things can be difficult, but also very relieving in regards to stress. Put away the summery things and get out the fall and winter items you’ll use until the spring. Leaving your summer things in your house along with the fall things can create clutter, which can induce stress. Make sure to place your seasonal decorations in bins that you clearly label. Store them in a garage or shed, if that is a viable option, so that they aren’t cluttering up the inside of your home.
Layer Up And Walk Outside
Before the temperatures become frigid, depending on where you live of course, enjoy the outdoors. You don’t have to venture into nature, although that is never discouraged, because a neighborhood stroll is enough to recharge the batteries. According to research, being outside while the sun is shining may help decrease symptoms of depression and boost levels of happiness. If the temperatures are chillier in the fall, dress yourself in some warmer layers that you can shed as your body warms up during the walk. Try to go on a 30-minute walk whenever you feel overwhelmed, and increase the benefits of this walk by talking to a loved one on the phone.
Get Out Your Favorite Fall Clothes
Sweater weather is a thing, folks, and bundling up in a cozy sweater is like giving yourself a giant hug. Not only that, bundling up when it gets colder can feel quite soothing, almost as if you are receiving a giant hug. There is also value in wearing clothing that makes you feel good about yourself. Researchers say that wearing something you love triggers the release of dopamine, a hormone that ignites the reward center of your brain. There is even a #DopamineDressing trend with hundreds of thousands of posts on Instagram!