Following the Autumn Equinox and the amazing Harvest Moon that came with it, I personally think it is now acceptable to embrace all things Autumn; warm colours, snuggly jumpers, sugar and spice, twinkly lights. The colder months are often viewed as the ones to stay in and enjoy the warmth and cosiness of home; creating the perfect opportunity for some vital self care.
With the nights drawing in and mornings getting darker, you may find yourself feeling more tired and less productive. The sun brings happiness, so it's important to make time for self care in the months when the sun isn't out as much.
The kids have gone back to school whilst Halloween and Christmas (yes, I said the 'C' word in September!) creep ever closer, meaning our to-do lists get longer despite the days getting shorter. If you feel as though there just aren't enough hours in the day, make sure you take time out for you before you burn yourself out.
Below are a few of my favourite ways to enjoy Autumn, relax and recharge.
Read a Book. There is no better way to lose yourself than in another fictional world. Snuggle up with your favourite hot drink and a soft blanket and read a good book. It could be a new bestseller or a well-thumbed copy of a classic - read a chapter or 2 and feel the stress melt away. Better yet - read the entire book! Self care is not a waste of your time.
Go for a Walk. Nature is stunning this time of year. So many vivid colours spring out against the crisp, grey backdrop. Wrap up warm and enjoy the views your local area has to offer. Even a 10 minute walk can have a huge positive impact upon your mental health. You could even release your inner child and run through the fallen leaves!
Make a Style Change. Channel your inner Jessica Rabbit and colour your hair red! I've just gone red for the first time since I was 18 and have received so many compliments. I feel more confident and sassy - a change is as good as the rest! Plus, the actual transformation time enables you to put your feet up and get pampered for a couple of hours.
Light a Scented Candle. Autumn scents include pumpkin, spice and apple. Not only will your home smell amazing, it will have that warm glow too. If you are lucky enough to have an open fire too, absolute winner, or treat yourself to a candlelit hot bubble bath.
Get your Bake On. Harvest blackberries, apples and any other seasonal fruits you can find and bake something delicious. Whether it be a pie, a crumble or something more adventurous, treat your tastebuds and lose yourself in a recipe. If you'd rather watch someone else do all the hard work, tune into The Great British Bake Off and have your favourite sweet treats to hand.
Plant Spring Bulbs. Now is the perfect time to think ahead and prepare your garden for Spring. Plant your bulbs and cover with some winter colour like pansies, cyclamen or heather. If you don't have a garden, a few strategically placed pots in your yard or indoor plants can brighten up the space you have.
Get Creative. Whether you buy a specific kit or use things found in nature, get creative and make something. Wreaths are extremely popular and can be themed for Halloween, Christmas or simply seasonal. Make your own Christmas cards/gift tags or wrapping paper. Knit something cosy. Unleash your hidden talent and create anything you put your mind to!
It's not always practical to find time for self care, but you can incorporate easy things from the list above throughout your day. Set off a little earlier to collect the kids from school and walk the long way round; taking the time to notice nature around you and recharging your batteries before the ensuing chaos.
Self care needn't be a solitary routine. Snuggle up and watch a film with your partner by candlelight - why not even break out the popcorn?! Get crafting with the kids; go on a nature scavenger hunt to collect your materials and make a family project. Book a pamper session with your bestie and catch up on the latest gossip whilst getting beautified. However you choose to look after number 1, get out there and enjoy this wonderful season!
Have you tried any of these uplifting autumn self care ideas? Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments.