While autumn in my opinion is the best season, with all the wonderful symphony of vibrant colours as the leaves change; the return to structured days; the great fashion; the crispness in the air that seems to energize; the autumn harvest - pumpkin pies - need I say more? It can also be a season of isolation for some. Daylight turns to darkness around 5:00 pm and morning light doesn't appear until after 7:00 am ... these longer periods of darkness, along with cooler/colder temperatures can be contributors to reducing motivation to leave your home other than for the "musts" (i.e. work, medical reasons etc.); your weekend destination becomes your sofa; your nutritional meals make way for the fast food menu and junk food,your home becomes cluttered.
The early years after my accident my favourite season, became such a dreaded time. It was like the isolation switch automatically engaged as the temperatures dropped and shorter daylight hours, arrived. Today, I am happy to be able to say I'm enjoying my favourite season AGAIN!! How did I get to this point - I started to not only make a list of activities, I scheduled them into my planner. I hope the list of some of my go to activities below inspires you and motivates you to create your own list and most important to sprinkle a variety of activities in your planner, so that you joy the autumn for all that it has to offer.
7 of my Favourite Autumn Self Care Activities ...
1. Morning Rituals: Stick to a regular wake-up time, this is particularly important for those who may work from home, or have (not yet) no set activities in their day. Morning hygiene - when you feel refreshed you feel more awake ready to tackle the day. Get out of your pajamas even if its to put on a pair of sweats and top - baby steps - this helps signal to your brain that the sleep time is over and the day is beginning.
2. Walk: Whether you walk around the block, go to a local park, the lake front or even your backyard - just get outside for even 10 minutes. The cooler temperatures of fall are great for walking. Make a commitment to yourself that no matter the weather you will go for your walk. Having proper attire such as rain boots, warm hooded jacket, umbrella, scarf and even mitts at the ready will help you from being able to use the weather as an excuse for not going for your walk (I say this from experience ...).
3. Discover a new hobby or refresh an old skill: Having scheduled activities keeps you active and also gives you things to look forward to - keeping you motivated. Sign up for that class you have been talking about; get out your crafting supplies; enroll in a yoga or meditation class. Check your local community center, women's groups, libraries, or colleges for free or inexpensive classes. You may even make some like minded friends.
4. Make an Autumn meal plan: Two main reasons we reach for junk food for dinner - 1. can't think of what to cook 2. you don't have the ingredients on hand to cook something you want. A meal plan is a great tool to ensure you eat healthy - especially on low energy days; planning seasonal meals is budget friendly and inspires you to try new recipes using in season ingredients. When you have a meal plan, making a shopping list becomes super easy - and when you have a list you buy what you need - not what you "think" you may eat = less wasted food and money; and less stress about what to cook.
5. Stock up on bath essentials: While I enjoy baths year round as the weather begins to cool I find baths are great therapy - relaxing, rejuvenating , detoxing and an opportunity to inspire daydreaming. Bath essentials: bubble bath, bath salts, aromatherapy oils, candles, soothing music, cozy towel and bathrobe.
6. Create a cozy retreat: There will be days that you just need a Pajama Day ... and that's ok! To make it a little more special create an opportunity to practice a little self care instead of just sleeping the day away or sitting in front the television or streaming netflix. Change into a fresh set of pajamas, have reading material on hand, a cozy blanket to curl up with on the sofa, healthy snack options, have a bath, journal etc.
7. Plan to socialize: Summer beckons for us to get outside while the colder, damp, dark days of fall especially as the calendar moves closer to winter, can make it difficult to get past the front door. Check your city's website for festivals and events (most are very budget friendly if not free); make plans to meet with friend's; take yourself out to a local cafe; make an autumn bucket list of activities and experiences you would like to do; plan a road trip through the countryside and take in all the beauty of the changing leaves - if the temperatures permits take a picnic basket and stop along the way to truly connect with nature.
Dolce and Gabbana want to remind you - autumn is fun! Enjoy every moment ... and make sure you jump in a leaf pile at least once this season.
What autumn self care activities are in your daily/weekly planner?