Fall has been deemed a favorite, “basic” season. But who can blame anyone for loving the time when the leaves begin to change? The time when evening bonfires ignite. When we trade swimsuits for cozy sweaters and seltzers for a warm drink. The excitement of summer is official fading. And fall is the perfect time to head back indoors and turn inward. Plus, with the holidays sneaking up, you’re going to need time to recharge in order to get through all the events on your social calendar. What does fall self-care look like? We’re so glad you asked! Think cozy thoughts and enjoying the changing of the season!
Fall Self-Care: Aromatherapy
We won’t judge you if you love a good pumpkin spice latte. Let your favorite latte and other favorite parts of fall inspire the scents within your home this season. And if pumpkin spice lattes aren’t your jam, think of your favorite fall baking smells wafting in your home. As a bonus, some fall scents can actually boost your immune system and brain health!
Vanilla can aid in feelings of joy and relaxation. Cinnamon has been shown to aid with memory. Peppermint has been shown to enhance cognitive function and even relieve pain. Try an aromatherapy diffuser for best results, but incense and candles also do the trick!
Go for a Walk Outside
It may sound easy and simple, but sometimes a walk can change your entire day. Crisp fall air in the morning is a great way to wake up and feel energized to start your day. Or a walk in the evening is a fantastic way to clear your head and relax from the day’s stressors and focus on you. And don’t forget that the changing colors of your environment can aid in lowering stress and can even boost your attentiveness. (Oh, and it’s a pretty solid way to practice mindfulness! Talk about a fall self-care double whammy!)
Enjoy Fall Veggies
Fall is the best time to incorporate more veggies into your diet. Some of the best veggies are in season during fall such as:
- Acorn squash
- Butternut squash
- Sweet potatoes
- Brussel sprouts
These veggies are packed full of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin A. And they’re a great addition to any seasonal meal!
Take a Warm Bath
When the cold air starts to settle in, do yourself a favor and take a warm bath on that first cold day. Not only is a bath a great way to cleanse and hydrate your skin, but a warm bath can also relieve seasonal sinus pressure and reduce muscle pain. Plus, cooling off from a warm bath before bed has shown to help promote a better and longer sleep. Enhance your bath experience by lighting a candle (like we talked about above), playing calming music, or using a scrub or bath bomb.
Re-Read Your Favorite Book
Nothing beats crawling into your favorite nook with some fuzzy socks and a favorite warm drink. Grab your favorite book (we know you have one) and re-read it this fall. Books are a great way to practice mindfulness and transport yourself from the stressors of your own life. Plus, sometimes you can gain a new perspective or hear words of advice you’ve been needing to hear.
Reset Your Sleep
We’re going to get that extra hour of daylight savings soon. Take full advantage of it and do your best to reset your sleep schedule this fall. Remember the average adult should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep. Wash your sheets, diffuse some lavender, enjoy your warm covers, and snooze away!
Carve a Pumpkin or Decorate Some Gourds
Who doesn’t love a good crafting session? Working with your hands and getting creative are wonderful ways to stimulate your mind and de-stress. Make an afternoon of it and invite your friends or kids to join in on the fun. Maybe even make a pot of hot apple cider or mulled wine (if kids aren’t invited) to really set the mood!
With That Said, Create Your Holiday Bucket List
Let’s face it, your fall schedule is going to get very full, very fast. It seems like once Halloween hits, it’s time to meal-plan, coordinate travel schedules, prepare for family visits…you get it. Take a minute and think about the things you really want to do this fall and set an intention to do as many as you can (without burning yourself out!). Plan a weekend hiking trip before most of the leaves have fallen. Check out holiday light shows or what art events are happening near you. See where and how you can volunteer to help those in need this season. The sky’s the limit when it comes to your own holiday bucket list.
Counseling for Fall Self-Care Could Be a Good Option Too!
Counseling can be a helpful tool to help you make mindfulness techniques and self-care a part of your daily life. Sharing your seasonal and chronic stressors with your therapist can help you both stay on the same page and keep you accountable in working towards your goals. If you’re worried about burnout, therapy and counseling are safe spaces where you can voice your concerns, develop coping and communication skills, and find the support you need.
Remember, therapy is hard work! It can feel extremely uncomfortable and even exhausting. Having a hand to hold and help guide you will only add to your personal success. Cristina Panaccione and Associates Counseling has two locations in the South Hills of Pittsburgh and one in the Robinson area. We are currently accepting a limited number of new patients, so check out our videos to learn more about how we can help you practice fall self-care!
* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.
Scott Cunningham – LPC
For the past 20 years, Scott has been providing a safe and supportive environment where people feel comfortable talking about their depression, fears, stresses, and hopes for life. Having a collaborative relationship with clients is important to him. Scott brings hope and knowledge into his sessions and provides psycho-education to aid in the effectiveness of therapy. He works with clients coping with issues such as, but not limited to anxiety, trauma, depression, partner-relational issues & phase of life transitions. My experience entails couples, adolescent, family and adult counseling. He is certified in Chemical Dependency Counseling, ASIST Suicide Intervention, Crisis Intervention Stress Management, and Comprehensive Crisis Management. He has earned his Master’s Degree in Counseling Education from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor’s of Science in Christian Counseling from Fort Wayne Bible College.
Scott’s goal is to help people struggling with trauma to regain stability and strength as well as insight into their issues. He believes that everyone has an innate ability to grow and learn. He enjoys helping people accomplish that goal and live better and more productive lives.