5 Soothing Self-Care Practices For Fall

purely inspired FallSelf CarePractices

Back to school, back to the office, back to extra-curricular activities —and more! Fall is here, and it is undeniably busy. 

Balance out your hectic schedule with these simple practices that are not only soothing to the soul and good for your health, but will also help you slow down and appreciate all the beauty of the autumn season. 

  1. Hike through the changing leaves 

Lace up and hit a nature trail for one of Mother Nature’s best performances—the awe-inspiring beauty of changing fall leaves. Research has shown that hiking can offer all sorts of health benefits such as better mood, a sharper brain, improved relationships, less anxiety, and heightened creativity. Find a trail near you this fall.

  1. Plan a road trip somewhere new

Another way to take in the scenic fall views and practice self-care is by taking a fall road trip. Go in a direction you haven’t been yet, stay in a hotel, motel, camp site or rental you’ve never tried, visit a festival or event you’ve never attended and stop to eat something you’ve never had before. 

Science has shown that trying new things releases dopamine and serotonin—our feel-good hormones that bring on feelings of joy and well-being. So taking a road trip where you’re sure to experience a few totally new things will not only be a ton of fun but it will also fire the happy neurotransmitters in your brain and spark more joy this fall.

  1. Create new healthy habits for bed—and morning—time

It’s well known that healthy habits around sleep – a consistent bedtime, getting enough zzzs, and some type of morning routine – are hugely beneficial for mental health. Fall is the perfect time to revisit your routines around sleep and waking—and make a few healthy adjustments. 

Try:

  • Moving your bedtime up a little to get even closer to the 7 to 9 hours a night recommended for best health 
  • Treat yourself to new fall bedding that makes you want to crawl in bed earlier 
  • Power down devices and screens an hour before bedtime and put your phone and tablet on airplane mode

Aim to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day and establish a morning routine that may include stretching, exercising, meditating, breathwork, a gratitude practice, journaling, or prayer. 

Whatever your morning routine looks like, you are likely to notice the tone of your day shift almost immediately once you establish one. A morning routine has been scientifically shown to improve personal relationships and mental health, as well as boost focus, productivity and energy, all while reducing stress and anxiety. 

  1. Take a healthy cooking or baking class 

This one may sound simple but it checks off several self-care boxes in one – making it a no-brainer. Sign up for a fall-inspired healthy cooking or baking class—online or in person—and you’ll get to savor all the gorgeous flavors and seasonal ingredients of the moment. 

Not only will you be hitting on that novelty factor of doing something new that floods your brain with feel-good neurotransmitters, but you’ll also make other people around you happy when you take your new culinary and baking skills home and fill it with the sweet scents of pumpkin treats and squash risotto. 

Expressing creativity is another proven path to self care that has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, boost self-confidence, lower stress, and even bolster immunity. 

  1. Make your own fall face mask 

Enjoy a luxuriating night at home with a DIY face mask that you can feel good about since you’ll know exactly what’s in it. 

Here’s a 4-ingredient mask:

  • Manuka honey is used widely in homemade face masks
  • Greek yogurt has lactic acid (AHA) 
  • Pumpkin and sweet potato are brimming with vitamins A, C, and E 
  • Turmeric is another great ingredient to include in your calming face mask.

DIY Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Yogurt Face Mask 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon of pure pumpkin 
  • 1 tablespoon of plain roasted and mashed sweet potato
  • 1 teaspoon of raw Manuka honey 
  • 1 tablespoon of full fat Greek yogurt
  • Optional: pinch of turmeric

INSTRUCTIONS: 

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl to form a paste. Apply to clean, dry skin and let it sit on your skin for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water and a face cloth. 
  1. Depending on the water content of your pumpkin and sweet potato, you may wish to lie back while your mask processes or increase the amount of honey for a thicker mask. You can also add oats as a binder if you wish!  

Here are three more DIY face masks to try!

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