my favorite self care tips: autumn edition

How convenient is it that today’s Wellness Wednesday falls on World Mental Health Day?? I’ve done a self-care post in the past, but I feel like my habits and preferences have evolved so much since then. Plus, these 3 days of true fall weather we’ve gotten here in the south has me feeling giddy. Self-care during autumn looks so different than self-care the rest of the year (at least, for me!) I felt like it was appropriate that for today’s Wellness Wednesday I share what I do to unwind. Most of these are feel-good tips that I use to help me feel lighter and less burdened after a long day.

related: the anxious truth | world mental health day, guest submissions | high functioning anxiety | mental health awareness

Light a candle. Top of the list, always. My boyfriend knows that this is my number one stress reliever and always finds a way to get me to Bath + Body Works every couple of weeks to pick out a new candle to make sure I’m always stocked up. Flickering flames + pumpkin scents just never fail to soothe me.

Clean + organize. Sometimes the last thing you want to do after a long day is do chores, but I try and do some cleaning for about 15 minutes an evening so I feel more relaxed about my surroundings. My space tends to get pretty cluttered during the week so cleaning, even for a little while, helps ease some of my stress.

Open your windows. Listen to the rain, feel the cool breeze, smell the autumn air – I like to open my windows because it helps me feel more connected to the world, even when I’m hauled up inside.

Buy yourself flowers. I don’t wait for anyone to do it for me, I just go right ahead and treat myself. Flowers brighten up any space so it brings me joy to have fresh bouquets around.

Drink some tea. Or hot cocoa, or hot cider. Any hot beverage will do!

Take a hot bath. My ideal bath includes dim lights, hot tea, lit candles, relaxing scented bath foam + bath salts, and usually a TV show playing on my computer.

Pamper yourself. If the hot bath isn’t enough of a spa night to fit my fancy, I also like to do a face mask, whiten my teeth, do hair masks, etc.

Read a book. Or, if you’re like me, find a good audiobook to listen to. I usually listen to the book while I do some coloring or do some puzzles (my favorite at the moment are nonograms). It helps me take my mind off the day and simply relax.

Workout. This one might seem counterproductive, but the point of self care is to take care of yourself, and working out constitutes as taking care of your physical and emotional health. If you’re truly that stressed out with a particular day or life in general, it would do some good to take a group fitness class or hit the treadmill for 15 minutes. Working out gives me an outlet for my stress and gives me the energy I need to get stuff done around the house before I settle in for the night.

Take a walk. If the gym isn’t your thing, then take a walk! It can either be around your neighborhood or on a nature trail. You can go by yourself and spend some time meditating, take your dog, or take a friend.

Go to the farmer’s market. Sometimes you just have to take an outing! It’s fun to see what creative things vendors have to sell, and it feels good to support local businesses + farmers. However, I get particularly giddy to go to Trader Joe’s, too. Here are some farmers markets in the OKC area!

Watch a feel-good show. Watch something that’s going to make you laugh or feel good inside. One of my favorite go-to shows to watch during the fall/winter is Gilmore Girls. Stars Hollow is my aesthetic.

Cozy up. Find a fuzzy blanket, some wool socks, and a hoodie (or an oversized shirt if you’re in OKC and it’s not yet cold enough to justify hoodies) and curl on up. 10/10 recommend adding a dog or your favorite person into the mix, if you can.

Have a movie night with some friends. Sometimes our unwinding and self-care needs to include people. Interpersonal wellness is important, too! Have night in with your besties with some snacks, wine, and hot cocoa, and take your mind off the week. If it’s October, you can do a Halloween movie marathon!

Check some things off your to-do list. As tempting as procrastination is, it tends to add to our burdens just a little bit. Check some things off your to-do list, even if it’s only one thing – let yourself feel accomplished and truly be able to enjoy your relaxation.

Decorate. I absolutely love decorating. October through December, my house is all out. Decorating can be fun because it helps break up the monotony and gives everything a fresh, fun feel.

Paint a pumpkin. Or carve, if you prefer!

Get creative. Journal, blog, play music, write poetry, paint – anything that helps you express yourself and get your feelings out of your head. They don’t have to be bad feelings, either – sometimes my mind feels like a shaken coke bottle and I just need to let it all out, you know?

Light a fire. Unfortunately, I don’t have too much opportunity for this, but I love fires – outdoors or in. Either sit around it with some friends and chat, or by yourself and do some meditation.

Get away for a weekend. I love Norman, but sometimes I just need to get away. Travel home, find some friends and go camping or stay in a cabin – it doesn’t have to be fancy, just something that lets you feel like you can escape for a little bit and then get back to your regular routine.

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