As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, it seems natural to turn inwards and re-examine our routines. This fall, I invite you to take a look at how you practice self care. Is there room for improvement? If you were kinder to yourself what results would you see in your day to day life? This post will take you through the importance of self care, as well as offer some suggestions on making caring for yourself easy and enjoyable.

The Importance of Self Care

Recently I listened to a great podcast from The Life Coach Podcast with Brooke Castillo called “TLCS Special Edition – Mental Health”. You can find a list of Brook’s podcasts here. Brooke argued that Mental Health is not the absence of mental illness but a continuous process of growth and development where the benefits spill over into every element of our lives. I couldn’t agree more. How you manage your mind plays a huge role in what is possible for you. So if you have big dreams, getting your mind in order is a great first step.

How do you practice Self Care?

Self care can mean many different things. For some it’s a time of indulgence, treating oneself to reward for an accomplishment. For others it’s standard practice, like eating healthy and exercising. For others,self-care is a novel idea, a trendy buzzword yet to be explored.

What does the phrase self care mean to you? If you aren’t sure where to start, it sometimes helps to ask yourself: What do I need more of? What do I need less of?

How do you currently practice self care? If you have a self care routine in place, great! Think about what is really working for you and how you can expand those elements of your practice. Even if you have an established routine, it’s important to try new things. Chat with friends to see what they do – and see if you can try out some of their ideas.  

Was there a way you practiced self care in the past you wish to re-introduce to your life? We often reset our routines during big life transitions like moving, starting a new job, getting married, having children, or ending a relationship. Take a moment to look back on your previous life chapters. Is there something you really enjoyed doing that you lost along the way? How can you reincorporate that into your current life? Make sure to identify challenges up front so you can plan to overcome them.

If you don’t currently practice self care, now is absolutely the best time to start. Not only are you investing in yourself – but you have a huge community of support as more people begin to value mental health and appreciate its scope.  Below you will find a list of seasonal self care suggestions to get you started, no matter what stage you are at with your self care routine!

Suggestions for Self Care

Spend time outdoors. Fall is the perfect time of year to get outside. Go for a walk, rake some leaves. Get fresh air in your lungs as you connect with nature. As you surround yourself with the natural world which is always growing and changing, welcome this energy into your life. You can grow and change too!

Make a fall reading list. Sweater weather is definitely the best time to curl up with a book. Cultivate a list of books that spark your interest. It doesn’t matter if you are seeking knowledge or an escape (or both!) – setting aside time for a restful reading practice will recharge you while invigorating your mind.

Learn Something New. Do you feel nostalgic as you watch children return to school? Try learning something new this fall! Perhaps you’ve always wanted to take a writing class or learn a second language. If you are looking for something social, get some friends together and sign up for a pottery class or wine and painting night. Learning something new will give your brain and your confidence a boost.

Plan for the holidays. This one might seem outside the box – but it is critical. Stress starts creeping into fall as we anticipate the marathon of social events that span from November through January. Be kind to yourself and set up a plan for this holiday season. (if you aren’t sure where to start, try checking out this episode of the Life School Podcast).

Look for opportunity in transition – fall can be a time of transition for a lot of folks. New routines are starting, and patterns are being reset. You might find yourself in transition, or you might find yourself supporting someone in a transition. Keep an eye out for the opportunity in each new transition. Can you learn something about yourself or others? Can you grow as a person as a result of a challenge? Have you discovered a new value or skill you want to acquire?

Make a list right now of one way you want to practice self care this week. Make sure to plan time in your calendar to try that item – it’s so easy to get excited about a change… but then neglect to implement it. Setting aside time to try something new will help you overcome this challenge.

Please let me know how you plan to incorporate self care into your routine this fall, I would love to hear from you. You can email me at justine@southofthirty.com or leave a comment below.