When it comes to self-care, little changes go a long way—especially this time of year. With school gearing up and the holidays just around the corner, we don’t always have time to put ourselves first. Rather than getting frustrated, it’s important to get creative about how and when we take some “me” time.
Personally, I make it a priority to turn off the TV, focus on my breathing, and nourish my body. If you’re already feeling overwhelmed, here are 10 super easy self-care ideas that will get you through fall without adding to your to-do list.
10 Easy Self Care Ideas for Fall
1. Focus on your breathing
I have been a daily meditator for years now, but when things get hectic, it’s always the first self-care ritual to get cut from my list. But I recently read that just focusing on your breathing can have the same benefits as a daily meditation sesh, without the time commitment. The practice of focusing on and controlling your breath in yoga is called “pranayama”, and it’s been shown to help purify the blood, lower cortisol and relax tense muscles.
To reap the benefits, simply monitor how long you’re inhaling and exhaling, and try to match the lengths of each. And since the practice is portable, you can do it at work, in traffic, or while cooking dinner – no special equipment or time commitment needed.
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2. Nourish your body with foods that make you feel good
Eating warm, well-cooked food is excellent for your digestion and nourishing for the soul. Incorporate warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, fennel, cardamom, and cayenne to help stoke the internal fires, and whip up some stews and soups incorporating root vegetables to help you feel more grounded.
Chai tea is a great substitute for coffee at this time of year—caffeine can exacerbate spacey/wired energy, and a chai latte (with warm milk or a milk substitute) could be just what you need to settle. Sipping on a steaming cup of broth instead of coffee later in the afternoon is another great alternative.
Read the post: 9 Meal-Worthy Soups To Warm Up With This Fall
3. Designate tech-free times
Have you ever read a sad news story someone shared on Facebook and you felt depressed the rest of the day? (Sometimes I wonder if those stories are even true or if they’re just something made up to generate clicks!) Or maybe constant notifications on your phone make it hard to relax and unwind?
We’re always hearing how we should quit social media and turn off the TV, but for some of us, that’s easier said than done. Instead of going cold turkey, why not just designate a time each day for tech-free activities.
My favorite time to do this is in the morning when I’m eating breakfast. Rather than surfing my phone or listening to a podcast while I eat, I’ll simply bask in the peace and quiet. I find that this really helps me begin my day with a completely clean slate and decreases my internet-induced anxiety.
4. Make space
Maybe you’re starting to notice a pattern here, but a major part of self-care is letting go of things that don’t serve you. Instead of spending every second of the day crossing items off your to do list, look for little pockets of time where you can relax and just think. I call this “making space” because when you’re not multitasking, it frees up your mind to tie up loose ends, day dream or even just decompress.
My favorite times to do this are during my morning shower, while walking the dog, or while getting ready for bed. It’s amazing what a little breathing room can do for your state of mind.
5. Use aromatherapy to boost your mood
Certain scents can affect your body in some seriously powerful ways. The right aromas have been shown to influence everything from stress levels and mood to mental clarity and energy. And it’s these balancing effects that make aromatherapy such a perfect addition to any self-care routine.
So, what scents should you choose? For self-care, I recommend ignoring what the experts say and choosing a scent that really speaks to you. The goal is to choose a scent that makes you feel alive, rejuvenated and happy–and only you know what that is for you.
If you’re just getting started in the world of aromatherapy, scents like lavender, mandarin, jasmine and ylang ylang are a great place to start. Just pop a roll-on of aromatherapy oil in your purse and enjoy its mood-boosting effects whenever you need a lift.
Read the post: Essential Oils To Help You Get In (& Stay In) a Good Mood
6. Clean something
There are few things more relaxing and uplifting than a clean, organized space. When your house is a mess, you’re more prone to feeling overwhelmed, frazzled, and unable to think clearly.
If you’re feeling uninspired at work or at home, take some time to update your environment. Decorate with a few small items that bring you joy, clear out any unnecessary clutter that makes your space feel less inviting, or organize your workspace so you can feel more focused and inspired.
Read the post: Everyday Habits for a Clean, Healthy Home
7. Turn skincare into self care
Work some self-care strategies into your everyday routine so they become habitual, like brushing your hair or taking a shower. My own little self-care me-time is doing a 10-step skincare routine every night—it’s like my home version of a spa facial.
If 10 steps feels overwhelming, try a face mask or at-home facial once a week. If you have time in the morning, try adding dry brushing to your routine. It will help get your blood circulating in the morning and gently exfoliate at the same time!
Read the post: How to Dry Brush
8. Take a Bath
Baths are good for the body and the mind. They give you the perfect excuse to crack open that book you’ve been meaning to read or make a dent in the pile of magazines on your desk. Add some essential oils for aromatherapy and epsom salts to soothe sore muscles and relax away your worries.
Read the post: 5 Healing Detox Bath Recipes
9. Don’t underestimate the power of chocolate
Raise your hand if you find yourself craving chocolate when you’re stressed out. There’s no reason to deny that craving! Just do it in a healthy way. Limit yourself to a square or two of high quality dark chocolate (I love Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Lovers Chocolate Bar, which is made with 85% cacao) or try your hand at making some homemade truffles.
Read the post: Healthy Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Truffles
10. Go for a walk
If you truly want to feel like your best self, taking care of your physical health should be a key priority. Exercise is an amazing stress reliever and energy booster. A walk is my exercise go-to. It does not get any easier than just walking out the front door. Plus it gets you outside, which has major health benefits, and gives you a natural dose of vitamin D!
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This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Susanna Quasem, M.D., a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist in Nashville, Tennessee. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.32