Goodbye summer, hello autumn! Now that it’s officially autumn and very nearly Halloween, it’s time for us all to take a step back and think about self care. Self care isn’t all make up and appearance related actions – it’s so much more than that. Self care is about getting a good sleep routine, taking breaks from life, eating healthily and looking after your mental health. It is about building good habits that help you to care for yourself, stay healthy and be in a positive frame of mind. There are all manners of self care, from physical and mental, to social and spiritual. I’ve listed my autumn self care tips in the hopes that they serve as a reminder for you to prioritise yourself over the next few months and focus on being the best version of you that you can be.
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Autumn Self Care Tips: Mental Health
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Seasonal Affective Disorder is something I have written about twice previously, as it is a mental condition that really impacts my life as soon as autumn hits. Thankfully beating the blues isn’t as difficult as it sounds, and there are loads of tips available to help reduce the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. The best thing I ever did to help my Seasonal Affective Disorder was to buy a SAD alarm clock that uses bright LED lights to mimic the sounds natural light. This is known as light therapy to help and can help restart your internal body clock, helping you to overcome the main suspected cause of SAD – the reduction in sunlight.
Getting outside is one of those things everyone says you should do if you’re struggling with your mental health. I know better than anyone that this really isn’t as simple as it sounds, but unfortunately for us anxiety suffers, it really does help. You may not want to get up, get dressed and head out the door, but the silver lining of autumn walks are the amazing colours, sounds and smells. Autumn is a truly magical season, and if there’s any time a short walk will help clear the brain fog, it’s autumn.
Channeling energy into a creative hobby is such a rewarding and satisfying way of taking care of your own mental health in autumn. Autumn is an inspirational time of year and can spark brilliant story concepts, inspire magical photography, or be the basis of a new sketch or painting. You don’t have to consider yourself a creative person to express yourself and what you produce doesn’t have to be a masterpiece; trust the process and enjoy taking some time to yourself to learn something new and focus on something that isn’t stressful. If creating ‘art’ isn’t something you feel comfortable with, how about taking up a new hobby such a crocheting? There are so many fabulous autumn craft projects to try, so why not give something new a try?
A regular sleep routine is unbelievably beneficial for your mental wellbeing. Cutting out caffeine in the afternoon and ensuring your bedroom is dark, clutter free and comfortable are great ways to help you to get a good night’s sleep. Getting up at a similar time each morning and having a good routine will help balance your internal body clock and make you feel more energised during the day.
Take A Social Media Detox.
Social media can be amazing – heck, I make my living from managing other businesses socials, as well as my own. However, there’s a darker side to social media that can leave you feeling anxious, depressed and just generally like a bit of a failure. You see, most people only post the ‘best bits’ online – there really is nothing instant about Instagram! Of course, deep down, we know that the things we see have been specially curated and hours of editing have gone into them, but that doesn’t stop our brains from comparing our lives to what we see online.
Do yourself a favour and take a social media detox. You can delete the apps from your phone, this doesn’t delete your account information, so don’t worry! Changing your lock screen to an image that reminds you to stop scrolling is a proven method of helping you detox, as is detoxing with a buddy.
Autumn Self Care Tips: Skin Care
Of course, part of self care actually is about looking after your body and ensuring you’re using the right products to keep you feeling healthy and radiant. The biting cold weather, those windy days and the increase of the use of central heating can really play havoc with your skin! Autumn often leads to uncomfortable dry skin, so taking the time out to reassess and reinvent your skin care routine in autumn is vital.
To keep your skin in tip top condition over the autumn and winter months, look for a face mask that packs a punch of moisturising goodness. Allowing yourself to have a good pamper session is good for the soul. Looking after your body and preventing yourself from getting dry, itchy and dull skin will also boost your self esteem and confidence, hopefully allowing you to tackle autumn and winter like a queen.
Don’t forget to care for your lips as the skin here can often be immensely affected by the cold weather in autumn and winter. My favourite high street lip balm Nivea Long Lasting Moisture*, however, I have recently discovered natural beeswax lip balms by Neve’s Bees. They will be featured on my Christmas gift guide as I was sent some lip balm, along with some other goodies, but honestly their natural lip balm has been a life saver.
Wearing makeup, alongside the effects of autumn/winter air on your skin will dry it out. Combat this by looking for a cleanser that’s moisturising – I really like using Simple Moisturising Cleanser because their products are no nonsense and kind to your skin. Foaming cleansers are great for summer, but when autumn rolls around, cream based cleansers tend to be more nourishing for your skin.
Autumn Self Care Tips: Hair Care
Use Heat Protection
If you’re not using heat protection when styling your hair, you should be! After spending the summer months with our hair pulled up into ponytails, strands may be weaker and therefore need a little bit of extra TLC. Invest in some decent heat protection spray*.
A New Hair Style Or Colour
Autumn is full of rich hues and magical shades, so why not pay homage to the beautiful season by getting a new hair colour? I love the deep red hues that autumn brings, so naturally I am a fan of auburn, but I also love copper tones and chestnuts. If a dramatic change isn’t something you’re comfortable with, semi permanent hair colours are cheap to buy and easy to use. They’re perfect for doing your whole head, or adding a DIY ombré style.
Colouring isn’t the only way to jazz up your hairstyle this autumn though. Even trying a new look every now and then is a fun way to boost your confidence and rock your autumn style. I recently bought a set of BaBylis Curling Tongs* from Amazon that were under £20 and work so, so well.
Autumn Self Care Tips: General Self Care
Write down what you want from the week.
This is something that I have recently started doing at the beginning of the week and I have found it really useful to look back on when times get hard. On Monday I write down what I want to achieve during the week, how I want to feel, what positive things I want to focus on, what I want to love about myself and what I want to work on. Sometimes I add additional affirmations, I find that setting these intentions for myself is a great way to start the week with a positive mind set. It’s important to be honest and, most of all, it’s important that you believe in yourself and the power of positivity – no ‘lols’ or self depreciation here, thanks!
Make time to pamper yourself.
There’s a lot of beauty related self care involved in this post, but that’s because I believe that looking after yourself on the outside helps you to love what’s on the inside. Excusing yourself from the stress and chaos of life, if only for one hour once a week, is heavenly. Make time for a big old bubble bath or an extra long shower and use your fanciest products. You won’t regret it.
Brighten your home with autumn soft furnishings.
We’ve talked about SAD and how the reduction in natural sunlight can cause this type of seasonal depression. Now I’m not suggesting that we all take retail therapy as a scientific cure for SAD, but there’s something to be said for popping a few brightly coloured autumn cushions* on the sofa. I know I’m not the only one who loves updating their living areas seasonally, and I can’t get enough when it comes to autumn garlands* and artificial autumn flowers*.
Learn to relax.
Use reading, meditation or midfulness to help you to relax. This is great to do before bed as part of your evening routine and it’ll help strengthen your internal body clock. In today’s society, we really do need to learn the art of relaxation, but it’s incredibly worthwhile.
This goes hand in hand with learning to relax; taking a break from your phone, laptop, TV, or tablet can help our brains recharge. If you’re someone who often suffers from headaches, a break from screens can really help by resting your weary eyes – try reading a book instead or going out for a walk. I often leave my phone upstairs to ensure that I can’t reach for it absentmindedly.