With the changing temperatures and approaching cold and flu season, fall offers an important reminder to reevaluate our wellness and the way we approach long-term self-care. Whether it’s looking out for your mental health, switching to chemical-free products, or re-evaluating your diet, there are several ways to find new ways to care for yourself this fall season!
Start practicing mindfulness
One of the most important ways to care for yourself is to check in on your mental wellness. As the threat of seasonal depression looms, be proactive about your mental health, and work to lower your stress levels before they begin to affect your life. Consider practicing mindful activities every day like meditation and yoga to center your thoughts and lower your blood pressure. Or, try writing down your nagging thoughts in a journal before bed for added stress relief and to help you get more restful sleep. Although you may feel silly at first, these activities have proven results of helping adults lower their stress levels and feel happier overall.
Drink more water
Drinking more water, especially during the drier months, is a great way to keep your beauty and health routine in top shape. Water helps your internal processes run smoothly, it keeps your skin cells stay plump and healthy, and can even help regulate your appetite and sleep patterns! However, few realize that the average adult should be drinking about 2.7-3.7 liters of water a day, and it can be easy to slip into bad intake habits during cooler months when coffee, hot cocoa and tea are all available instead. Consider using a hydration app that tracks how often you should drink, or carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go so you’re less likely to choose other, often dehydrating drinks. This should help you feel more energized and healthy throughout the entire season.
Eat local produce
Supporting your local farmers has several advantages, including boosting the local economy and cutting down on transportation emissions, but it can also help you incorporate healthier, fresher fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. Autumn is harvest season so there are plenty of nutrition-packed options to choose from depending on where you live, like squash, carrots, cauliflower, apples, pears, and sweet potatoes. Find farmers’ markets near you and explore the options! You can also ask the vendors for their thoughts on creative ways to incorporate these foods into your diet. You’ll likely have fun discovering new recipes, feel more energetic with a healthier diet, and feel good for making a positive impact on your community.
Update your products
Your diet isn’t the only way toxins and chemicals can enter into your system and affect your physical wellness– they often sneak in through commonly used personal products. When plans start to slow down after the summer season, use your extra time to clean out your medicine cabinet! There are often surprising levels of BPAs and harmful chemicals in things like tampons and makeup that you may use often. Re-evaluate what you’re putting into and onto your body for better health and a smaller impact on the environment. Look for alternative, healthier options, like a BPA and dye-free menstrual cup instead of bleached tampons, or natural ingredient-based makeup instead of artificially-colored options. Taking extra steps like these can help your overall wellness in the long-run, and even help the environment, too.
Refresh your skincare
Cooler temperatures and whipping winds can do pretty significant damage to your skin. Be sure you’re setting aside time to focus on a little exterior self-care to help you feel confident and loved. Before bedtime, work a thicker moisturizer into your routine to repair damage from the cooler temperatures– just be sure to pair this with an exfoliator to ensure your skin is able to absorb the hydration. Then during the day, use an SPF to protect against harmful rays that are still a threat even during shorter days. Your skin requires special attention depending on the weather and will thank you for giving it a little extra love this fall.
Take a hike
Everyone knows exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, but it can be difficult to feel motivated enough to hit the pavement for a lengthy run. The truth is, you can reap the benefits of exercise from any physical activity that gets your heart rate up, and it’s actually better to focus on activities that excite you so you’ll be more motivated to continue doing them. Consider enjoying the fall colors in a hike or walk through the woods; experts believe that a practice known as “forest bathing”– mindfully spending time in the woods– can have significant, positive mental impacts on mood. Try to get out to a mountain, state park, or local wooded trail this season to enjoy the weather, get in some exercise, and even release some pent up stress.
With the changing of the seasons comes different physical and mental needs, but also exciting seasonal opportunities and activities to address them. Consider adopting some of these practices into your daily routine this fall season to take better care of yourself every day. If you need additional ideas or more personalized suggestions, consider speaking with your physician to be pointed in the right direction.