Fall is such a beautiful time of year, but it tends to be busy and fly by before anyone is ready for that first snowfall.
One of my favorite things about fall is what a perfect time it is for self-care. If you keep busy in the summer and fall, preparing for the shock of being indoors more throughout the winter sometimes needs to include reconnecting with yourself.
Those inner voices get louder when we feel isolated and as someone who experiences seasonal depression, I know all too well how brutally isolating the frozen months can be!
The way I get ahead of that is by reconnecting with myself during the crisp, beautiful autumn season. Here are a few of my favorite self-care rituals- hopefully these ideas will inspire you and help reunite your mind, body, and spirit no matter what you’re going through!
Tip #1: Girl, Wash Your Face!
(This is a book by Rachel Hollis!)
Seriously though, give your face, neck, chest, and shoulders some serious love.
You don’t have to go out and buy products to slather on if you don’t want to. You probably have everything you need in your cupboards already! Give yourself the full treatment.
Wash your face with warm water, hold off on the soap… Just let the water be enough for a minute…
Then apply a facemask! I’m a huge fan of Lush products- the Rosy Cheeks mask is my absolute favorite (and none of these ideas are sponsored, btw. I’m just a fan of good stuff, ya know?).
Or you can make your own mask! You can find your own mix of clay and essential oils, or use kitchen ingredients. I love to mix coffee grounds with a tiny dab of honey and a little bit of coconut oil. (AND it’s exfoliating. Win-win!)
Give the mask at least a solid 10 minutes, throw on an old favorite song and dance around! Find out where joy is living in your body, especially if you’ve been feeling disconnect from yourself.
Rinse the mask off, apply a gentle toner and let your skin air dry. This feels especially awesome on a breezy fall day!
My favorite natural toners are rose water and witch hazel. I shoot for witch hazel if I’m feeling oily and rose water if my skin is dry or irritable. Get your neck, chest, and shoulders too!
Top it all of with some moisturizer or a teensy dab of coconut oil and enjoy your bright fresh face!
I love to throw in a hair mask and do a deep cleaning with my teeth at the end of all of this. It’s just the perfect invitation and reminder to myself to come back to my body and enjoy being present with where I am in the moment.
Tip #2: Make a playlist and deep-clean your bedroom to it!
Okay so maybe the deep cleaning part isn’t anybody’s favorite- but it seriously feels amazing! Before you start the playlist, strip the sheets off your bed and get those in the washer! You want cozy fresh sheets at the end of all of this (and having my bed un-made is always insurance- then I know I can’t go to sleep until I finish what I started!!).
I love Spotify for playlists, especially because there’s a “playlist radio” option. When I’m building a new playlist I love to throw on the playlist radio after I get 5-10 songs on the list because then the radio just keeps that vibe going and I end up discovering new artists AND old throwbacks I didn’t realize I loved so much.
If you’re looking for upbeat vibes, a playlist I love is Kalyn Nicholson’s feelin’ badass. Most of my playlists are more mellow- I’m a coffeeshop vibe kinda girl for the most part. If that’s more you’re thing, you might like the Spotify Roots Revival playlist! Such good earthy chill!
Get your tunes going, and start taking everything out of every drawer, shelf, and closet in your room! Make a couple piles and sort through your whole life in there. Prepare to release what no longer serves you and enjoy the light freedom of only having in your life (or at least your bedroom) things that serve you and bring you joy! I make four piles:
Stuff I actually use or enjoy
Stuff that my sisters will love & that I’m ready to let go of
Stuff to donate
Sort through everything from books, candles, crystals, old makeup and clothes, shoes, even blankets and throw pillows. Heck, I sort through old dog toys like this, too! It feels soooooo good to have it all cleaned out and send it off to places where others will actually enjoy it (or to the garbage where it belongs).
Once you’ve sorted, get everything that isn’t staying out of your room, light a nice candle. Get to work putting everything where it belongs.
Make sure to thank yourself inside for creating a beautiful space that is clean and designed to make you happy and keep you well. In the winter, you’re going to love this cozy space you’ve created and it’ll feel so good to have all of the old baggage and trash out of the way. Now you have room to make new memories and bring more light and love into your life.
Tip #3: Decorate a corner for your future self
This is one of my favorite tips! There are so many ways to interpret this step, and none of them are wrong. I’ll explain what I mean and let you interpret it for yourself.
Think of the person you want to be in the future… she feels a certain way right? People think of her in a certain light, you imagine she feels a certain way and brings a feeling to the room when she walks in right?
Whether that’s a light, easy-going feeling or a warm, soothing vibe, there’s a powerful woman you are hoping to grow into. I want you to realize two things here: first, you already ARE her- but that’s for another post. Your loving core is already there. I promise- and I think you’ve already met that person at some point inside of yourself.
You’re just learning how to get the internal clutter of insecurity, frustration, and doubt out of the way so that she can shine through all the time. You’ll get there, I promise.
The next thing I want you to realize is that you bring that woman to life more every day! Especially when you think of her and create space for her. So don’t cling to what doesn’t serve you in life- whether that’s people or old things or habits. Allow yourself to open up to let the old go. If that future self wouldn’t have something in her life, why would you want it? Right?
Bonus tip: If there’s an insecurity you’ve never been able to get over that has dictated your life… practice releasing that insecurity. You don’t have to lie and say it isn’t there, but instead of saying “I’m just insecure [that’s the way I am, I can’t help it],” try saying “I’m overcoming this insecurity and learning that ______ [I am enough, I have nothing to worry about, I am happy with who I am, etc.].” Just practice telling yourself and others that you are in the process of growing past that insecurity- because that’s you deciding to do it! And that decision is so powerful!!
So with that in mind, create a corner where your future self vibe is on point! You could create a vision board or a photo collage (Unsplash has beautiful free photos if you need some to build a collage of a future vision), a little altar type space filled with plants and crystals, a book shelf with incense and candles… A special space for your stereo or a small area in your home that makes you want to pull out your yoga mat and connect…
Maybe your space is filled with bright beautiful paintings of the forest you are hoping to someday have a home in, or maybe you’re capturing liberating, expansive ocean vibes. Get inspired, and don’t doubt anything that feels right for this corner. Your intuition is on point. Listen to it and give yourself this gift.
Spend a minute in the space every day and bring that vision of yourself to life just by connecting with the pieces of her that are already inside of you. You have to water the seed for it to grow, so go for it. This is one flower that can bloom even in the winter.
Now, go love on yourself!
I hope these tips have helped inspire some loving autumn action in your life! While these are external tasks, they all end up having such beautiful meaning for me on a deeper level. It’s an act of love toward yourself to cleanse your life in these ways and I think that’s what makes self-care so powerful.
Good luck, and much love,
Jessica Pena | Lifestyle + Blog Coach