Autumn is a beautiful season in the UK, but it can also be a difficult time. As the weather cools and dampens and the days get shorter, I feel like I want to slow down and almost hibernate. But real life, school, work and activities continue and we remain just as busy as ever, which can be a struggle. We’re also getting fewer sunshine hours and vitamin D so Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) can kick in. I definitely feel more anxious at this time of year. Self-care looks different for everyone and depends on what season of life you’re in. For some, it may be “saying no” more and for others, it may be getting laser hair removal. Do what works for you. Here are 10 ways that I practice self-care during the busy autumn and winter months:
5 Ways I Practice Self-Care
- Go for a walk
At this time of year, it can be so easy to make excuses and not go for a walk- “it’s too wet/cold or I don’t have the time”. But when I go out walking in nature, watching the wildlife, I immediately relax and feel grateful that I went. It invigorates me.
2. Work Out (Exercise)
Another habit I’m quick to try and quit when I’m busy is working out. As you know from my October goals, I’ve started my midweek workouts again. It makes me feel so much better, is good for my health and is a great way to practise self-care. On the contrary, if I have managed to do lots of workouts and walking and my body is telling me it needs a rest, listening to it and resting is self-care too.
During each busy day, when I get a few moments spare, I take time to remember to breathe. I take some mindful deep breaths. As I do this, I begin to relax. I realise how tense I was holding myself and begin to relax my jaw, and shoulders and unclench my hands.
It’s important to drink lots of water. I really feel this is part of my self-care as it immediately makes me feel more awake, refreshed and full of energy. I sip throughout the day, but I really enjoy the moment that I have five minutes of peace to sit and drink a full glass of water. Making yourself a cup of tea or other comforting hot drink in the evening is a good form of self-care too. I love hot chocolate or Horlicks (since I found vegan Horlicks at BM bargains!).
5. Eat Mindfully
Obviously, I eat every day! But self-care is stopping to take time to prepare the foods your body needs and to eat them mindfully. For me, self-care can be making a delicious grain salad or nutritious soup, but it can also be having comforting carbs or a few squares of chocolate while reading my book.
This autumn, I am loving setting aside time throughout the day to sit and read my book. I used to be a huge reader. I only read fewer books nowadays as I have less spare time. Reading relaxes me and clears my head. I love falling into a story in a book. it’s the best way to escape from life.
7. Have a bath
I’ve been getting into my PJs earlier and earlier during the last few weeks. As a treat, once we’re home from clubs and chores are done, I love to run a bath and get into my nightclothes and dressing gown, make a hot drink and cosy up for the evening. It’s bliss.
8. Get cosy under a blanket
I love to come away from my desk and laptop and curl up on the settee, cosy under a blanket or quilt to either read or watch a drama with Dave. We did this three nights this week and I really appreciated these relaxed evenings. I need to buy a clip-on book lamp (affiliate link) as my craft light is too bright for Dave when I read while he watches one of his programmes.
9. Go to bed early
I am so bad at going to bed early. My youngest daughter has started checking my Fitbit sleep report now as I’ve been trying hard this week to go to bed earlier. On Wednesday night, the report said I actually managed to sleep from 22.59 pm – 7.05 am, managing 6 hours and 52 minutes, which is a lot for me and achieved a “Fair” rating. A more frequent average report for me is about 3 am- 6/7 am. I am definitely going to start trying to go to bed before midnight for my self-care. Perhaps one day, I’ll even achieve a “Good” sleep score and won’t receive a ticking off from Izzy!
10. Have a lie in
I plan lie-ins weeks in advance! The chance for one doesn’t come very often as obviously, weekdays mean the school run and weekends mean taking the kids to work and football. In Danny’s last job, we had to leave the house at 7 to get him to work on time at the weekend. Thankfully, he’s left there now. This Sunday, Caitlyn does not have football (there was an unequal amount of teams so every team gets a week off during the season) and Rebecca’s not working, so I’m going to try and have a lie-in. Of course, my body clock will try and wake me, but even the joy of being in bed awake, not having to get up is bliss…
Deep under the covers, an easy place to hideThe Miles Away Girl lyrics, The Wildhearts
And imagine the world isn’t really going on outside
What do you do for your self-care?