With the vibrant leaves of red, orange, and gold, you can’t deny fall feels magical. It offers a unique opportunity to slow down, reflect, and practice self-care. Ready to unwind this season, but not sure how to start? Here are eight ways you can nurture your body and soul during this beautiful and transformative season.
- Create Comforting Rituals
Rituals are amazing for mental health. According to the Harvard Business Review, little rituals lower our anxiety and give us a sense of control. It can be as simple as spending five minutes reading, a cup of coffee or tea, or a weekly call with a friend. Usually, schedules slow down in fall, making it the perfect time to add new rituals.
- Embrace Nature’s Beauty
Fall is a season of stunning natural beauty. Take leisurely walks in the park or woods to immerse yourself in the scenery. The crunch of fallen leaves beneath your feet and the gentle rustling of trees in the wind can be incredibly calming and grounding.
In an article from Yale University, they found proven benefits of getting out into nature.
“In a study of 20,000 people, a team led by Mathew White of the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter, found that people who spent two hours a week in green spaces — local parks or other natural environments, either all at once or spaced over several visits — were substantially more likely to report good health and psychological well-being than those who don’t.”
- Practice Mindfulness Meditation
As the days grow shorter and the world outside quiets down, fall is an ideal time to explore mindfulness meditation. Spend a few minutes each day in meditation, focusing on your breath and grounding yourself in the present moment. This practice can help reduce stress, improve concentration, and promote inner peace.
To get started, check out www.mindful.org/how-to-meditate/.
- Nourishing Fall Foods
Fall also brings a bounty of delicious seasonal foods. Incorporate nutrient-rich autumn specialties like squash, sweet potatoes, and apples into your meals. Cooking homemade soups and stews can be calming and nourishing. Add to the experience by visiting an apple orchard or local farms to find produce.
- Declutter and Organize
Feeling overwhelmed by your stuff? The act of decluttering and organizing your living space can be incredibly therapeutic. As you prepare for the colder months ahead, take the time to clear out items you no longer need, tidy up your home, and create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Take it a step further by donating what you can to a local shelter or nonprofit. This will make you feel good all around!
- Try Out Creative Hobbies
Fall’s slower pace provides an excellent opportunity to pursue creative hobbies. Whether it’s something you haven’t done in awhile like playing an instrument or writing, or something you’ve always wanted to try, now’s the time to get started.
- Check in with Your Health
Even if you feel fine, a yearly check-up with your healthcare provider is a good idea. It gives you a moment to discuss where you are at and anything that concerns you. Fall is the perfect time for this because you can also get your flu shot and COVID-19 booster during the appointment.
- Lean into Your Community
Fall is the perfect time to continue cultivating relationships as winter approaches. Loneliness is on the rise and winter doesn’t help. Reach out to friends and family, invite people over, and commit to doing life together. Start a new fun activity together that can carry you through the winter.
“Now is the time where we start to transition from long days and outdoor life to preparing for winter. It is not uncommon for mental health to worsen during these short Minnesota days,” says Dr. Glen Rebman, Psychiatrist and Medical Director of the Fairview Range Behavioral Health team. “Take a lesson from the Finnish (routinely the happiest country in the world) and embrace the change, finding intentional ways to be outside, socialize, and give back. While it is important to focus on your own self-care, don’t forget that doing something for others often can bring us the greatest satisfaction.”
Self Care Is Health Care
Taking time to focus on your self care is important. Thankfully, fall gives you the perfect season to do this. So get out there and enjoy slower days, crisp leaves, and checking in with your mental and physical health. If you would like to schedule a yearly check-in, you can find openings at Fairview Range by calling 218-362-6937.