25 Self Care Ideas for Fall
It's here. It's finally here once again. What is that, you ask? Oh, just my absolute most favorite time of the year: fall.
When this season eventually rolls around, I always find myself wishing that fall lasted a good 8 months out of the year. But then I back track and think, "Well, if that were the case, then fall wouldn't feel as special." And above all else, I love and cling to that "special" feeling fall brings year after year.
So, I try to be content with what God's given me—which is (at most) about a month and a half of crisp air and pumpkin-flavored everything in Tennessee's humidity.
With this in mind, I've created a list of 25 of my favorite self care ideas for fall. And yes, my list does involve coffee—how could it not? I think God created coffee just for fall.
Hopefully this makes the season last just that little bit longer.
25 Self Care Ideas for Fall
1 | Play in the leaves.
Aren't we all little kids at heart just a little bit? I know I am.
I also know that I still love the sound of crunching leaves underfoot. I purposefully go out of my way to step on them once they start raining down from the trees.
I don't care if I look crazy, and you shouldn't either.
2 | Paint the changing colors.
I'm not particularly gifted with a paintbrush, but the gorgeous autumn foliage is too beautiful to resist butchering on canvas.
So get out those oils or watercolors or whatever you work with, and commit the bright red, orange, and yellow shades to paper. You never know...maybe you'll create something good enough to hang up in your home.
(I probably won't. But you might.)
3 | Add some fall decor to your favorite spaces.
I spend a lot of time working on my blog in my bedroom—I have a little desk and work area set up for just this purpose. Because I get so excited for fall, I usually am quick to break out new fall candles and decorations with the orange, deep red, and yellow tones I mentioned above and place them around where I'm working.
I also like to update the desktop background on my computer to some fall-themed calendar or quote. Even the smallest changes can make a huge difference.
4 | Change up your look with a new haircut or hair color.
I tend to have ADD when it comes to my hair. Since it's super curly, I'm sometimes limited to what I can do in terms of both color and cut, but that doesn't stop me from changing things up every now and then.
If you went lighter for summer, go for a darker, bold color for fall, such as a rich, chocolate brown or a vibrant and vivacious auburn.
5 | Update your fall capsule wardrobe.
With the coming of a few life changes recently, I'm looking to downsize clutter and downsize my wardrobe. Fall seems like a good opportunity to try a more minimalist approach.
Maybe I can finally tame the beast that is my closet. (Probably not.)
If you've recently taken on the task of creating a capsule wardrobe for fall, why not donate the clothes you're getting rid of to an organization like the Salvation Army. Charities like this are always needing more resources for colder months. You can also contribute a monetary donation online here.
6 | Experiment with essential oils.
For me, certain scents signal the changing of seasons and tell me fall is on the horizon. Take some time to diffuse essential oils in your home to enhance those fall fragrances in nature.
Spicy scents such as ginger, clove, and cinnamon can make your house feel more warm and cozy (yes, please), while scents like fir and juniper bring out more outdoorsy and woodsy notes.
Try out different combinations until you find ones that are just right for you.
7 | Burn fall-inspired candles.
If you're not an essential oil kind of person (it's 2018, get with the program), candles might be more your scene.
Introduce a few new autumnal scents into your living space—go beyond pumpkin and try cranberry. Instead of apple or cinnamon, try amber and bergamot. Mix it up a little.
There's nothing I love more than burning a few candles on a chilly, overcast fall day. I get giddy just thinking about it.
8 | Attend a local fall festival.
Typically, county fairs are everywhere during the summer and fall seasons, so look up a few in your area. With the cooler temperatures, I find that going to amusement parks or festivals is more enjoyable in the fall.
A lot of these types of festivals are also free to attend—and you know what that means: more resources available to splurge on deep fried Oreos, candied apples, and all kinds of wacky and unhealthy snacks.
9 | Start a new fall-themed t.v. show or book series.
We all have those t.v. shows we come back to again and again for those warm fuzzy feelings they give us during a certain season. For me, that show is Gilmore Girls (obvs.). I think it's because the title sequence + theme song feature images of a Connecticut fall in full swing—which is something I really want to experience.
Now is also a good time to dive into classics such as Agatha Christie's novels. Spend your next Friday evening curled up with a book, a blanket, and something hot and yummy to drink.
What's your favorite t.v. show or book that makes you think of fall?
10 | Scope out the new fall coffee flavors.
Usually, stores like Target are on top of their game (read: overly eager) to push out seasonal items, so there have already been some fall coffee flavors hitting the shelves. Even if you're not a fan of the #basic PSL, Starbucks often rolls out some new flavors to try each year. I've got my eyes on you, Pumpkin Spiced Chai Tea Latte.
Ever since I got a Keurig a couple of years ago for Christmas, I drink more coffee now than I ever have in my life, so I'm definitely looking forward to getting my caffeine on and snuggling up on a brisk autumn day in the not-so-distant future.
11 | Have a fall photo shoot with family or friends.
As a blogger, I'm all about some awkwardly staged photos.
Kidding. (Not really.)
Anyway, if it's been a few years since you've taken any quality pictures with your family members or your best friends, schedule some time for a fun photo shoot. Here are some fun photo ideas you might want to try from Project Inspired.
I don't always enjoy all the hoopla with trying to plan pictures, but having those memories recorded is always worth it to me.
12 | Try mindful journaling.
As the temperatures start to cool down more, take note of how this affects your mood or your activities. Maybe you love the cooler temps (like I do); jot down reasons why you're grateful for the changing seasons.
Or maybe fall and winter leave you in a bit of funk. If so, list some ways that you can change up your daily routine to break out of the slump.
13 | Binge your favorite fall or Halloween-themed movies.
Hocus Pocus? Check. (Who else had a crush on Thackery Binx when they were younger? Amiright?)
Harry Potter, ad nauseam? (Or are those more Christmas movies? I can never tell.)
A couple of years ago, I watched Sleepy Hollow for the first time (yeah, I don't know what took me so long), and it's become one of my favorite fall movies, too.
What's your favorite? Do you have any movies that you watch every single Halloween that are tradition?
14 | Pick apples.
I think apples are the fruit of fall. (Wait. So what does that make pumpkins? Are pumpkins a fruit or a vegetable? I know they're a gourd...is that its own category?)
I've never picked apples before, but it's always seemed like a fun activity. (Side note: I have picked fresh cherries, and they're so good.) Find a local apple orchard near you, bring a few friends, a picnic basket, and make a whole day of it.
15 | Splurge on a fall-inspired mani/pedi combo.
Manicures and pedicures are one of my favorite ways to practice self care—no shame. I always look forward to seeing the new seasonal nail polish colors and trying out new shades. This year, step outside your comfort zone and try new shades, such as a dark, rich wine color or a vibrant hue for Halloween.
When my nails are fancy, I just feel like I have my life together.
16 | Stay positive with a daily gratitude practice.
Seasonal affective disorder is no joke. I mean, the acronym spells "SAD." If you suffer from seasonal related depression, bounce back with some gratitude affirmations each morning.
Write them down in a journal or write them out on cards and tape them to a mirror (somewhere that you can see them all the time). Say them over and over again like a mantra. After all, we are what we speak.
Daily affirmations and a gratitude practice isn't a cure for depression, of course. But doing nothing to help with the "winter blues" is not an option.
17 | Work on your headstands with some hot yoga.
Let's be real: hot yoga was made for fall and winter. What other time are you going to actually enjoy spending an hour sweating in a yoga studio? Although for some of us (read: me), the answer is "never."
Relax both your mind + body and get re-centered for the upcoming colder months.
18 | Invest in a humidifier.
Along with the colder temps come dry air and illnesses. While it feels good to snuggle up with a warm blanket and crank a fire, our bodies can suffer some unfortunate side effects, such as colds and dry sinuses.
Help prevent that by keeping a humidifier in your room at night.
19 | Work on your blog.
If you're a fellow blogger, take a random lazy, rainy fall day to work on your blog. All you need are the two "C's": creativity and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
Brainstorm new content, connect with other bloggers (you can hit me up on Twitter), or take time to work on your photography skills.
If you spend time working on your blog during the fall, you could have months' worth of content planned out and written for the beginning of the new year.
20 | Host a "Friendsgiving.”
I don't know about you, but I need another excuse to stuff my face during the holiday season, and a "Friendsgiving" is the perfect opportunity.
Divide up the responsibilities among a group of your friends, decide who's bringing what dish, and plan a few fun activities. Decorate with autumn decor and invite all your friends over to celebrate.
This is definitely something I want to try this year.
21 | Visit a pumpkin patch or a corn maze.
I mean, is it really fall if you don't visit at least one pumpkin patch or corn maze? Did fall even happen if you don't participate in one of these?
Even though it's basically the same thing every year, I have yet to get tired of corn mazes. A few years ago, I even saw my first shooting star in one. And I don't care what anyone says...I am not too old to have my face painted.
What's your favorite memory of a fall-related pastime? Do you enjoy pumpkin patches and corn mazes?*
*bonus points if they're haunted
22 | Try new fall tea blends.
I'm a huge lover of coffee, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I'm just more in the mood for hot tea...or I've had way too much caffeine during the day, it's 5 o'clock in the evening, and I'm bouncing off the walls.
Sometimes I like to spring for a less-caffeinated midday pick-me-up, and tea is the perfect alternative.
What are your favorite seasonal tea flavors? I'm a green tea girl myself, but sometimes I like to spice things up with a dash of cinnamon. (See what I did there?)
23 | DIY a Halloween costume.
Rather than splurge on an expensive costume, try creating your own. As always, when in doubt, Pinterest has you covered.
I love seeing what other people can think up in terms of unique costume ideas. One of my favorite costumes I've made in the past couple of years was Rosie the Riveter.
What's one costume you really want to try out?
24 | Go to a bonfire.
Roasting marshmallows, eating s'mores, and swapping scary stories...oh my.
One thing that screams "fall is here" to me is going to a bonfire with my friends. Huddling close to a fire, accidentally burning your marshmallow and eating it anyway, and chatting with friends until the fire burns low...it's a perfect way to spend a fall evening before the weather turns too cold.
25 | Take in nature.
There's almost nothing I love more than watching the seasons change and being outside to watch it happen. Something about the way autumn makes the air so crisp and the sky so blue and bright...I can't get enough.
Don't waste this small window of time indoors. Get outside, go to a park, go hiking with friends, go for an early morning run.
During the fall months comes a renewed sense of self and energy for more heart-centered self care. Just make sure you notice the leaves change.
What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy the seasons changing?