As the weather cools off and dry, crisp air blows in, don’t forget these important self-care ideas for staying healthy and happy:
If the blazing sun of summer was your excuse to stay indoors, it’s time to think about getting outside. Cooler temperatures combined with the beautiful scenery of fall paves the way for fun outdoor adventures that are good for your health too. Hiking, bicycling, rock climbing, horseback riding, even outdoor yoga all offer unique benefits for your physical and mental wellbeing.
A healthy habit of heading outdoors to do something active will help stave off those pesky holiday pounds that come with overeating and partying, as well as give your immune system a boost to fight off common winter colds.
Eating seasonally simply means incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet that come from the harvest of that season. For example, while apples are essentially available in grocery stores year-round, they are most harvested in the fall months, so sourcing your favorite fruit from a local farm will be easier. Same goes for super foods like sweet potatoes, winter squash including acorn, butternut, and delicata squash, cruciferous vegetables like kale and cauliflower, as well as fall fruits like pears and figs.
Consuming ingredients from locally-sourced producers helps you both stimulate your local economy, as well as support the environment. By reducing demand for products shipped in from far away which consumes a lot of gas, buying locally lowers your carbon footprint.
One of the best ways to do something good for yourself is to give back to others! Fall paves the way for a handful of unique and effective opportunities for you to help others including volunteering for holiday service projects, participating in charity athletic events like fun runs and 5ks, and donating food for those in need at Thanksgiving.
Looking for a fun way to do something good this Halloween? Check out the Teal Pumpkin Project, a nationwide effort to spread food allergy awareness and make this candy-filled holiday safer for kids with food allergies.
Showing your body some love this fall might come in the form of something as simple as getting serious about skin care. Cooler, drier weather has a tricky habit of dehydrating skin by pulling more and more moisture out of the epidermis. Exfoliating and moisturizing with protective lotions or creams can help lock in hydration and keep skin refreshed and supple.
Experts tout the best time to moisturize as right after you shower or take a bath. When skin is most freshly hydrated, moisturizing right away helps to fill in gaps between skin cells as well as form a soft covering over the skin to prevent excess water loss. A back applicator for creams can help you apply moisturizers to hard to reach places like your middle back.
Nothing screams ‘holiday season’ quite like favored scents of pumpkin, cinnamon, vanilla, and peppermint. Turns out, those scents can actually support strong brain health as well. Aromatherapy comes in multiple forms, from adding an essential oil to a diffuser or relaxing bath, to burning candles or incense with scents you like.
Multiple studies have shown how essential oils can mitigate distressful feelings. For example, lavender oil has been shown to help reduce feelings of anxiety, vanilla elevates mood and feelings of joy, cinnamon may boost memory function, and peppermint has been beneficial in alleviating mild pain.
No matter where you find yourself this fall, whether at work, traveling for the holidays, or gathering with family for dinner, regular self-care will help you enjoy more of what life has to offer as well as express your own self-love. Too often the final months of the year can seem like a whirlwind of emotions including loneliness, financial stress, and fear. A little self-care can go a long way in boosting your mood and outlook!