Fall is a time of change. The days get shorter and the air gets crisp. The world starts to gradually return its state of winter hibernation. With a change of seasons comes opportunities for new routines. Take a minute to check-in with what’s working in your life and what could be better.
Here at Crisis Text Line, we’re big proponents of self-care. For us, self-care isn’t about expensive face masks or the perfect mani/pedi. Self-care is all about the everyday routines we can build to take care of our minds and bodies. Whether like to go on a hike, love up on your pet, or curl up with a good book, taking time to care for yourself will go a long way towards improving your mental health.
In honor of embracing change and a fresh start, here are four ways you can upgrade your self-care routine this fall:
- Go crunch in the leaves. For real. Getting outside (even in the cold) can do wonders for your mental health. In fact, researchers at the University of Minnesota found that nature reduces anger, fear, and stress. It also increases pleasant feelings and helps people cope with pain. So, grab your biggest blanket scarf and get out there!
- Rally your community. As it gets colder and darker, it can be easy to want to hibernate at home in your comfiest loungewear. Great, do that! And, invite some pals. Science says that social ties can be one of the biggest game-changers when it comes to mental health. So, get your friends together to cook and host a Friendsgiving. Or, maybe organize a game night! Or, even try to build more human connection into your daily routine. A good old “please” and “thank you” to your barista on your coffee run can go a long way to create relationships.
- PS: Here’s your friendly reminder that at Crisis Text Line, we are also part of your community. Please reach out if you’re feeling alone or in crisis. We’re here for you—always. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.
- Re-set your sleep habits. While the pros recommend getting six to eight hours of sleep each night, everyone is different. Here are a few signs you might not be getting enough sleep: relying on caffeine (and racking up all of the punch rewards at your favorite coffee shop) in order to stay awake during the day, dozing off while watching tv, and—quite simply—feeling very mentally and physically tired. If you’re not getting enough sleep, try setting a bedtime—and sticking to it! Getting outside and seeing the sunshine during the day can also help you feel more tired when it’s dark out. Finally, make your bed a sleep sanctuary by keeping electronics out of your bedroom.
- Update your diet. Now that it’s officially PSL season and we’re heading into the holidays, it can be a good time to check in with how you’re fueling your mind and your body. According to a study by the American Public Health Association, increased fruit and vegetables in people’s diets also increased their happiness, life satisfaction, and well-being. Make sure you’re incorporating fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein into all of your meals. And, take advantage of all of the seasonal favorites like roasted root veggies!