As always, a new season gives us the opportunity to check in with our needs and pay attention to how they (and we) change with the transitioning weather. What you feel and need today is not what you will feel and need tomorrow. Be mindful of the moving target, and be so kind and gentle with yourself.
Pay attention to how you’re feeling
This is a practice of all practices. How am I feeling right now? What do I need right now? What am I hungry for right now? (It may or may not be food. What would it look like to accept whatever answer you get from your body?) Self care begins and ends with paying attention to what YOUR body and intuition are communicating in this moment, and responding accordingly. Everything on the rest of this list is simply an extension of this idea. Honor your internal hungers, aches, yesses and nos.
As the days get shorter, let there be light. I’m a firm believer that whatever you’re doing can be taken up a notch with the presence of a flickering candle flame in the periphery. Oh, hello hygge. I’m preparing to make a big batch of unscented soy candles, so I can add my own essential oils to the surface of the wax each time I use them, depending on my mood.
Soak in a hot bath
Baths are my favorite way to warm up chilled bones, relax tired muscles and calm a frantic mind. Plus, it happens to be an excellent place to read a good book. If you need some inspiration, read my 8 tips to a decadent home spa night.
Mind the changing temperature
As always, a season of transition comes with dramatic shifts in temperature. Our habitual selves might be inclined to keep wearing flip-flops and short sleeves on our trips out of the house rather than paying attention to the actual temperature before deciding how many layers to wear and whether to wear a hat. Be mindful to adjust your clothes and comfort objects to suit the temperature and how your body feels at any given moment. (Also, let me do you the solid of reminding you that rice bags exist!)
Indulge in seasonal entertainments
Revisit the rituals list, or add your own. For example, I’ll be cozying up with a blanket this month and watching Practical Magic.
Feed your roots
Root vegetables are grounding and can help balance a mind gone shifty, anxious and erratic. (For real. Eating roots will improve your mental health.) I love making a big tray of some combination of chopped carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, celeriac, turnips and rutabaga and/or onions. Throw in a few whole cloves of garlic, add olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of thyme, and roast in a hot oven (375-ish) until the veggies are fork-tender. Roasted roots are delicious on their own, paired with a roast chicken, stirred into a quinoa salad or blended into a soup. Eat heartily and often for maximum benefit.
Indulge in seasonal flavors
Allow yourself to luxuriate in these tastes that are only available and at their peak for a short time. I gift myself the apple cider, and make an event of drinking a cup of mulled cider in the afternoon as a break from work. I spend the outrageous $8.99 on a handful of figs at the Coop because they’re delicious, I love them, and I can only get them for literal weeks out of the year. (Check back to the fall flavors & recipes emails for inspiration, if you need it.)
Spend time with the elements
Earth, wind, air, fire. Dig in the dirt and say grace over the harvest that nourishes you. Feel your bare feet on the ground. Soak in the tub, or sit next to a babbling brook. Go outside and breathe. Feel the wind on your skin. Light candles or burn sage. Bask in the sunshine, even if it’s filtered through a window pane. Ground yourself in the nature around you.
“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”
Be mindful of your basic needs
We’ve already covered many of the items on this list of 9 ways to take care of your basic human needs, but we all need a refresher every now and then, checklist-style, of our foundational self care as human beings. If you do nothing but these 9, you will be healthier and feel better cared for than before.
Take good care, my friend. You deserve all the love, space and support, and receiving it starts with the way you treat you.
You have enough. You do enough. You are enough.
Cheers to our worthiness!
Written by Michelle Urbick, Rosy Blu, Featured in Hello Autumn 2018 email series