Fall just seems to be the season of self-care. There’s just something about the crisp, chilly weather, the leaves changing color, and the excitement of the upcoming holidays that makes you want to curl up in a cozy sweater and relax instead of rushing around.
Yes, true self-care usually involves checking all of those tasks of your to-do list that you don’t exactly love, but know your future self will thank you for, like making that dentist appointment you’ve been putting off, sitting down and going over your budget, or actually washing the pile of laundry in the corner of your room. But sometimes, self-care includes a healthy dose of self-indulgence, and there couldn’t be a better time of year to include some extra “me time” and soothing rituals into your daily routine.
Stock up on all things pumpkin spice, get your thickest sweaters and fluffiest slippers ready, and settle in for these seasonal self-care rituals that will get you in the mood for all things fall.
1.Make your own pumpkin spice lattes.
Unfortunately, the famous Starbucks PSL is not entirely vegan—nope, not even if you tell the barista to hold the whipped cream and add almond milk. This is because the brand’s Pumpkin Spice sauce, which gives the drink its delicious flavor, actually contains dairy. But here’s the good news: you can easily whip up your own makeshift PSL in your kitchen. There is a huge variety of dairy-free pumpkin spice creamers to choose from, and you can pair it with pumpkin spice flavored coffee! Add a swirl of vegan whipped cream, a sprinkle of McCormick’s Pumpkin Pie Spice seasoning, and maybe a couple teaspoons of sugar if you’ve got a sweet tooth, and you’re good to go!
Vegan Kabocha Squash Latte, anyone?
2. A good book and a mug of tea can erase any worries.
Over the summer, it’s all about fruity iced tea, but once the temperatures start dropping, it’s time to break out your favorite mug. There are so many delicious teas out there that are perfect for this time of year—anything with hints of cinnamon, ginger, and, of course, pumpkin, is delicious. Get the fireplace going, a tea bag steeping, and your favorite spooky novel, and you’ll be ready for the ideal relaxing evening. Or, you could mix it up a bit and spend an afternoon hidden away inside a local tea shop where you could try some unique flavors.
3. Bake your favorite autumnal treats.
It’s the time of year for pie: apple pie, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, you name it! What could be better than a slice of homemade apple pie with a scoop of (vegan) vanilla ice cream on top? And if you’re not a huge fan of pie, there are plenty of other seasonal treats that you could bake and share with your friends and family (or indulge in them yourself). Fluffy loaves of pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice cookies and gingersnaps, crisp apples dipped in sweet caramel, festive cupcakes for Halloween—just get creative in the kitchen!
4. Try out yin yoga.
Yin is a style of yoga that involves holding the same pose for anywhere between two to five minutes at a time. Now, this might sound easy—who wouldn’t want to just hang out in child’s pose for a few minutes, right?—but it’s actually tougher than it looks! It can be difficult to hold the same pose for so long, but it’s great for your muscles, and if you practice yin regularly, you can really feel the difference. When fall rolls around, we naturally start to slow down, and yin is a wonderful way to transition your practice into a new season. Feel free to use as many comfy blankets and pillows as you want to support yourself, and if you’d like to, you can even light some candles to give your space a lovely glow while you stretch.
5. Reflect on the year you’ve had so far.
It’s hard to believe that there are less than 100 days left in 2018. Even if you’re not usually the type to write in a journal, fall is a great time to grab a notebook and spend a little time thinking about how your year is going. Have you accomplished any of your New Year’s resolutions? Are you proud of your progress so far? Have any of your goals and priorities changed dramatically? And most importantly, is there anything you would definitely like to achieve before the end of the year? Your journal is the place where you can let it all out without any judgment, so let your words just flow.
Which one of these self-care rituals are you looking forward to the most?
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Photo: Molly Lansdowne (latte); Peaceful Dumpling (pumpkin pie); Crystal Chin (yoga); Unsplash (rest)