Beautiful Between

living fully in the now & not yet

7 soul-filling fall self-care ideas (and why you need them)

I had a fever that wouldn’t come down, no matter what I did. I cradled ice packs to my skin and alternated Tylenol and ibuprofen, lived off of ginger ale and Pedialyte pops for the better part of ten days. There were pain and an ER trip for fluids, tests, and pain meds. I’ve never been so sick in my life.  

But I felt guilty.

While my sweet husband was praying for me, urging me to rest, deeply concerned for me, I felt guilty that I couldn’t work. I could hardly keep my eyes open, but I wanted to answer emails and complete tasks and care for everyone else.

Learning the value of self-care

As I’ve recovered from the mystery illness, I’ve been thinking about how difficult it was for me to simply rest and take care of my body. I know I’m not alone in this. So many of us do this, prioritizing everything but ourselves.

This self-care thing seems a bit slippery. It’s hard to wrap my arms around the notion that prioritizing self is somehow unselfish. That it redigs wells, gives springs to draw from, provides a source to refresh others. It’s tough to swallow.

But this thing that knocked me flat on my back for over a week makes me stop and wonder. Is caring for self a missing ingredient that might have prevented such an illness? Is it a piece of the puzzle that would slow and soothe us, ready us to face the world again?

Making time to savor the season

Tonight, I sit with a roaring fire* and a cup of cinnamon tea. Earlier, Micah took me on a drive to see the late-blooming colors, then I napped on the couch for an hour or so. Tomorrow, I go back to work and caring for all those around me.

For now, I slow and savor the moment. The richness of the season isn’t lost on me as I take a few moments to fill up my soul.

Give yourself a break

Friend, I know you do it, too. I know you’re looking at everyone else, thinking about how to take care of them. I know you’re worried about work and relationships, friends and family and responsibilities.

I know you need a few moments, too. Here are some of my favorite fall self-care ideas. Perhaps one or two would redig your wells and refresh you.

  • Curl up in front of a fireplace.* No, we don’t have one, either. But Netflix and YouTube do, and right now I’ve got one crackling on the TV. Yes, we do this often. Don’t knock it til you try it.
  • There is something rich, deep, and incomparable about Autumn scents. Simmer cinnamon and cloves on your stove, light a candle to go with that fire, or diffuse some essential oils (if you’re into that). Take the time to breathe in and enjoy the scent.
  • Get outside and move your body. Bundle up and go for a walk. Breathe in the fragrance of crisp air and damp leaves. Really see the way the world is changing. See the colors. Play in the leaves. When the colors are gone, marvel at the skeletal trees reaching against the sky.
  • Enjoy delicious, healthy, seasonal food. Every year, I wait for fall and winter roasted veggies, winter citrus fruits, and homemade soup.
  • As weather changes and skin gets dry, lather on a rich hand cream or lotion. Take a few moments to focus on the scent and sensation. Really enjoying the simple action elevates what could otherwise be a mindless task into something soothing and refreshing.
  • Shorter, dark days are perfect for good books and hot cups of comfort. Coffee, tea, or cocoa pairs perfectly with a fluffy blanket, that crackling fire, and a favorite story. This, I’m convinced, is one of life’s great pleasures.

Want some more ideas? Check out how to make an amazing self-care kit for REALLY bad days for tons of resources and tips!

Whether you’re dealing with an illness (physical or mental) or just trying to breathe in the midst of life’s craziness, remember that you’re worth carving out some time and space to refresh yourself. Take care, my friend <3

5 Replies

  1. BABE!

    “This self-care thing seems a bit slippery. It’s hard to wrap my arms around the notion that prioritizing self is somehow unselfish. That it redigs wells, gives springs to draw from, provides a source to refresh others. It’s tough to swallow.”

    Such a beautiful play with words, my love.
    I’m seriously impressed. Just beautiful.

    P.S. Yes! Self-care, such a good reminder 🙂

    1. ❤️❤️❤️ thanks so much ❤️❤️❤️

  2. Bless you for sharing I’m so trying to do this after raising 7 kids then a divorce then a 2nd marriage(and that’s one crazy story) he passed away.Now in a relationship with a Godly man that I’m so,hoping God will have us married and serving,and loving in this world together Amen

    1. Wow, Judy. That is a lot to go through. I’m so glad you’re investing in caring for yourself now! Please let me know how it goes!

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