Friday, November 10, 2017

11 Comfort Food Recipes & Self-Care Ideas For Fall

Want to slow down and truly enjoy the fall season? Check out this inspiring list of fall-themed self-care ideas and comfort food recipes from some of my favorite blogger friends. Add a few to your weekly routine & you'll be feeling relaxed, present, and nourished in no time.

11 Comfort Food Recipes & Self-Care Ideas For Fall

Two years ago, I wrote a post called 30+ Ways to Relax When You're Feeling Stressed or Anxious. This was a month after experiencing genuine anxiety for the first time in my life. For me, those feelings stemmed from fear and worry over health issues and manifested as a rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and a non-existent appetite.

It was both a wake-up call and a revelation to me. Time to take better care of myself emotionally (no more stuffing away all my feelings) and physically (more than just prioritizing real food).

And time to start talking about mental health! Before this, I felt like those type of issues (anxiety, depression & PTSD, for example) were foreign problems for other people. I didn't understand them, so I mostly ignored them.

Which is easy to do since no one really talks about mental health (except stress since that's glorified). It's brushed under the rug and surprisingly easy to hide. There's a word for it: high-functioning anxiety. You probably know several people like this and don't even realize it.

Healthy Self-Care Activities

One of the ways I'm helping myself is by focusing on healthy self-care practices. If you're new to the idea of "self-care", it's the radical notion of prioritizing yourself over others.

What does that mean?
  • Slowing down and taking care of yourself 
  • Living in the moment 
  • Stopping the glorification of busy 
  • Relaxing 
  • Pampering yourself 
  • Making sure you have all your basic needs met before you jump through hoops for others 

You've probably heard the phrase "you can't pour from an empty cup", right? That's self-care in a nutshell.

Seasonal Self-Care Ideas + Comfort Food Recipes

Since the things we do to take care of ourselves change over the course of a year, I had the idea to write a 4-part series focusing on self-care practices specific to each season.

And, of course, food is an important part of my life (as with everyone), so I'm also including recommendations for seasonal comfort food recipes. I consider yummy food that sings to your soul a necessity!

Fall Self-Care Activities & Comfort Food Recipes

Today I'm sharing Part 1 of the series, which focuses on the Fall and Autumn season. (Keep an eye out for winter, spring & summer in the coming months.) This time of year the weather is cooling down, the leaves are turning red, orange & yellow, and folks are planning ahead for holiday activities.

Early in the fall season, I usually get a big urge to purge things (same with Spring). I tend to declutter my home, donate & recycle, then shop for things that need replacing or updating.

Then later in the season, once the cooler weather hits, I nestle in with cozy clothes, nourishing hot drinks like hot cocoa, and warm foods like creamy chicken noodle soup or Zuppa Toscana soup. And I work on homemade gifts for the holidays. 

October, November, December & January are actually the busiest months of the year for most food or craft bloggers (since tons of people are online visiting our sites for holiday recipes). Because of this, come mid-January or early February most of us feel completely burnt out. So, I'm trying to plan/work ahead to give myself actual time off.

I'm sure most of you can relate to the busy, busy, busy mentality of the holidays, so why don't we all make a promise to ourselves to at least once a week pull ourselves out of whatever we're doing and intentionally focus on some self-care activities. Sound good?

11 Comfort Food Recipes & Self-Care Ideas For Fall

11 Self-Care Ideas & Comfort Food Recipes For Fall

Want to slow down and truly enjoy the fall season? Check out this inspiring list of fall-themed self-care ideas and comfort food recipes from some of my favorite blogger friends. Add a few to your weekly routine & you'll be feeling relaxed, present, and nourished in no time.

1. Embrace The Early Evenings

Kathie of  Homespun Seasonal Living: "I embrace the darkness, rather than curse it. I make sure dinner is by candlelight to celebrate the early evening and eat dinner by it with my husband. After dinner, I often sit at the same table and journal about the day by the same candlelight. It's my way of connecting to rather than retreating from the lack of sunlight."

Kathie's Favorite Comfort Food Recipe For Fall: Herbal Hot Cocoa

2. Cook with Warm Spices

Elaina of The Rising Spoon (me): "Cooking and baking with warm spices is the epitome of fall to me. I try to use cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, and cardamom (basically pumpkin pie spice) on a daily basis since smelling those spices makes me feel instantly happy & relaxed (scents are a powerful way to quickly affect our emotions). Some of my favorites are homemade pumpkin spice lattes, bulletproof coffee with warm spices, and even DIY personal care recipes like chai vanilla sugar scrubs.

Elaina's Favorite Fall Comfort Food Recipe: Pumpkin-Apple Harvest Muffins

3. Spend Time Outdoors

Laura of You Should Grow: "Fall is the perfect time to be outside! Whether I'm taking a walk through crunchy leaves, smelling the fresh air, or doing some garden chores, nothing helps me clear my mind, cheer me up, and gets me energized more than basking in the warm fall sunshine!"

Laura's Favorite Fall Comfort Food Recipe For Fall: Florida Salad (a.k.a. Cabbage Soup)

4. Drink Hot Herbal Teas

Naomi of Almost Bananas: "My favorite things to do in the fall depend on the weather. When the sun is out, with clear blue skies but mild temps, going for a walk is the best way to get in those autumn smells of decaying leaves and fresher air. When it's gray and rainy out, I drink copious amounts of hot tea, preferably from herbs I've managed to forage and dry during the summer. When I really want to treat myself, I make hot chai tea with fresh spices and rooibos to warm up and cozy down."

Naomi's Favorite Fall Comfort Food Recipe: Ghee Rooibos Chai Tea

5. Air Out Your Home

Elizabeth of The Nourished Life: "As soon as the weather cools down, my favorite thing is to throw the windows open for a few hours a day. Airing out the house makes everything feel fresh and awake, cleansing out that stale air and welcoming in the new season. I’m in the far south where it’s far too hot to leave the windows open most of the summer, so this is a fall ritual I cherish."

Elizabeth's Favorite Fall Comfort Food Recipe: Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

6. Stay Moisturized

Sherri of Overthrow Martha"I have super sensitive skin so whenever fall rolls around, it can act up. I started making these calendula lotion bars a few years ago and I discovered that if I used it at the beginning of cooler weather, my skin was so happy all season!"

Sherri's Favorite Fall Comfort Food Recipe: Gluten-Free Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

7. Up Your Veggie Intake

Adrienne of Whole New Mom: "Fall is a busy time of year for us so it's a time that can be quite stressful. To help mitigate the effects I love breaking out all kinds of herbal teas and airing out the house with the windows wide open. Of course, making healthy pumpkin goodies, and stews, and chilis are not only tummy warming but we make ours loaded with veggies for many health benefits as well. This Pakistani Kima is our favorite recipe of all time--we love making it when the cooler weather hits."

Adrienne's Favorite Fall Comfort Food Recipe: Pakistani Kima Beef Curry

8. Reflect & Journal

Ariana of And Here We Are: "There's something about fall that draws me inward, and I find it's a really good time to journal. Summers are usually full of activity, and it's something that gets put aside for a while. But in autumn, I love to sit down most mornings with a cup of tea or coffee and reflect– I see this time as a season for deepening my own roots and working out what is most important, and how I intentionally want to be living."

Ariana's Favorite Fall Comfort Food Recipe: Carrot & Parsnip Cake (Grain-Free)

9. Eat Warming Foods

Katja of Savory Lotus: "Seasonal changes often leave us unbalanced and in need of some self-care and attention. As the weather shifts to cooler weather, I start to make the transition to warmer, more nourishing foods. Soups, stews, and foods loaded with good quality proteins and fats are good ways to prepare the body for colder weather. They are grounding and warming."

Katja's Favorite Fall Comfort Food Recipe: 30 Minute Turmeric Chicken Soup

10. Read in the Sunshine

Lori of Our Heritage of Health: "When the weather turns cooler and the days start getting shorter, one of my favorite things to do is to sit outside in the sunshine and read a good book. Being fully absorbed with the characters and plot of a good story is one of the most relaxing experiences for me, and autumn is the time when I love to soak up as much light and warmth as possible from the sunlight. And doing both of those things at the same time is the ultimate in autumn self-care for me!"

Lori's Favorite Fall Comfort Food Recipe: Old-Fashioned Maple-Sweetened Spiced Applesauce

11. Pamper Yourself

Linda of The Organic Kitchen: "I love everything about fall, the cooler weather, the colors, the food, even the clothes. I pamper myself with plenty of yoga, reading, and savory seasonal foods. My favorite fall meal is this apricot roasted chicken and vegetables. It's healthy comfort food!"

Linda's Favorite Fall Comfort Food Recipe: Roasted Apricot Chicken with Herbs de Provence

I'd like to hear from YOU! What's your favorite self-care activity or comfort food during the fall season?

Want to slow down and truly enjoy the fall season? Check out this inspiring list of fall-themed self-care ideas and comfort food recipes from some of my favorite blogger friends. Add a few to your weekly routine & you'll be feeling relaxed, present, and nourished in no time.

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PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I ONLY recommend helpful products that I myself would use. And I'm really picky about what I share with you guys. Recommending products that I love or want to own helps me cover the costs of running this blog and keep providing you with free, helpful information. And it costs nothing extra for you. Thanks!

MEDICAL DISCLOSURE: The information included on this website is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions expressed here are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

Maple Leaves on Ground Photo by Mike from Pexels (Creative Commons Zero license)

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