It’s fall y’all (I had to say it)! I hate to see summer go, but I’m kinda a sucker for fall. The brisk air, pretty leaf colors, fall decor, pumpkin everything, and every excuse to stay in and cuddle – it’s the best!
But there’s one thing about fall that has really gotten me the past few years… burnout. I’m a teacher, and usually around October I get pretty exhausted from the beginning of school shenanigans. It’s really hard to explain to someone who is not in education this wave of burnout, but I imagine if you have ever been in a season of business at work and then hit a wall of exhaustion that it would feel a lot like how I feel in the fall.
I’ve decided this year to be proactive about this. Meaning, I am intentionally taking care of myself BEFORE I feel this burnout to hopefully avoid it or at least lessen the effects compared to years past. So today’s blog post is all about ideas of things I am currently doing (or have plans to do) to take care of myself and help me not get burned out this fall season. If you can relate to my situation, I hope that these ideas help you this fall season too!
Establish a morning and evening routine and stick to it
I usually let my routines start to slide as I get more tired throughout the year, and before I know it – I’m not doing any sort of routine at all! I usually end up going to bed late, waking up late, and then running to get to work on time. An endless cycle of exhaustion and stress. Sound familiar? Don’t let this happen this year. I’m currently writing this blog before school at 5:30am! This year, part of my morning routine is waking up early and spending time on my blog. I also try to get into bed earlier than I used to so I have time to read and decompress from the day (although last night was the first night in a while I didn’t get some reading done). The goal is not to be perfect, but to be intentional. Starting and ending your day on the right note can impact the tone for the rest of your day!
Transition your home for cozy fall vibes to help you destress
In the fall, when I start to get really tired and stressed, there’s nothing quite like coming home to a clean and cozy house. There’s just something about a soft blanket and fall candle that helps me relax. You can easily transition your space by adding a comfy throw blanket (TJ Maxx or HomeGoods always has a ton), a seasonal decor pillow (read THIS instagram post for tips about this), and light a fall candle with a scent you are obsessed with on your coffee table. Right now, I have been loving my butternut pumpkin candle in our living room.
Treat yourself to healthy pumpkin everything
I love that it’s pumpkin spice season, and there’s a way to embrace all the pumpkin without letting your health go. If you’ve been around for a while, you know that I really value my health. For me, health is more than looks- I care more how I feel and if I have the energy I need to be my best self. This means I don’t go crazy with eating during the holiday season, I mindfully indulge and find healthy alternatives.
I’m currently sipping my coffee with frothed almond milk + pumpkin spice seasoning mixed in. It’s giving me all the pumpkin spice latte feels without the calories.
There’s also a ton of healthy alternative pumpkin spice oatmeal, muffin, and bread recipes out there. Don’t be afraid to make simple adjustments like using whole wheat flour or decreasing the amount of sugar. I hope to do some recipe testing this fall and will share any that I love!
Find seasonal produce at the farmer’s market
Y’all know I love the farmer’s market for flowers, but I don’t always get my produce there. This is something I have been trying to be better about – especially because I love to cook and bake with seasonal produce. Make a point to go to the farmer’s market and pick up produce that give you the fall vibes- acorn squash, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, carrots, etc. and find a new recipe to create with it! Sometimes something as simple as creating a new healthy meal using local produce is enough to refresh your creative outlet and not get so dragged down from the same mundane tasks each week. I know I always look forward to trying a new recipe, especially if its seasonal!
Get those fall farmer’s market flowers
And this goes without saying – but you know I am obsessed with my farmers market flowers! Try and get flowers with fall color palettes to help bring some life and energy into your space! I justify purchasing fresh flowers regularly because they bring me so much joy (hello self care). This article by Psychology Today actually discusses this!
Plan fun seasonal fall activities
One of the reasons I love the fall is doing all the fall things! This means hitting up the local pumpkin patch and Apple Orchard. This year, Brandon will be gone on away rotations, but I am not letting this stop me from doing these fall things. We may be able to squeeze in an apple picking date before he goes, and I’m third wheeling with my parents to the pumpkin patch when they visit. I absolutely love taking a break from the normal grind and embracing the seasons. Make a day of it – grab some breakfast or lunch before going out and picking some fresh pumpkins or apples. Then take it up a notch with decorating or baking with what you picked. Last year I made THIS apple pie using our apples for the apple orchard (warning it is NOT healthy, it’s definitely a splurge recipe).
Take advantage of the change of season’s cooler temps with outdoor activities
It’s that wonderful time of year where you aren’t sweating your makeup off and it’s not freezing outside. Plan some weekend hikes or morning/evening brisk walks around the neighborhood. We all know there is SO much research on how activity reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. If you are someone who gets stressed in the fall, you need to make exercise a priority, even if its just a walk. I remember Brandon came home from school a couple years ago, and told me one of his professors had explained there is a research study with findings indicating that a long walk has the same impact on the brain as a therapy session. I’m not sure where this statement came from, but it is enough for me to want to get some movement into my day, especially when I am feeling overwhelmed.
Craft it up with some DIY home decor
If you love a good craft, like me, then you know what I mean when I say that crafting can be a wonderful creative outlet. I find it extremely therapeutic to craft and take a break from whatever tasks on my to-do list. I’m the most happiest when I make time for craft projects, and usually I am not doing any sort of crafting in the fall because I am so tired and stressed from work. Not this year though, I am being very intentional about having projects on my calendar so I can ensure I make time for it. If you aren’t sure where to start, I have a couple fun fall crafts on my blog linked below. Check back on the blog the next few weeks for some other ideas, I have a few really exciting crafts coming up!
Set healthy boundaries and limits
Man this is something I have really struggled with most of my life, but in the past six months I have tried to be intentional about this. I’m currently reading The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa Terkeurst and the entire book is all about learning how to discern when to say yes and when to say no to tasks and demands. It has really changed my mindset about being overworked and exhausted- it doesn’t have to be this way. I’m learning I don’t have to feel stressed and burnt out, I have the ability to say no when people ask things of me. It’s really quite freeing! I highly recommend reading this book if you are struggling with how to do this in your life. I’m still learning myself, but we’re all in this together.
Give yourself permission to take a break
If you’re a go-getter like me, this can be a hard one. But sometimes we all need to rest and unwind. If you start to feel exhausted and overworked this fall season, give yourself permission to take a break every once in a while. You can order takeout (and still make it relatively healthy) if you don’t have the energy or time to cook, you can bless your body with an off day instead of heading to the gym, or you can have some alone time and take a bubble bath with all the fall candles. Sometimes its healthy to hit pause and let yourself rest for a while. I personally really struggle with this, but I am trying really hard this season to listen to my body and take a break when needed.
The overall theme of today’s blog post is to make time for the things that make you happy this season. Don’t let this time of year run you ragged. Remember to make time for the things that fill your cup and be mindful of how you are feeling.
I hope you found today’s blog post inspiring. Do you also struggle with feeling stressed and burned out this time of year? Let me know!
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I am not a physician or Registered Dietician. Some blog posts discuss healthy eating and exercise, and the purpose is to share my personal journey and experience with diet and fitness. As always, consult a physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.