Comforting Fall Self-Care Ideas That Will Leave You Feeling Nostalgic

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I don’t know about you, but fall is my favorite time of the year! It probably has a lot to do with my birthday being in October, but everything about fall makes me feel a little bit happier.

The leaves falling off the trees.

The smell of the *crisp* fall air. You know what I’m talking about.

Getting dark at 5 PM.

Being seasonally appropriate to wear a beanie all the time (I have Star Wars beanie that I wear even in the summer ? ).

It also reminds me of being a kid again.

Playing in the leaves.


Starting school again.

So why not bring some of that fall fun back? I’ve thought of 14 fall self-care ideas that will get you in the spirit of the season.

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Fall Self-Care Ideas

These are just a few of my favorite fall self-care ideas that make me super nostalgic for my childhood. These are just a start and may help you come up with your own ideas!

Bake Some Pie

I don’t know about you, but nothing screams FALL like pie. My favorite pie just happens to be apple, but you can make any pie that your heart desires. Other fall favorites are sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie!

Here’s an awesome recipe for apple pie!

Go Apple (Fruit) Picking

Apple picking was one of my favorite fall activities when I was younger. My parents would take my sister and I to an apple orchard about an hour away from our house. It was so much fun learning about the process of growing apples and then being able to pick them ourselves. Depending on the area that you live in, you may have other fruits available to “pick” too.

Get a Pumpkin (and Paint it)

Is a pumpkin considered a fruit? Other than apples, I think pumpkins are the “thing” for fall (especially if you’re a pumpkin spice latte fan). My sister and I went to the grocery store to pick out a few pumpkins. I was honestly amazed at all of the varieties of pumpkins that could be purchased. There was even a pumpkin variety called the “Cinderella Pumpkin”. Instead of going to a grocery store like I did, head to a pumpkin patch to make it more fun.

I kept my pumpkins “au natural” and set them on my porch, while my sister decided to paint a few of hers. She used paint markers (similar to these) to paint her pumpkins.

Make a Fall Collage

Collages were probably something that you did a lot of in school. If you haven’t done a collage before, here’s the basic premise: you collect a bunch of things around a common theme and paste/or tape them to a poster board. It is sort of similar to a vision board.

I haven’t made a collage in a long time but thinking about this activity makes me want to do it! Some things that you might want to use in your collage are:

  • Markers
  • Stickers
  • Leaves
  • Pictures from old magazines

Paint Your Nails a Fall Color

I don’t do my nails very often but when I do, they are usually in colors that everyone associates with fall. I think this nail polish set would be perfect for fall.

Don’t forget to head to Pinterest for some fall nail inspo!

Make S’mores

The best thing about s’mores (other than the fact that they’re delicious) is that they are super simple to put together. All you need is chocolate bars, graham crackers, and marshmallows. You can easily grab these on your next grocery trip (or use Instacart like I do and have the yumminess delivered).

Because I don’t have access to a fire pit, I make my s’more in the microwave. If you’re doing it this way, my best tip is to only microwave them for a few seconds. While watching the marshmallow expand is fun, it’s not something you want to clean off your microwave.

If you DO have access to a fire pit, definitely make them outside!

Go to a Haunted Maze (or Regular Corn Maze)

I’ve been to both haunted mazes and regular corn mazes. They can both be incredibly fun and intellectually stimulating! Yes, using your brain to solve a puzzle, (like a maze) is self-care too!

The best part about haunted mazes/corn mazes is that they often have other fun fall activities like pumpkin patches, s’mores, and campfires. Going to one of these is like a full fall self-care package!

Go on A Hayride

Like the above, hayrides can be both “regular” and haunted. When Halloween rolled around, this was the thing that I looked forward to the most. I love haunted hayrides MORE than haunted mazes. I have no sense of direction when I’m in a maze and I’d rather sit back and “relax” while the scares come to me.

Start Drinking All the “Fall” Drinks

When there’s a slight chill in the area, it’s time for the fall drinks to come back into prominence. Probably already know about them all but here’s a list of some of the best:

  • Pumpkin Spice Latte (I gotta mention it!)
  • Mulled Wine
  • Chai Tea
  • Apple Cider (my favorite! I drink it cold and hot).
  • Hot Chocolate

Watch a Scary Movie

I watch scary movies all year because they’re my favorite genre of movies, but I put it into overdrive during the fall. This fall self-care activity can be done all alone or with a group of friends. Many of the streaming services have it so you can even watch along with friends all over the world. Pop some popcorn, get a blanket, and make sure to leave a light on.

Practice Gratitude

Because of the holiday season, especially with Thanksgiving, people are often thinking about gratitude during the fall. Practicing gratitude is just being thankful for the things that you have. Here are a couple of ways that you can practice gratitude:

  • Say five things you’re grateful for when you wake up and before you go to sleep
  • Pay it forward by doing a random act of kindness
  • Try gratitude journaling

Go on a Walk

While fall is often a bit colder, it doesn’t mean that you still can’t enjoy some time outside. Taking a walk and looking at all the leaves changing is such a nice way to spend an afternoon. If you’re more adventurous, kick it up a notch and go on a hike. Grab a friend and some hot chocolate to add to the fun.

Light A Fall Scented Candle

Candles are a huge part of my self-care, including my spiritual self-care practice. I have a lot of candles to choose from but my fall-scented candles are probably my favorite. My favorite fall-scented candle is Warm Apple Pie from MainStays/Walmart.

Try Dry Brushing (and moisturize after!)

Dry brushing is a technique that involves brushing your body with a unique bristled brush. Some of the benefits of dry brushing include:

  • Increasing/encouraging circulation
  • Removing dead skin cells
  • Assisting moisturizers to penetrate the skin

As the weather gets a bit chillier and you start to bundle up more, it’s very tempting to not take care of your skin. Because, who’s going to see it right? You’ll still see it and you deserve to have beautiful, radiant skin, even if no one else will see it.

I have a dry brushing set and it has done wonders for my skin. Check out this awesome article about how to start dry brushing. Don’t forget the important step of moisturizing your skin too!

Again, fall is my absolute favorite time of year so I hope that these fall self-care ideas put you in a good mood! Do you any favorite autumn self-care activities that you like to do? Or other self-care tips for the fall? Let me know in the comments!

Briana Hollis is a licensed social worker and self-care coach. She earned her Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2014 and her Master of Education from Tiffin University in 2019. She has spent the last 5 years working in crisis intervention.  Her passion for serving others is the heart of this site. She started Learning To Be Free to assist others in bringing freedom to their lives.

Briana is also the author of The Self-Care Journal for Young Adults.

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