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Self-care tips to enjoy before the fall season ends

By Muryum Muhmoodullah, December 4 2021—

Now that reading week is over, here we are again, the stress of exams and finals approaching. Although many of us would like to find ourselves blissfully buried under a pile of fall leaves, we find our-selves instead, buried under piles of due dates, unfinished assignments and unfinished lecture notes to catch up on. As the weather gets cooler, and the leaves begin to fall, many of us are reminded not only of the approaching winter, but of the state of our motivation and mental wellness -— fading and falling just like the leaves. 

But don’t let the grey skies and unceasing textbook pages convince you that it’s all bleak. There are still plenty of tips students can use to unwind and take advantage of the remaining fall weather to help manage some of the school stress that’s hurdled our way. Here are a few helpful tips university students can use to help relax and replenish some motivation and mental wellbeing as this season hurries to an end. 

Fall Fashion and Colours:

There is said to be a correlation between how people dress, and the way they feel. Dressing up well -— as in wearing clothing that fits well, suits the season and occasion and most importantly, you find comfortable — can positively impact how you feel about yourself. As students, many of us battle with school-related stresses and anxieties, but a fun way to mitigate some of that stress is by allowing your mind some room to get creative with fall outfit pieces that look and feel great. This can provide a much needed break from the constant stress of upcoming due dates. 

The fall season brings with it a collection of fashion styles and the staple, fall must-haves. Leathers, flannels, knitted wear, scarves and oversized sweaters are all great examples. With regards to colour, beiges, light pinks and some warm colours like shades of reds, oranges, maroons and browns are more traditional. Hints of cool tones like grays, shades of olive greens and even some shades of blue are definitely season-appropriate. My favourite pieces for fall are sweaters and knitted wear — anything cozy I can hide under while catching up on readings. 

Makeup is also another great way to compliment your trendy fashion apparel. You may try nudes or more natural makeup looks. Your makeup palette can range from shades of browns and pinks to shades of grey and cooler tones. Fall is also a great time to try monochromatic makeup looks that match your outfit. I like sticking to warm shades. For blushes, anything from faint light pinks, to warm wine colours go well with the fall season. 

Candles and fall scents:

Though candles might not be everyone’s immediate thought when they think of fall, it certainly is one I highly recommend trying to help you relax and destress. Scent and smell is said to have a significant impact on mental wellness which shouldn’t be overlooked. According to Chryssa Chalkia, a psychotherapist, candles are connected to one’s mood and memory and can be associated with many positive outcomes including higher energy levels as well as producing calming and relaxing effects, among many other benefits.

It is important that as university students moving into exam season, implementing something as simple and small as reading your favourite book with a scented candle, or as I like to do, draw or paint with your favourite candle, can help relax your mind, calm you down and focus your attention better. This fall season has unique scents to offer that add to that special fall vibe. Anything cinnamon, pumpkins, butterscotch, pecans, waffles, apples, pomegranate, wood aromas and scents are all fabulous. You might even consider using a candle while completing class-assigned readings with your favourite fall scents.  

Fall activities:

Finally, a priceless relaxation and overall wellness tip is making sure you take time out with people you love and appreciate. This is important, since often as students, we find ourselves perhaps cancelling events and hibernating in our classrooms, dorm rooms and homes grinding through assignments, meeting deadlines and dealing with school and work demands.

According to the MayoClinic, healthy, positive and loving friendships have many health benefits including reducing stress, coping with difficulties such as traumas, promoting self-confidence and self-worth, as well as reducing the likelihood of contracting illnesses such as depression and high blood pressure. While adulthood requires us to juggle a ton of responsibilities, being with people you value and who value you can reduce some of the stress you experience and help you find your focus and balance. 

There are plenty of fall activities you can engage in with close friends and loved ones. Below are two of my favorite activities to do before fall concludes.

I like going for walks to soak in the stunning fall scenery. Grab a buddy and your favourite fall drink while you’re at it. Going for walks helps to increase balance, increase bone strength and muscle endurance, as well as reduce risks of illnesses and diseases. However, even once a week is an excellent way to incorporate this routine into your busy schedule. And doing it with a buddy can help turn this into a habit. The view fall has to offer is probably some of the prettiest all year, so might as well take advantage of it before it’s all buried under snow.

Bonfires are another amazing fall activity. In my opinion, nothing beats sitting around a cozy bonfire or a fire pit at home, roasting marshmallows. It may shock you to know that sitting around a fire can have health benefits as well. This includes reducing blood pressure and most definitely relaxing you, putting aside the stress of school for a while, while creating an opportunity to tighten relationships. 

Throwing a bonfire get-together is perfect for this weather as the temperature begins getting chillier. If you’re roasting marshmallows indoors, it’s a great time to throw in a favourite movie. And if you’re hosting it outdoors, nothing is better than sitting together with cozy blankets and sweaters telling scary stories. Plus, a bonfire outside gives you an experience that the indoors just can’t quite do. Imagine sitting under the twinkling stars while watching the ashes from the fire rise while you munch on your roasted marshmallows —dreamy, I know.

As university students, we’re almost always busy. And since we can’t exactly “rake” the stress off our minds like we can rake the leaves off our lawns — though we’d all wish — it’s important to prioritize self care practices.Take time to destress and care for your mental and emotional health, while we learn to balance and juggle all of life’s responsibilities. Take advantage of the weather — although not hot anymore, it’s definitely warmer than winter, and provides a great opportunity to invest in healthy activities and build healthy habits. Fall is stunning, but short, so be sure to make the most of it and enjoy every last sight, taste and smell it has to offer before we welcome winter.

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