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  • The Neurodivergent Therapy Space

Self Care in Autumn

Autumn is a beautiful season full of warm, cosy colours. I am hyper-aware of how much I love the change of the seasons but often forget that this also impacts my mental health.

Around this time of year, I am done with the heat and ready for big comfy jumpers, hot chocolates and blankets. However, after a couple of months of dark nights, I often begin to notice a decline in my mood. The lack of daylight, gloomy days, cold and wet weather and then the pressures of Christmas looming.

For those that suffer from 'seasonal affective disorder (SAD), these low moods can come on thick and fast or slowly creep up on you without you even realising until it suddenly dawns on you that you are feeling quite down.

For many neurodivergent people, change is difficult and this includes seasonal change. Suddenly you have to think about heavier clothing that may cause sensory issues, going out in the rain and potentially having wet clothes for the day at work, having to think about how cold it might be and to prepare for that.

Here are a few suggestions of free/cheap ways to support your mental health during these changes:

- Sensory walks

Take yourself on a walk through the woods and give yourself some sensory visuals, look at all the changing colours on the trees. One place I love to go to in Autumn is:

As you approach the carp park you are above all the trees and the colours are just amazing, The photos on this blog are a few I have managed to capture on some of my trips.

- Conker picking

Connect with your inner child and go conker picking, I do this every year and then create a little basket of conkers as a display in my living room - there's an old tale that conkers in the house keep spiders at bay but this has yet to happen in my house!

- Sensory smells

Autumn smells can be amazing, whether it's candles, cinnamon sticks, pumpkins, hot chocolate or the wintery hot pots in the slow cooker. These are great for connecting you to your senses and bringing you back to the here and now.

- Weighted blankets

A great time to get the weighted blankets out, not only is it great for grounding and soothing anxiety but they are also cosy and can create feelings of safety.

- Art

Whether you have children or not, making art from the things we find outdoors is another great way for self-care and connecting us to the here and now. Whether that is making little bird feeders from twigs and sticks that you may find on a walk, getting the pastels out and splurging autumnal colours onto some paper or getting out the phone/camera and snapping some autumn shots. Remember, you don't need to be an artist. Pinterest has some great step-by-step instructions on a range of different ideas.

- Connect

Whether it's family, friends, a colleague, the GP, or a counsellor. Remember to reach out. I remember listening to a podcast where someone said

" I see a therapist, not because I am depressed but so I don't get depressed."

Keeping track of your mental health should be as equally as important as keeping track of your diet and physical health.

If you are struggling or you want to prevent your mental health from deteriorating then please do hit the contact button. I am a qualified counsellor in York but I also work remotely and can support people from all over the UK.

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1 Comment

Sep 07, 2022

I absolutely love autumn and love all the ideas you have given us to enjoy it even more 🎃👻👁👃🏻🦻🏻🦶🏻🦉🐿🍁🍂🍄❤️

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