How To Relieve Your Post-Summer Blues
It’s no secret that summertime can derail our schedules from our standard routines, we spend more time outside and enjoy the longer days. Summer typically feels more enjoyable and carefree, and we typically put a lot of pressure on ourselves in the summer months to take full advantage of the three short months to vacation, hit our fitness goals, fill our days living to the fullest. When summer wraps up and September hits us with the reality that the long, sunny days are slowly coming to an end, it’s easy to feel emotionally low.
You can feel regret creeping in and uneasy feelings about the months ahead with school starting back up and the holidays right around the corner.
You might be feeling sadness, guilt, regret, panic and like the whole month of September is filled with blues from the realization that time is passing you quickly. This sense of sadness and unfulfillment can turn into Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. It’s common for symptoms to start in the fall and continue into the winter months. You can feel depressed most of the day, losing interest in activities, having low energy, having problems sleeping or oversleep, feeling sluggish and tired, hopeless, worthless and guilty - but you don’t have to feel this way.
Instead of looking at the end of summer as a bad thing, see it as a time to reflect and recommit yourself to your life. The transition to fall and winter doesn’t need to be abrupt. Ease yourself into it slowly by changing your perspective. Everyone looks at New Years as a new start, but why not do the same thing with fall?
Recommit to your goals and get back on track doing all the things you lost track of this summer. Clean out your closet, set new goals for the rest of the year, refocus on working on ridding your lousy habit(s) or tackle something you’ve been avoiding doing all summer. Fall is the perfect time to wrap up leftover summer projects that you didn’t get time to complete, or just merely avoided.
Creating monthly or quarterly goals is also vital to help you feel on track in life. We typically feel the best when we know we are productive. Creating goals helps you zone in on what’s important at this point in life and guides you to take things one step at a time. Goals help you measure progress, while also holding you accountable to avoid procrastination.
Doing small tasks or changing/creating new habits will help you feel more at peace with yourself. If you’re a to-do list kind of person, create to-do lists so you can see yourself accomplishing tasks - that will help you realize your accomplishments and see you making the most of your time.
It’s also important to have something to look forward to so don’t stop making plans just because the sun is setting earlier. If you can’t get out of town with your schedule, plan a staycation. You can set up camp in your backyard and roast marshmallows or you can stay at a hotel in your city to make you feel like you’re getting a little escape. Plan and do activities to enjoy the present moment, instead of looking back.
This goes hand in hand with creating time to just be. It’s easy to get wrapped up in things, but it’s more important to create time to relax and allow yourself to be without pressure. This time can be spent doing yoga or meditation, but if those aren’t your things (they don’t have to be) then find what works for you. Maybe it’s reading, knitting, writing, painting, playing a sport or any other outlet. It’s important to have something in your life that grounds you and allows you to be - something that helps you feel like you have an escape.
Self-care is vital in these months after summer wraps up to help you live a happy and healthy life. It’s normal to feel sad after summer ends but don’t think of it as an ending, think of it as a chance to realign your life and get back on track. This is a fresh start.