How to Beat the End-of-Summer Blues
Summer means warm weather, sunshine, and vacations-- it’s no wonder that many people consider summer their favorite time of year. However, all good things must come to an end, and eventually the long, lazy summer days must transition into more structured fall routines. The kids need to prepare for a new school year. Parents have to get ready for managing hectic after-school schedules, waking up early, and making sure everything stays organized. It can be a lot to take in all at once!
That means the end of summer can be disappointing, sad, and stressful, but there are plenty of ways to keep the end-of-summer blues from getting you down. In this article, we’ll cover ways for you to carry those feel-good summer vibes with you right into autumn, including:
Things to do
Things to think about
Some extra support in case you just can’t shake the stress
It’s sad to see summer end, but a new season also opens up new doors to happiness and emotional wellness.
Activities to Keep the End-of-Summer Blues at Bay
The end of summer might make you feel sad, stressed, or unmotivated, but simply giving in to those feelings isn’t going to help you make a smooth transition to fall. Keep yourself busy and work through some of those negative emotions by:
Making a scrapbook or collage
Creating a playlist of music for fall
Starting a new tradition
Find a creative way to preserve your summer memories
What did you do this summer? Whether you went to concerts or amusement parks, spend your days lounging at the beach or went on a great adventure, chances are you have plenty of little mementos of your summer fun lying around.
Instead of letting those ticket stubs and photos gather dust or get lost on the hard drive of your computer, try turning them into a masterpiece! Whether you prefer scrapbooks, shadow boxes, or collages, find a way to turn those trinkets into something you can proudly display.
Pump yourself up for a great autumn season with music
Fall and winter may not be as cheerful and carefree as the warmer seasons, but they definitely have their perks. Whether you love seeing friends and family around the winter holidays, you appreciate the natural beautiful of West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania’s world-famous autumn leaves, or you simply have a sweet tooth that only Halloween candy can satisfy, there is something to get excited about.
Try creating a playlist full of music that captures those fall feelings. Listening to it will help you keep your eyes on what’s ahead.
Start an end-of-summer tradition you can get excited about
Traditions-- whether they are family traditions, friend traditions, or even personal traditions-- can be a beautiful thing. What is something exciting you can do, but maybe only once a year? Invite your neighbors over for a really big cookout. Take a mini-vacation somewhere you enjoy. Dedicate the weekend to knocking one big home-improvement project off of your list.
All that matters is that it’s something you’ll enjoy and can commit to doing year after year. It’s like creating your own holiday-- instead of focusing on the end of summer, you’ll have something more exciting to keep you busy.
Don’t sit inside and mope that summer’s gone-- try these strategies to get rid of the blues.
Strategies for Combating the End-of-Summer Blues
When it really comes down to it, the End-of-Summer Blues are a state of mind. Rather than dwelling on negative emotions, take this as an opportunity for personal growth. Here are some ways you can turn the end of summer into a positive experience:
Focus on the good things
Focus on yourself
Dwell on the positives
As the days get shorter and the weather cools off, make an effort to take notice of the positive things you think, feel, and experience that aren’t necessarily a part of your summer fun. The way a cozy sweater feels against your skin. The smell of fallen leaves. Bonfires. Apple cider. Indoor activities you may have set aside over the last few months like reading, writing, or watching movies.
Taking some time to notice and be grateful for the good things going on around you will make you a happier, more resilient person overall.
Take some time working on yourself and your reaching your goals
Shorter days and colder weather can also free up a lot of time in your social calendar. If you aren’t hanging out poolside, what is there to do? Spend some time getting to know yourself, and think about your goals. Where do you want to be next year at this time, or five years from now? How can you get there?
Put some of your newfound freetime into setting and reaching reasonable goals. If you do this every few months rather than leaving all of your goal-setting for January 1st, you’re much more likely to stick with it and accomplish what you want to accomplish.
Sometimes seasonal sadness is hard to shake. If you find that your sadness is severe or persistent, talk to one of our expert therapists in West Virginia or Pittsburgh today.
What to Do If You Can’t Seem to Shake the Blues
The end of summer can make anyone feel a little sad for a little while, but what happens if your sadness becomes oppressive or just won’t go away? If that’s the case, you might be suffering from a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or another depressive disorder.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is diagnosed if you meet the full criteria of Major Depression in a recurring seasonal pattern. Some common symptoms include:
Feeling depressed all or most of the day
Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
Loss of interest in activities
Difficulty falling or staying asleep
Sleeping too much
Feeling more sluggish or agitated than usual
If you or someone you loves exhibits these symptoms around this time of year, consult a counselor or therapist right away.
Although it’s sad that summer is over, there are plenty of ways to enjoy autumn as well.
As the sun sets on another summer, there’s no reason to feel blue. Follow these tips, and you’ll be happy to trade in your flip flops and popsicles for cozy slippers and hot cocoa in no time!