As the carefree days and warm nights of summer come to a close, so does the freedom of time spent outdoors playing and meeting up with friends. Changes in the season with its cooling temperatures, waning sunlight, falling leaves, and structured routines can create a more somber mood among kids and adults alike, sparking some mild (or not-so-mild) melancholy and depression. Here are some tips to help everyone cope with the late-summer blues and ease their transition into the fall season.
Acknowledge Your Angst
If you’re feeling a sense of loss, you were attached to what happened before and it takes a minute to disconnect and connect to reground. So that sense of loss is a testament to how connected you were to summer. Honor that in yourself. Don’t get so caught up in the fact that you’re struggling. Instead, notice how you’re feeling and acknowledge that you’re going to need some time and maybe some rituals to make the transition and bring yourself back. That’s a much more empowering way to support yourself through the process.
This mindset comes down again to our misconceptions about resilience. Change and growth are often not linear. The whole idea of resilience, the ability to be flexible and adapt to change—implies you’re bouncing back from something. The idea is that you weren’t doing so well, and there is something within you that enables you to spring back to your previous form of functioning or surpass it.
Realize this is a Just Another Transition
Who’s to say getting the end-of-summer blues is necessarily a bad thing, anyway? Maybe what it really means is that you’re actually paying attention to your life and not just getting through it like a robot. The most important thing is to remember how we’ve gotten through other changes in our life. It may sound dramatic, but it is a transition, so if you’re having a hard time coping with the changes, then take some time to plan ahead.
Planners find reassurance in looking ahead and managing what they can control. For those who aren’t planners, they may want to focus more on relationships. Connect with others and add in some self-care. Get plenty of sleep, exercise, do yoga, or take supplements like QOL’s Serenelle, which increases energy and focus by helping the body reduce occasional stress thereby improving your mood. *
Roll Back the Schedule
Begin adjusting bedtime, wake-up time, and eating schedules to avoid an abrupt switch once summer ends. Slowly start to change some of the routine so it's not such a shock in September. Around two weeks before school starts, begin rolling the bedtimes back by 10 or 15 minutes a night to slowly move your and your kids back into the school schedule. You don't want to start the transition when school is already started.
Involve Your Kids
If you have little ones at home, let them help with setting up playdates, starting a chore or homework schedule, or shopping for school supplies and new outfits. Kids will let you know what's trendy and will often have opinions about what kind of design or theme they like for a backpack, lunch box, notebook, or clothes. The more your kids feel a part of the back-to-school planning, the more enthusiastic you and they are likely to become.
Designate an Official End of Summer
One thing that's really nice for families is to have some sort of ceremonial end to summer. Maybe host a neighborhood potluck party or host a backyard s’ mores get-together. Find ways to celebrate the summer ending and have everybody talks about their favorite moments. Whether it's having a barbecue, picnic, or campfire, or making a photo album, rituals can help create closure and allow kids to take happy memories with them into fall.
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