For many people the end of summertime means back to school and back to the grind. In the office, the summer slack off season is done and it’s time to get serious as we close out the end of the year. Between the dip in temperatures, shorter days, work and family demands, it’s no wonder people get those post-summer blues.
Try these expert-approved mood boosters as we say goodbye to summer and hello to fall.
1. Ease into the routine.
A lot of people expect to hit the ground running immediately after Labor Day. Allow yourself a solid two weeks to a full month to get back into the swing of your fall routine. You can’t expect to go from a more relaxed summer mindset into a rushed pace. “A lot of people make the mistake of going from summer ease to fall hustle and they end up running themselves down leading to a cold. You want to get a realistic handle on the fall routine and make decisions about how much to take on. Planning ahead helps,” says Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a NYC-based licensed, clinical psychologist and teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College.
2. Go outside and play anyway!
The fall means a break in humidity and beautiful crisp air. It’s common to go from 80-degree temperatures to mid 60s within a month. Enjoy your deck, barbecuing, reading in a lounge chair, having a catch in the yard, or going for a walk in nature. “Get outdoors and avoid spending weekends in hibernation, which only makes people feel lethargic and depressed.”
3. Get things done that you put off during summer.
“When we make a decision to accomplish things we’ve put off and then follow through, we feel more in control and this reduces stress,” Hafeez says. Before the weather takes a turn for the cold and holiday hustle ensues, take advantage of the cooler fall temperatures by tending to things like auto repairs, home projects, pet care, medical visits, and financial assessments. Something as simple as taking a few hours to tidy up the yard, clean out the garage, get rid of clothes can elevate the mood.
4. Recap the summer with a look back at photos and gratitude.
Look back into your social media feeds for the photos posted and memories made. Consider creating a summer photo album with highlights from vacations, pool days, family barbecues, weddings and any other fun that was had.
5. Start brainstorming next summer’s vacation and must-do activities.
“You really want to move into a forward-thinking mindset instead of longing for the past. This summer is over and another one will come. Brainstorming with the family on where to go next, is a fun way to get excited about what’s ahead. When we think about possibilities it elevates our mood so grab an issue of a travel magazine and get inspired,” suggests Dr. Hafeez.
6. When in doubt, get a makeover.
Enjoy a day of primping and prepping. When we are putting the summer clothes away and pulling out the fall clothes, we get to edit our wardrobes and make a list of the new things we want to add. Shopping for new clothes isn’t just limited to the kids heading back to school. A new hair color or style can also mark the start of a new season in a fun new way. “Self-care isn’t limited to meditation, juicing and massages. Finding that perfect fall jacket, shoes, new shades of cosmetics can do a lot to lift spirits,” Dr. Hafeez shares.