Summertime, and the living was easy. But now the kids are back in school, and the relaxing, slower pace of the past three months has flown out the window as quickly as that permission slip your little one “lost” on the school bus. But this shift impacts everyone, not just parents with kids in school. As summer winds down, people return from extended weekends away, and daylight hours start to shrink, there seems to be a renewed surge in the workplace as well as school, leading to increased stress for everyone.
So what can you do to extend the happier, more balanced feeling of summer through fall and beyond? Here are a few ideas to try this week to hold on to summer for a bit longer, even as temperatures may begin to drop:
- Spend time outside. Even if there is less daylight and it’s a bit cooler, squeezing in time in the yard or at the park in the evenings and on weekends can do wonders for everyone’s attitude. It’s a great break after a busy day and can help everyone get active after sitting at a desk for too many hours.
- Listen to music. Summer seems to have a soundtrack, doesn’t it? From oldies on road trips to top 40 hits on the beach to live concerts with your favorite bands, music brings a sense of nostalgia for the “good old days” of summer. Keep that going by listening to your favorite songs all year long.
- Eat fresh and local. If you spent many weekends perusing and sampling produce at the farmers’ market this summer, you are not alone. Many items are just coming into season, so keep up that tradition through the fall to eat fresh for months to come.
- Plan a weekend getaway. One of the reasons we love summer so much is the chance to get away on vacation. But fall has a ton of great options for long weekends out of town. Check out a few places within driving distance for leaf-peeping, hiking, or city escapes.
- Adjust naturally to the new season. It can be tempting to try to jump right into a new routine for fall, whether it’s an early morning workout schedule or more regular bedtime. But this can sometimes cause more stress if you’re unable to keep it up at first. Let yourself slowly adjust as the season changes to create habits that will stick.
Any transition can cause stress and tension, but especially after a wonderful, carefree summer. Trying to hold on to that feeling can help you feel more balanced and calm all year long.
And check out our other posts for ideas about how to maximize your summer and prepare for a successful school year.
If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to our EAP+Work/Life Program, your Work/Life Specialist can help you find a better work/life (or school) balance as you transition from summer to fall.