I recently read that September is like the Monday of the year. And it’s true, isn’t it? Summer is like one long weekend: an endless parade of sunshine, coat-free days, carefree vacations and breaks from the ordinary. And then September rolls around and that sinking feeling of all that coming to an end creeps in. Believe me, I know. That was me this year.
I had an incredible summer, and for the first time since being in school, I took a proper, month-long break. It was exhilarating, refreshing and positively curative. But then suddenly I found myself arriving home, and well, even the tiniest of tasks felt like it required herculean energy and I felt all the weight of my responsibilities fall, clunk, straight on to my shoulders again. So I get it: the September slump is real. But…true to form, I come bearing positive news: it can be overcome! Here are some tips as to how to get your energy levels and motivation all ramped up again.
Discover ‘the why’
Take time to think about why you’re feeling the way you do. I realise that by saying this, I’m running the risk of sounding really silly, but really think about what you did during the summer, on your holiday or otherwise, that’s different from your usual routine. It could be a whole host of things, such as enjoying the freedom of having a less strict routine, participating in an outdoor sport / hobby or going off to meet and greet people in cultures we consider exotic. Whatever it is, could we possibly find a way to do more of those things throughout the year. Say for example, you took up running over the summer, there may be little reason why, with the right, weather-appropriate gear, you couldn’t continue doing do into autumn and winter. If being near the sea has a calming influence on your life (as it does mine!), you could resolve to travel to the nearest seaside to you, say one weekend every month. The point is, find a way to carry over the things that breathed life into you in the summer over to the following seasons.
Ease into it gently and have a plan
Trying to tackle all life’s business head-on at full tilt is probably not the best approach if you’re already feeling a bit daunted by returning to ‘normal’ life. Sure, you’ll need to face up to some things pretty sharp-ish, such as getting out the house early for school runs. But in other areas, like work, it’s worth investing some time organising and planning before jumping back into the routine blindly; otherwise, you may find yourself overlooking things that actually need to be done within a certain time frame as you struggle to complete individual tasks while still trying to jolt your brain back into work mode.
So, for example, do you have a rough idea as to what your company is going to be doing over the final quarter of the year? Are there any special projects you’ll need to be working on?
Try this: get yourself a productivity planner and list the stuff you do know that will be going on, in order of priority preferably, and beside each, note down timelines, what you think will be required of you and who you’ll need to liaise with. Armed with a plan, you’ll feel calmer, in control, and even excited about the months to come.
Maintain a social schedule
Summer is usually an extra sociable time, what with all the barbecues, the pool parties, the afternoon café rendezvous with friends and the evenings sipping wine at the local watering hole. It seems as if the pace of life slows, to allow this sort of lingering socialisation that we ordinarily feel we wouldn’t have time for. While it is true that, technically, the longer daylight hours and weather of summer do give us more latitude to enjoy these types of activities, we can, and in fact, SHOULD, resolve to continue enjoying social interactions as the days draw in. Sure, these may need to slightly different in nature, but it’s important that we still create time to socialise. Think of ideas to bring the good times indoors. Can we cosy up to dinner parties or movie nights with friends? Or book a table at our favourite restaurant with that amazing fireplace? If you crave being close to nature, how about arranging hikes to take in some of that crisp, autumnal air? Something else I really enjoyed last year was having bonfire nights- think big woolly blankets and roasted marshmallows….hmmm.
Embrace the now
An important way to be happy post-summer is to clearly see the positives of where we are now. Yes, we may not savour the colder temps, but how about those spectacular colours of trees in autumn? If you enjoy photographing as I do, take advantage of the change in season to go exploring on the weekend where there’ll be ample opportunity to snap some pretty cool pics. Instead of pining over no more tank tops and slippers, pull out your favourite jumbo sweaters and remember how wonderfully comfy they are. Maybe even treat yourself to a few more!
What are some of the ways you plan to greet the autumn? Let me know in the comments below.