Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall: Coping with the Change of Season

person sitting in fall leavesIf your favorite months are the warm-weather ones, then the transition into fall might represent a tough time for you.

If you have kids, they’re likely back in school—at least when you aren’t shuttling them between extracurricular activities. Work meetings may be more prevalent as vacations end. The calendar is once again filling with overlapping events, and you may wonder how you’ll fit them all in. You may look longingly at your checklist of summer fun and lament the things you never got to. When you leave your home in the morning or as the sun sets, you may notice a distinctive chill in the air.

End-of-summer sadness may be setting in.

Check In with Your Thought Process

Some people struggle with a “time’s up!” mentality regarding all the plans they had for the season. That scarcity-of-time mind-set can lead you down the road to the blues. Shifting your thoughts to ideas and plans for finishing the year in the strongest, most positive way possible may help you think in terms of abundance instead. What other great things are to be experienced this year? (If nothing comes to mind, plan for something!)

It may also help to remember that without the change of seasons, you could potentially get bored or complacent with the heat and humidity of summer. A period of colder weather gives us a renewed appreciation for summer each year.

People often talk about how sad they are to see summer go. If your inclination is to express despair at the arrival of autumn, check in with yourself. Is that simply an automatic response? Do you have things to look forward to in the fall and winter? While saying goodbye to summer, what are you saying hello to?

Look Forward

Choose to look forward instead of focusing on the rearview mirror. One way to do that is to engage your senses.

Appreciate that new crispness in the air. Relish wearing cozy sweatshirts or favorite sweaters. Discover clothes you haven’t worn in a while; maybe even treat yourself to something new.

Enjoy looking at the seasonal colors surrounding you: the reds, golds, oranges, and browns. The foods we eat tend to switch from light to heartier fare, and from cold drinks to hot ones. Imagine yourself smelling the first fireplace fires of the season and apples baking with cinnamon.

Consider that the new season brings new sports to engage in or watch.

Appreciate the structure that fall brings, and find comfort in that. Also, let the holidays and rituals that coincide with the change in the weather serve as a guide to moving forward and finding fun and enjoyment.

Bring Summer Along for the Ride

Find ways to hold on to summer experiences—frame pictures to remind you of the fun you had, or perhaps display souvenirs to remind you where you’ve been. Download songs that will make you smile when you associate them with time spent with friends.

Look at your calendar and block out certain days, particularly after busy intervals, to ensure that you have time to breathe and regroup. Do your best to keep those days clear of obligations. These can serve as “days of summer” of sorts.

Look at your calendar and block out certain days, particularly after busy intervals, to ensure that you have time to breathe and regroup. Do your best to keep those days clear of obligations. These can serve as “days of summer” of sorts.

Make sure to plan time with friends and family.

Schedule something fun as often as you can so that you don’t find yourself falling prey to winter weather excuses (too cold, too wet, too dark, too tired) that lead to isolation.

Make notes about the kinds of things you’d like to do NEXT summer, so that you can begin taking steps toward manifesting them.

Turn a Transition into a Chance to Reboot

The change of seasons offers an opportunity to reassess and figure out what’s working and what isn’t. It may be the perfect time to begin something new or take on a stimulating challenge.

The fall represents the harvest. Consider the figurative seeds you planted in January and what you’ve since reaped, and how you might improve on your personal “harvest” next year.

As summer ends, another chapter begins, and while there might be angst attached to transitioning into the next phase, there can also be excitement and anticipation of great things—worthwhile challenges, fun times, and new beginnings.

© Copyright 2015 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Laurie Leinwand, MA, LPC, therapist in Denville, New Jersey

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Les

    Les

    September 23rd, 2015 at 7:39 AM

    My daughter and daughter in law both struggle a little when the weather changes and the kids go back to school. They both get just a little bit down thinking about the leaves dying and the days getting colder and shorter.

  • Jenny

    Jenny

    September 23rd, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    I guess because I so enjoy this time of the year that it has never occurred to me that there are those for whom this is a terrible time.
    While they will see it as a time where everything is turning brown and dying I see it as almost like a renewal, a time for introspection and a time to enjoy the upcoming holiday seasons.
    This is usually the time oft he year when I am the happiest!

  • Isabella

    Isabella

    September 23rd, 2015 at 2:23 PM

    I love to whip out my phone and look through it all the fun things that I did over the summer. Nights out with friends, the beach, the amusement park, all of those fun little memories are right there even on a dreary day I can remember back on the things that make me the happiest.

  • Annabeth

    Annabeth

    September 24th, 2015 at 7:37 AM

    Everything seems so brown and crumbly, plus it reminds me that my mom dies in October so I really don’t look forward to it fondly.

  • cheri

    cheri

    September 25th, 2015 at 7:32 AM

    sniff sniff so long beautiful weather… maybe a beach trip to somewhere warm in the winter months will be in my future

  • anonymous

    anonymous

    September 26th, 2015 at 10:35 AM

    This isn’t meant to be cheeky, but believe me when I say that there are lots of my friends who are happy happy happy that school has started back.

  • Anthony

    Anthony

    September 28th, 2015 at 8:48 AM

    My wife suffers terribly during the winter months. We never understood what was going on with her until fairly recently but it is almost like clockwork every single year that she seems to get very depressed. There is really nothing that we have found that helps all that much except she does take an antidepressant now that seems to give her a little more stability than before.

  • Georgia

    Georgia

    September 29th, 2015 at 9:20 AM

    THE OLDER I GET THE MORE I STRIVE TO FIND SOMETHING GOOD IN EVERYTHING OR EVERYONE, EVEN IF IT MAY NOT NECESSARILY BE THERE.

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