By Nathan Bailey, MA, LPC
The end of summer has a way of sneaking up on us. You might think the world around you goes from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye. Fall might find you struggling to get traction and pick back up with a more regimented schedule. Here’s 5 things you can try differently this time around to help you step into the next chapter of your year:
Close out your summer
Summer has its own unique flair even if you kept a similar schedule to the rest of the year (but I suspect it was at least a little different). If you’ve ever felt a hard time switching into “Fall mode” it might be because you haven’t taken the time to formally recognize that things are changing. You might think this is a bit overkill, but there’s something to be said for a deliberate recognition of the passing of time. Some ways you might go about this could include hosting a final summer meal where you and/or your family/friends talk through the fun memories of the summer. Look at the pictures or videos you made and relive the highlights. Watch your favorite summer themed movie. Listen to a summer themed song on repeat (I recommend All Summer Long by the Beach Boys). If you accomplished goals this summer, take time to reflect on the work you put in and the achievements you earned. Celebrate a summer well lived. Be creative and come up with your own version of this.
Welcome and acknowledge the start of Fall
I’m not (necessarily) talking about performing “opening ceremonies,” but take some time to purposefully begin a new chapter. Take a look at the calendar, note big events coming up. Identify weekly commitments and/or activities that you’ll need to plan a schedule around. Ask yourself “when this season ends, what will I want to have experienced?” If it’s not your favorite season, consider why that is and how you might try something different to make it better for you (like wanting to do Thanksgiving at your house this year…not on the road traveling).
Life moves by pretty fast (so says Ferris Bueller). Don’t let a season slip by without accomplishing something that is important to you. When you make your list, remember to make a mix of small and large goals. Completing smaller goals gives you the enthusiasm and momentum to tackle the larger ones. Clean out a closet, call an old friend you’ve not connected with in some time or focus on reading that one book you wanted to actually finish. Be realistic! Less is more! Don’t make too long a list or you’ll likely get overwhelmed and stop trying. If you finish a few goals, you can always make more. You might need to hit pause or close the door on something in order to increase your ability to achieve the goal.
There’s a long list of fun things most of us get to do in the summer. The beach, swimming, vacation, corn on the cob (you haven’t lived till you’ve tried it with Old Bay seasoning), wearing flip flops…etc. Sometimes when we “put away summer” we focus on the lament that these things are over (and won’t begin again for another whole year). Yes, maybe in some ways that might be true,but there’s also good things ahead! Fall has its own unique experiences. Set some fun traditions to keep that smile on your face. Go apple picking, go for a walk in the crunchy leaves, make a campfire and remember you can still enjoy time with family/friends it might just look different.
Get professional counseling
With the fun and excitement of summer, many people put off making that call to talk to a therapist. We tell ourselves, “there’s not enough time, the kids are out of school, we’re traveling” and so on. Again, this might all be true but it seems like we can always be busy year round. Make this a season where you tackle those things interrupting or preventing you from firing on all cylinders. Get anxiety counseling, explore past trauma to find healing, seek sobriety through addiction counseling or finally work through those problems between you and your spouse in marriage counseling. Maybe you’ve hoped that with time these wounds would heal but you’re finding they haven’t. You might be surprised to learn just how effective talk therapy can be and how you can use this season to create real, lasting change.
Lime Tree Counseling is ready to help you and your family. Our team of high quality therapists can connect with you and walk alongside your journey to health. We utilize evidence based practices and speak in a language you can understand. We have an office in Lower Gwynedd Pennsylvania that provides in-person services to all of Montgomery County but we also offer online counseling in Pennsylvania and online counseling in Colorado.We have friendly and responsive staff (yes you actually get a call back) to ensure scheduling your first appointment is fast and easy. Schedule an appointment today!
Let me be the first to wish you a great Fall in 2021!