5 Ways to Dodge the End-of-Summer Doldrums

Don’t let the sun set on your fun.

Summer: We can’t wait for its arrival, complain when it gets here and wonder where it went when it’s gone.

It’s been said that August is like the Sunday of the summer. If you think of summer as one long weekend, that pretty much sums it up: June is Friday, July is Saturday and August is Sunday.

Problem is, a lot of us have a problem with Sundays. A 2013 Monster.com survey showed that nearly 60 percent of Americans have significant Sunday blues, while German and Swedish researchers have determined that Sunday is the statistically least happy day of the week.

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There’s just something about August that bursts our summer bubbles. The season may not technically end until Sept. 22, but it always feels like it’s over much earlier than that. Shorter days and the school year starting up just bring a sense of finality to the season.

“People do get down about it,” says Liz Brown, life coach/owner of Be Well Life Coaching in Centreville. “I think people in general have issues with transitions, but when we make the intention of enjoying where we are, it doesn’t seem like it’s lost so much when it’s over.”

Here are some ideas to keep your carefree summer self alive and well through the fall and into the winter.

1. Go on an adventure. True, there are things you can only do in summer, but there are a lot of activities that are unique to the fall as well—like picking apples, jumping into a pile of leaves or just walking through the colorful landscape of an early-evening twilight. “It’s just a question of being intentional and thinking ‘What do I like about this?’ just like you would say, ‘What do I like about the summer?’” Brown says.

2. Plan for next summer. Summer 2016 may be in the rear-view mirror, but the Earth’s rotation around the sun guarantees another one that might be even better than this year’s. Is there a destination you’ve always wanted to visit or an event you’ve always wanted to attend? Planning can keep you happy and excited until it arrives. “Studies show that anticipating something is almost as good as doing it,” Brown says.

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3. Try something new. Remember that clean-slate feeling you used to get at the start of every new school year? The change of season is a great time to change yourself. (As a life coach, Brown says she sees a lot of new people in the fall.) After a summer of fun with family and friends, take some time to do something for yourself. Whether it’s partaking in a new hobby, enrolling in a class, joining a club or simply changing up your exercise routine, continue to expand your horizons and nurture your interests.

4. Explore the great indoors. Longer nights don’t have to be dismal. When the colder weather arrives, take time to relax in the bath, in the kitchen or by the fire. When the “salad days” of summer are over, you can get back to whipping up those warmer meals that stick to your ribs and warm you from the inside. Don your lounging gear, grab a blanket and curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and a good read. The cooler seasons are the best times to enjoy your own home, Brown says.

5. Let the season inspire your living space. The changing season is a perfect time to change your decor inside. “The colors of fall are just breathtaking,” Brown says. A palette of warm reds and oranges, mixed with pale yellows and muted greens, will lend a fresh feeling to your life as things change and move forward.

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