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Five Tips For Managing End-Of-Summer Dread

It's mid-August, and over the weekend, conversations with friends and family members turned toward the dreaded end of summer. Two friends are facing the emotional reality of sending their little guy off to daycare for the first time, my sister is starting to worry about how she is going to get her kids from point A to point B every day, and I'm uneasy about the shortened days that somehow make me think about snow (gasp!).

But as a counsellor, I feel responsible for pulling myself together and shifting perspectives, so here are five strategies to help you (and me) deal with end-of-summer dread.

1) Face your feelings and move on. It's okay to feel anxious, worried, or depressed, and it's helpful to acknowledge your feelings but try not to give them too much time or power. If your thoughts and conversations continuously veer toward unhelpful end-of-summer themes, steer them toward something else. The truth is, it's still summer right now.

2) Face the facts. Look at a calendar so you have a visual of the days and weeks ahead. Depending on how you see it, it might look like you have more or less time, but at least you will be looking at something concrete.

3) Make a list. Your mind is probably racing with a million things you must do to prepare for the seasonal change, so write/type out everything you can think of in no particular order; get those thoughts/tasks out. Once everything is documented, prioritize the items in a list. Once you know exactly what tasks you are facing, you can begin planning how to tackle them

4) Take action. Commit to doing at least one actionable item each day so you are not overwhelmed at the very end of the season. Taking action will give you a sense of control, accomplishment, and success.

5) Enjoy the present moment. The best way to ease end-of-summer panic is to create more summery moments. While your kids are home from school, plan more fun things with them. If there are friends you want to connect with but haven't yet, make it happen. Enjoy all of the sensory delights of the summer season; relish in the sun's warmth, savor the ice cream melting on your tongue, feel your buoyancy in the water, sing summer songs, and delight in the magnificent sunsets.

As always, we aren't guaranteed tomorrow; this present summer moment is all we really have, so enjoy it as much as possible!


If you live in Ontario, are facing a change or life transition, and need extra individual counselling support, I'm here for you. Click the button below to visit my website, learn more about online sessions, and book a free 15-minute consultation. Most employee health benefits cover my services.


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