For all of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, we’ve got to admit it: summer is coming to an end soon. As we say goodbye to the summer months and transition to fall, we might begin experiencing a change in mood and quality of life.
We know that the summer provides us with physical benefits just from the increased UV exposure and warmth from our beautiful sun. If you were spending even 5 to 15 minutes outside without sunscreen, your body was producing more vitamin D, which is shown to help with mood regulation. For most of us, we tend to be more motivated to get outside by taking more walks, riding bikes, playing outdoor sports, etc. We also tend to be more social with outdoor get-togethers such as BBQ’s, beach trips, and more. If this is true for you, then the summer means a greater connection with your own body and and with others through face-to-face engagement. I imagine this is true for many people out there and I typically feel a collective feeling of excitement and joy during the summer months (at least outside the workplace- people at work are not so happy to be stuck inside).
I definitely experience a decrease in mood and motivation when summer is winding down. I notice a change in my own patterns and feel a different collective energy of disappointment that summer has left us again so soon. It can be easy to quickly spiral down from that first feeling of disappointment and decrease in motivation to then feeling no motivation at all.
Can we catch ourselves before or even right at the start of this spiraling down and challenge ourselves to keep up the quality of life? Can we stay embodied even as the days become shorter and people begin to hibernate? We’ve got about 5 weeks left to prepare for this change.
For any therapists out there, we know it’s important to give at least 4 weeks to say goodbye to a client and prepare them for the end of any therapeutic relationship. Why not give the same respect and care for our own needs?
Plan to set up any activities you enjoy even before the summer ends. Use the spark of motivation and energy you gain in the summer to start healthier routines, like attending a weekly yoga class or a community support group. Prepare to spend more time indoors by ordering crafts or discovering new recipes and set up an indoor workspace so that it’s already there for you. Reach out to a family member or a friend to talk on the phone– or even better, through video chat. Find whatever has meaning for you and ground it in your schedule and make space for it already in the summer. I imagine that’s not very appealing to everybody- after all, it’s nice to feel spontaneous and free in the summer, but summer is only a few months long and it might be more worth it to spread the happiness throughout the year. After all, when you have a greater awareness and control over your body, you become less of a prisoner to your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and have the potential to feel more free…. all year long.
Do you have any suggestions or ideas? Please comment below!
Written by Orit Krug, MS, BC-DMT, LCAT