Summer's over, yet again...
And the end of summer can lead to some blue feelings, especially for the start of the school year (highschool, college, even graduate school). And while there can be excitement at the start of the new school year, it can be hard to deal with the anxiety.
Typically, the teens and college students I work with tell me they worry about a more busy schedule, more expectations put on them by parents and teachers, or just knowing that there's less time to fit in impromptu socializing with friends.
What are some ways you could combat the anxiety and sadness that comes with summer ending?
1. Make time to build in healthy skills throughout the year:
I often find that it's so easy for people to overcommit to activities in the summer. With the shift to fall and winter, you actually may have more time to add something different to your schedule - such as joining a gym, signing up for yoga, or taking an art class. Use this extra time for something beneficial.
2. Get outside:
Many people naturally end up outside more during summer, so make sure that you continue to get some fresh air throughout your day. You can even set a reminder on your phone. I recommend people shoot for at least a 30 minute walk outside once a day.
3. Friendship is a beautiful thing:
Also, make sure you continue to stay in touch and regularly meet with friends, even if your activities shift from outside brunches or starbucks visits to staying in and watching netflix together.
4. Think through what you love about summer:
Is it spending time with friends and more outdoor time? Do you love getting to go the pool? Long weekends? There are ways to enjoy these same activities in fall with tweaks. Consider working your class schedule so that you have more time off on Fridays (and make sure you actually get out of your dorm on those days). Or go on a hike - something that it's often too hot to do in summer. If you noticed other years that friends are less available to hang out than in the summer, are there other people you know what you'd like to be more close to? You can bring them into the fold.
Disappointment is totally natural when it comes time to end summer and get back to school. Recognize that this is likely to occur, and that it doesn't make you sad or weak or weird. And by accepting and noticing it, you'll end up experiencing less distress than if you tried to just shake it off.
Should I meet with a therapist about this?
Anxiety, stress, or feelings of depression are all common at the end of the summer.
But if you're noticing that these emotions are getting in the way of your enjoyment, or feel a little overwhelming, consider talking with a counselor or therapist.
And sometimes, just having another person to talk to is super helpful on its own.
Curious to hear more? Wondering if counseling is the best next step for you? Contact Kelsey at firstname.lastname@example.org to hear more, or to get referrals to other therapists in your area. Kelsey's office is located in Clayton, and she works with kids and teens, from age 4 through college, throughout St. Louis City, St. Louis County, University City, Ladue, Creve Couer, Town and Country, Webster Groves, Richmond Heights, University City, Kirkwood, etc. Kelsey specializes in anxiety, stress, perfectionism, along with anger management.