Beat the “Back to September Blues”

UPDATE (August 24, 2011): I originally wrote this post a few years ago but I think it is still quite relevant and thought I’d share it again. Here’s to new beginnings! Well, that’s one way of ‘reframing’ the end of summer and beginning of the fall season, isn’t it? ūüôā

Can you hear it? Smell it? Feel it? It’s undeniable. It’s September.

Fall leaves

(Photo courtesy of Rune T from Flickr)

And it’s making¬†its way back into town. Nudging out the lightness of summer…and imposing a little bit of its heaviness…its urgency….the workloads…and with all the seriousness of that familiar and earnest¬†“back to school/work’ mentality”.

Arrghh. Already?¬†I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard (and said myself): “The summer is going by way too fast“.¬†Notice how we¬†never hear anyone say these things in February or March:¬†“Winter is going way too fast….darn, before you know it will be spring”.

August is like Sunday: I think the end of August is akin to what Sundays are to Mondays.  They can bring a little bit of resistance in us. If there was a way to delay September (or Mondays), many of us would!

That resistance seems to be a naturally ingrained habit.  We automatically start to dig our heels in a bit deeper as we get ready to do the heavier lifting that comes with fall.

But here’s the thing (if you’ve been reading my blog – you know there’s always a ‘thing’:): The worry and resistance — albeit may be a bit ‘automatic’ — is¬†wasted energy and definitely not good for your ‘mojo’ (another word in my TGIM vocabulary….i.e your ‘joie de vivre). The worry and regret puts us in either the past or future…and we miss the present! And it takes away the lightness of being that can come with any season — with the right perspective.

Fall is coming – nothing we can do about that. But we can do something about the perspective we hold in these last days of August.

Here are a few¬†tips to beat those “Back to September Blues”:

1) First let’s give summer the farewell it deserves and celebrate it! You can do that literally (party anyone?) or mentally by reflecting on what¬†you loved about your summer this time round.¬†Distinction:¬†This is not about dwelling…it’s about acknowledging. Too often we focus¬†on what we didn’t get around to doing this summer…e.g. didn’t travel enough, take enough time off; etc. That mindset is filled with regret and definitely not good for your “mojo” and TGIM perspective.

So take out a list…and go for it! Nothing’s too small to mention if it gave you a bit of joy. My list includes things like:¬†cycling days, golf, summer cooking, entertaining,¬†etc. I was delighted to make strawberry jam and homemade applie pie for my first time this summer! And in the last weeks of summer I’ll be¬†enjoying the fruits of my gardening labour (literally¬†– tomatoes anyone!?)

2) Now make a list of what you have to look forward to in the fall. Focus on both your worklife and life in general in autumn. I did this and realized that despite my sadness that summer is over, I actually remembered how much I do love fall. It’s a great season. For instance, for those that live in four-season climates, we have the fall foliage; if you like fashion, you can’t deny that fall is the season for new clothes! A new TV/Movie season starts – and in Toronto, one of the world’s best filmfests ever.

On the worklife front, I’m lucky in that I have projects and client work that I’m looking forward to. Yes, lots of work coming….but when I put it in this light…well, it’s much more enticing.¬† How about you? What are you looking forward to in your worklife and ‘life’ in general?

3) Lifelong learners – take a course! It can be work related or anything. Last fall, I got back into my Second City courses. Back to school isn’t just for kids….T’is the season to learn something new just¬†for you!

4) Pay attention and notice what happens as you create your list. I don’t know about you but I’ve been working on my list today and¬†have noticed a marked difference in my energy. I’m now actually looking forward to September! I can almost taste it….and it’s okay!

How about you? Any thoughts/ideas to share? In the week leading up to September it would be great to share some more tips and ideas. Bring ’em on!

Till then, here’s to a TGIM worklife,

Eileen

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One Response to “Beat the “Back to September Blues””

  1. freethehumans Says:

    Dear Eileen,

    I loved the idea of August as the Sunday of the work year. The same kind of mellow Sunday afternoon, with Monday creeping in by dinner time if you aren’t careful.

    Darlene Russell
    LifeScapers

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