Six Ways to Beat the Back to September Blues

If you have been with me for some time you know I’ve written many articles offering tips on how to deal with the ‘back to work blues’ – after a holiday; at the end of summer; or the beginning of the new year. This post draws from many of those articles (which you can find on this blog). Instead of reposting each, I thought I’d do a new version.

As I write this post I’m staring the last days of summer right in the face. Trying to hold on tightly to what remains of this far-too-short season and not really wanting to let go. Still, I do feel glimmers of anticipation for the season ahead. I guess you can say I’m looking ahead with both excitement and trepidation. September is afterall the ‘busy, busy’ season for most.

Oh dear, we’re here already? Goodbye summer – Hello September. I’m sad. I’m glad. Can’t decide which feeling is stronger. I’m reaching for ‘glad’ — with the help of these tips ahead.

 

August is like Sunday.

This yin-yang feeling feels familiar. I get it every summer right at this time. And I hear the moans and groans of resistance from others too.

August is like Sunday – don’t you think? That feeling when it’s still technically the weekend (summer in this case) but you are all too aware of Monday (September) looming and feel the weight of busy week ahead. Sometimes that excites us. Other times it triggers that heavy, bogged down feeling (Sunday Blues? September Blues?).

Antidote! If you are feeling a bit of the “back to September” angst, I’ve got a few tips that might help. You’ll see from these tips that you can shift your energy simply by shifting your focus and making a few small plans.  Read on!

6 Tips to Beat the Back to September Blues.

Tip #1: Don’t lose focus. Enjoy the ‘now’.

As you look ahead and get ready for the ‘busy, busy’ season make sure you also stay fully present to the ‘now’. End of August/early September is a lovely season. I know many people will agree that we are blessed to have the beauty of four seasons and Autumn happens to be one of the nicest. The foliage is in full bloom. The air is still warm. And the food! All the fruits of our gardening labour (or that of our farmers) will be presenting their bounty. Corn on the cob anyone? Homemade pesto? Fresh tomatoes?

Tip #2: Acknowledge (and Savour) Your Summer Highlights.

Before you let go of summer, take a moment to savour the summer moments you most enjoyed. It’s easy to feel the scarcity of not enough summer. It goes by so fast and for many, the weather wasn’t the greatest this year. But dwelling on ‘not enough’ is a bummer and can erase the good and bring you down. Instead, make a list of your summer highlights. They don’t have to be big. Savouring even the tiny-est of moments can infuse you with the boost of positivity and renewed energy for what lies ahead. For me those moments included some nice summer patio dinners, a couple weekend get-aways, a Blue Jays Baseball game (they won!), gardening, a bit of cycling – and lots of good time with the people I love. Not so shabby! When I remember those times, that sense of ‘not enough’ dissolves and I feel grateful for those summer-y moments. Try it out. This easy strategy is only a thought or two away from making you feel better saying good bye to this season and looking ahead to the next.

Tip #3: Get Organized.

Anxiety about so much to do to get ready for September can highjack your mojo at any moment. Avoid the stress triggers by taking some time to get organized — or at least to do something to feel more organized and prepared. Having the to-do’s in your head can create a feeling of disorder and chaos and trigger a ‘yikes’ attack. Get the burden out of your head and write it down. Your brain, heart and soul, will thank you. Writing things down and having a plan for getting stuff done can bring you some calm, peace of mind, clearer thinking. Free up your brain and mind to enjoy the moment – wherever you are.

Tip #4: Create a Meaningful Goal (or two).

If August is like Sunday, then September is like January (oh boy…are you still with me!!??). Seriously – just like the New Year, September is also a great time to refresh your goals and have something to look forward to. Goals can energize us, recharge our mojo and give us a sense of purpose. Think about personal and professional goals and they need not be big goals. Tiny ones work too. In fact, check out my article on Tiny Goals here and see if you can include a few tiny ones in the mix — and experience big shifts in your energy and mojo.

(FYI – if you are into Webinars, one in my roster of offerings is on how to set and achieve goals that inspire and fuel success. I’ve presented this to a number of audiences and organizations and have had very positive response. If you’re interested and can organize a group either from your workplace or elsewhere, get in touch and we can see if we can queue something up for you).

Tip #5: Find/Create Something to Look Forward to.

Although I will miss summer, I do love the fall season. I look forward to Toronto’s International Filmfest which happens every September. I’m already picking my films. I also love the foliage at this time of the year. And being a foodie I can already feel my hearty cooking timer pulling me forward (soup anyone!?). And as for work — I have a bunch of cool projects that I am excited about. So as I write this – I can already feel a shift pulling me forward with renewed energy and optimism. How about you? Make your list of what you are looking forward to.

Tip #6: Sleep well.

It’s easy to be off our schedules in the summer but as September approaches you will need to have your brain at its greatest performing capacity. That means get your zzzzz’s. The average adult needs an average of 7-9 quality hours of sleep. I also find that seasonal changes can make us a bit more tired – especially as the daylight changes and it gets darker. So prepare to do what you can to sleep well and bring the best of you to the busy season.

Want more?

See Best Practices for Success (I wrote it in January but it works for September too!).

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Here’s to a strong, happy, start to the ‘busy’ (and good) season ahead!

Eileen Chadnick (@Chadnick) is a certified executive/ leadership, and career coach; a communications pro (20+ years of experience) and principal of Big Cheese Coaching and Chadnick Communications in Toronto. She is also author of Ease: Manage Overwhelm in Times of ‘Crazy Busy’. Eileen draws from the science of positivity, leadership, neuroscience, emotional intelligence – and Conversational Intelligence®(C‐IQ®) in her work as a coach, consultant, trusted advisor, and facilitator.

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