By Angie Horjus, NBC-HWC, NASM-CPT, FLT-LE
I think it’s fair to say that in August, a good number of us feel a sense of longing for summer to stay. Getting ready to say goodbye to a favorite season can bring on a sense of loss and other uneasy feelings as time ticks toward a busy autumn.
Change, in general, can be a challenge—especially when it’s the kind we cannot control. We are naturally inclined to resist change, so deciding to approach this year with a positive attitude and openness to welcome change will keep us on the right path.
Before summer is over, make a list of what is already going well and what you love the most about the season. What are the best ways to keep in touch with summer friends? How can you bring some of those same scents of summer into your home? What self-care routine will you continue to do daily that served you well all summer long? Take time before the end of the season to savor your summer memories and plan for fall—it’ll make the transition easier when the time comes.
Get into the new season.
Here are just a few ways you can really embrace the next few autumn months.
- Stay true to yourself. If you’re feeling a bit blue, say so. Talk about it with others—they may be feeling the same way.
- Fill in your calendar or write out a vision of an ideal fall season. Include all of your favorite seasonal events such as football games, apple picking, donuts and fresh cider or shopping for warmer clothes. Identify ways to move yourself into a more positive way of being with your feelings.
- Change up your workout routine or get started moving more. A fresh exercise routine can be just the thing to help keep a positive attitude and regain calm as the environment transforms. Take a walk or pull weeds in the garden. Getting outdoors is beneficial to our wellbeing by giving us the opportunity to feel and appreciate the change in air temperature and take in the changing colors of the leaves and shapes of the clouds.
- Get interested in the nature of things. Look up some fun facts about the changing seasons. For example: the scientific adjectives of the four calendar-based seasons are vernal for spring, estival for summer, autumnal for autumn and hibernal for winter. How interesting! Perhaps learn about the different ways that animals prepare for seasonal change. Choose topics that are inspiring to you that you’ve always wanted to know more about. Share your knowledge with others.
- Turn this time of change into an opportunity for growth. Be prepared for those down days when you’re already wishing for the next summer season. Give yourself a short lesson on mindfulness. Try a mindfulness app like Headspace or Calm. Or, try journaling about the things you are thankful for this season. Think outside of yourself. Ask others how they manage the changes that come with the season’s modifications and learn from them.
- Give yourself time to adjust. Enjoy feeling like you’ve gained an hour on Sunday, November 3 for daylight saving time. Eating right, exercising and feeling well rested will be in your best interest for optimal health and sense of wellbeing during this period.
If what you’re feeling in August and September is more than just the end of summer blues, make sure to review these seven signs of a possible mental health condition. Your health insurance company can also be a resource for mental health help. At Priority Health, we help our members understand what help is available, what their plan will cover and how to find counselors or behavioral health care providers to meet their needs. Log in to your member account or call the number on the back of your member ID card for more information. Not a Priority Health member? Check with your insurance provider. And for Michiganders in need of free or low-cost mental health, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has a county map of community mental health service programs.
About the Author: Angela Horjus is among the first National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coaches at Priority Health, and in the US. She approaches her clients and all people with curiosity, respect and a spirit of fun. Angela’s passion for helping others become the best versions of themselves has inspired her current work as a health and wellness coach and throughout her past ventures. Her fitness career of 20 years, including but not limited to group fitness and personal training, cultivated the inspiration to write articles promoting self-improvement and personal growth. Angela’s continuing education is with nationally recognized institutions in health, fitness and wellness specialties. She also has an English degree from Grand Valley State University. Angela is currently working on her American College of Lifestyle Medicine certification.