5 Ways to Sidestep End of Summer Sadness

end of summer

This is Minnesota. Most of us live for the summer season. Three months where we can fill our days with the sun, a slower pace, warm weather, and the water. But alas, the season always seems to sail right by, and we find ourselves bidding farewell just as quickly as we welcomed its arrival. It happens every single year and somehow it still manages to catch us off-guard and leave us in a semi-state of sadness.

If you’re feeling the disappointment, you’re not alone. While it might be time to prepare to send your kids back to school and return to some semblance of routine, it’s okay to still want more of this while desiring some of that.

Here are five ways that may help you fend off some of the impending gloom that plagues you:

  • Find an old notebook (you know you’ve got at least one sitting around from the previous school year) and have your kids each write down their favorite memories. If they can’t write, let them draw a picture of something that represents their favorite moment. Big or small. No memory is insignificant. If it’s something that stuck out in their mind, it’s worth remembering. This notebook is something you can flip through to help remind you what fun looks like through the eyes of a child. Their summer memory might not be what you expect. Chances are, it didn’t cost you much, if anything, so do yourself a favor and file that one for another time. If it made them smile, it’ll make you smile. Reflection tends to ground us with an attitude of gratitude.


  • Celebrate the end of summer with a fancy grill-out. And by fancy, really add some flair. Maybe that means setting out the nice tableware that may only get used during the holidays. Perhaps it’s hanging some leftover birthday party streamers and a couple balloons you found in your junk drawer. Pour some sparkling apple juice for the kids and some bubbly for you. You might be serving up hot dogs or hamburgers, but who cares! Let it be a fun celebration of the season you spent together and the memories you shared. Your kids will find less dread in what’s ending and more delight in what they experienced.


  • Shift your focus. The only way a goodbye seems less painful is if you have something to look forward to. People bring up their summer bucket list every time June rolls around. How about the fall? Sure, it won’t be nearly as long and it might have its own limitations, but there’s no reason you can’t have a running list on your refrigerator. Anticipation is an energy-boosting emotion. Let it help you move from this season to the next.


  • Set a new mood. It might not be pumpkin spice season, yet. But you can slowly start incorporating some Fall feelings into your frame of mind. Already, the mornings are starting to feel a bit cooler. Step outside at 6 AM and you’ll notice that the autumn air is on the cusp of returning. At the end of August, a friend of mine always replaces her summery-scented candles with Fall ones before the weather even turns. It represents a small seasonal shift before it really slaps you in the face. The smell of freshly picked apples, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, or cider. If any of those are a favorite, allow your home to soak up its autumn aroma to help remind you there are still delightful days ahead.


  • Cry. Yes, you can cry. Does it feel a little dramatic to shed tears simply because the summer is coming to a close? Maybe. But as a mom, part of saying goodbye to the season means you’re saying goodbye to a layer of your child’s youth. Each summer is a brief period of time that allows families to pack in some extra fun, make some special memories, and try to bottle up the tender energy that seems to slip further from your fingers every single season. So, as your children continue to grow, these three short months start to become a reminder of what you’re losing along the way. That thought alone warrants a tiny tear or two. Although we are gaining more than we are losing, it does tend to bend our hearts a bit. So, feel free to cry some tears as you sign off on one more summer.

Let me revise the old adage just a little to remind us of what this should look like:

It’s okay to cry because it’s over, but just be sure you smile because it happened.

 You did it! You survived. You celebrated. You sniffled. But most of all, I hope you smiled.



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Korean-born. Minnesota-raised. Alison is a mom of two, who stays fueled by her faith, family, friends and a love for fitness. For her, motherhood means juggling two different ends of the spectrum, with a son in high school and a daughter in elementary. It's a perfect blend of crazy and cool. When she's not cheering loudly on the sports sidelines, she's coaching preschool gymnastics, sweating it out with the Peloton® community, or getting lost in a good book. Writing is both a passion and a profession. While she spends her days working as a Copywriter for a financial institution, her primary love language is when she can write to relate, inspire, and encourage other women. Follow her social musings on Instagram.


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