Every year, the end of the summer brings a sense of disappointment and sadness for me. I want more and I am filled with regret and FOMO for all the things left undone. It doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some things I will be trying to banish those Back to School Blues this year:
Relive Your Adventures
Summer goes by so fast whether you went on an epic adventure or found your fun at home. At the end, it’s hard to remember all of it. When kids go back to school the inevitable question is “What did you do this summer?” Will they remember that weekend you spent camping with friends, or will they go with my kids’ favorite answer: “I played.”
Help them remember what a fun summer you had by looking at pictures together. This can be a simple scroll through your camera roll on the couch, or you can go all out and create a slideshow for the family. When I worked at a summer camp we did an end-of-session slideshow for each group of campers and staff. I loved my time spent putting those together. Seeing all the smiles, the firsts, the fun! How fun would a night with movie snacks reliving vacations and backyard bbqs and time with family be? These memories might be fresher in their heads going into the school year.
Give Yourself Grace
Didn’t do all the things you put on that summer bucket list? Oh well! Don’t stress out about it. Let that pressure to cram epic adventure into summer go. Ask your kids about their summer. Their highlights might surprise you. My kids love the lazy days where I let them stay in pajamas and read and snack all day best. Coincidentally, those are the days that the “you’re wasting this day” thoughts creep into my head, as I scroll Facebook and see my friends on amazing trips.
Ultimately, we are always our worst critics. I wish I had the answer on how to stop it, but all I can offer is encouragement to keep fighting the good fight. Give yourself a compliment. What are you proud of from the summer? This year, I worked on helping my kids with life skills and independence. It’s hard for me to let go of control sometimes, but I keep reminding myself I’m raising adults and it will pay off.
Look Forward to Fun
As hard as the transition out of summer can be, there is always something fun to look forward to. School activities, fall sports, favorite holidays. My kids have inherited their father’s love of planning and lists, so we like to take a little time to set goals and intentions for the year. This could be as elaborate as creating a vision board for the school year together, or it could just be writing down a goal or word for the year.
My kids love to set up their school supplies and pick out new outfits for the first day. Usually, I am the one dragging my feet. This year, I vow to see this time of year through their eyes and with their excitement.