The end of summer is bittersweet for me. I truly love autumn; I enjoy watching the leaves change, wearing cozy sweaters, and having hot drinks all the time. Halloween is also my favorite holiday and I look forward to seeing all the fun decor and costumes that start coming out halfway through the summer. I like the coziness and spookiness that comes with it.
Summer, however, is my favorite season and saying goodbye to it is always hard. I suffer with a myriad of mental health issues, primarily anxiety and depression that can become pretty severe, especially in the colder months. Winter does a number on me and I live in a place that has long winters. Snowfall usually starts at the end of November and can go until mid-April. While I enjoy the idea of snow around the holidays, I don’t enjoy it after that.
My birthday is in July, the last day of Cancer, and summer is my time. The warm air, sunshine, and greenery makes my heart happy. As much as I love a good sweater, I love the heat. I like laying about in shorts and a tank top, a fan blowing on me, reading away the day. I love going camping -pitching the tent, sitting outside, going swimming, having a bonfire. Most of my favorite memories are from the summer months. My mental health problems don’t go away when it’s warm out, but they’re easier to deal with. The sadness still comes, but sitting out in the sun almost never fails to lighten my mood. Getting to feel grass under my feet will never cure my anxiety, but it makes me feel more grounded and helps me breathe a little easier.
Naturally because of all this, there is a certain amount of dread that comes with the start of fall and the inevitable promise of winter. Every year I try to minimize the effect that the cold weather can have on me; I try not to coop myself up too much and wallow, but it’s difficult. It requires more of a conscious effort than in the spring and summer. Usually I make myself a list of things to do that will keep my out of my head and that I know help give me confidence and lessen my anxiety. The list usually includes things like
- Going for a walk, even if it’s cold and snowy out because being outside makes me feel better.
- Wear a nice outfit and don’t just default to pajamas all the time.
- Spend time creating: writing, painting, colorful makeup, photography.
- Try to be social, even when it’s hard and I don’t want to leave the house.
- Read instead of just scroll social media when it’s too miserable to go outside or be around people.
- Embrace bright colors in any way that I can: hair, makeup, clothes, flowers, decor, etc.
I’m sad to see summer go. I feel like I haven’t gotten enough done and that I haven’t enjoyed the weather enough. I’m currently fighting my internal voice that’s telling me that I’m failing because September is here and I haven’t done enough. But the year is not over and my life is not over. There’s more time. Maybe I should write that down somewhere I can see it all the time. It’s okay that summer is ending. I’ll be repeating that to myself over the next few weeks until I hopefully believe it.