I’ve recently heard a lot of people use the term ‘August Anxiety’; this describes the panic/dread associated with the thought of summer coming to an end. I can relate to this, having experienced similar anxiety around this time last year.
Before delving into this, I want to touch on the difference between feeling anxious and having anxiety.
I have a real issue with people using the term anxiety lightly. Feeling anxious or worried about something versus suffering from anxiety are two VERY different things. I could write a whole post on this, but to summarise, feeling anxious occasionally is natural and healthy. Anxiety becomes more problematic when it is not just an occasional occurrence, but a mental health condition that needs to be treated as such.
I’ve read an abundance of articles comparing end of summer anxiety to ‘back-to-school blues’, which once again I think undermines what anxiety actually is. ‘Back-to-school blues’ and anxiety are NOT the same thing! However, I thought it would be helpful to share a few of my tips on dealing with end of summer anxiety – whatever your definition/concept of this may be!
- Embrace new challenges
I will be taking part in my first triathlon at the end of September which is a completely new challenge for me. I’m dreading it a little due to the swim (and the cycle. And the cold water. And the transitions. And everything but the run), but I know that the sense of accomplishment will be incredible.
Try something new that keeps you active/something that energises you!
2. Enjoy the sun
I try to spend as much time as I can outside; I swear by a lunchtime walk every weekday, no matter what the weather. The extent to which daylight exposure impacts mood is something that I’m not going to delve into, but I have experienced some of the short-term benefits.
Plus, my anxiety will often become worse when I don’t exercise (to clarify, the only reason I wouldn’t exercise is due to injury/illness); walking is a fantastic form of exercise, and there is an abundance of Scientific research to back up the effectiveness of adding walking to your daily routine.
3. Take a technology break
Whilst I cringe at the (ever so) millennial term ‘social media detox’, taking a break from technology has been key.
Apart from sending the odd message, I put my phone in airplane mode an hour before I go to bed. I muted all group notifications manyyyy years ago, and as of this weekend I’m going to turn my phone off either every Saturday or Sunday from 9am – 6pm.
This has been beneficial for my mental health in a variety of ways, a key one being SLEEP.
I’m aware that I’ve mentioned this on multiple blog posts, and I will continue to highlight it in future posts. Talking about your thoughts and feelings is a fantastic coping mechanism; your feelings are important, your feelings are never insignificant, and opening up about your struggles will (hopefully!) make you feel a bit better or at least remind you that you are not alone.
Talking about your feelings allows you to take control of them, which determines how you feel, think and act.
I have previously written a post on the health benefits of journaling. Check it outtttt.
I hope that this was helpful – I know that end of summer anxiety or any form of anxiety is a lot more complex than this, and there are a wide array of treatments and coping mechanisms that I haven’t touched upon. These are just a few things that have helped me.
How do you deal with end of summer anxiety? I would love to hear your thoughts!