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De-Stress at the End of Summer

Natalie
Stein
September 20, 2023
Dad with daughter flexing
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In this article:

  • Stress can have negative effects on your physical and mental health, but you can manage stress to avoid these effects. 
  • Sources of stress at the end of summer may include catching up after a vacation and preparing for a new season.
  • Being kind to yourself, planning ahead, and getting started on a to-do list can help manage stress.
  • Other stress management tips include being active, socializing, meditating, and eating well. 
  • Lark offers a friendly and encouraging program that can help you manage stress and make healthy decisions 24/7 when you use the app.

As summer comes to an end, it’s possible to feel stress levels rising. The autumn season may bring new routines and changes that can be stressful. Too much unmanaged stress can lead to negative physical and mental effects including anxiety, weight gain, increased blood sugar, indigestion, and higher risk for heart disease, according to the American Institute of Stress

Luckily, managing stress can reduce these negative effects. Here are some common sources of stress and how you can address them. Don’t forget Lark can be there for you 24/7 to help manage stress and make healthy choices.

Sources of Stress

Many sources of stress can be present year-round. Work, school, your health or the health of loved ones, relationships, and money are all common sources of stress. 

Here are some additional sources of stress during late summer. 

  • Schedules. They can vary day-to-day during the summer, especially if childcare is part of your life. Travel, camps and daycare, and time off work can all throw off your schedule.
  • Heat. Extreme heat can make people more tired and irritable. In fact, there may be more crime during the summer months due to heat. It can also be frustrating if you have to change your plans due to heat.
  • Sleep deprivation. Some people have a lot of trouble sleeping during the summer. They may find an air conditioner to be too loud when they’re trying to sleep, but turning off the a/c may leave them sweating and unable to sleep well.

Any expected changes in autumn may also cause stress. Here are some examples.

  • Traffic. Roads get busier when schools are back in session, leading to longer and slower commutes in busy cities. 
  • Back to school. If you are responsible for school-aged children or grandchildren, back-to-school time in the fall may mean stricter schedules, homework, driving to activities, and packing lunches.
  • Work. Different industries are on different schedules, but many sectors are less busy during the summer, while intensity picks up afterwards. 

If any or all of these are causing you stress, relax. Here are ways to get it under control!

Tips to Manage End-of-Summer Stress

Here are some tips for managing end-of-summer stress. Try picking just one or two strategies to start so you don’t stress yourself out trying to do them all at once.

Forgive Yourself

Did you fall short this summer? Maybe you postponed making an overdue appointment with a doctor or dentist, or you thought you’d clean the house but the summer heat got in the way.  Or maybe you have vacation photos that you never put in an album.

Whatever went wrong, it’s over. Forgive yourself and move on. For example, you could pick up the phone now to make that medical or dental appointment, or schedule a weekend  to clean the house. You can spend a few hours putting together your vacation album. Whatever makes you feel accomplished and successful is a good choice.

Get Ready

Fall is coming. Having a lot of tasks to do can feel overwhelming and lead to stress. It can help to make a to-do list and tackle your tasks one at a time.

Here are some common tasks to get ready for the new season.

  • Purchase school supplies.
  • Complete your fall wardrobe, which could include making sure you have a sweater or warmer clothes than you wore during the summer.
  • Check your calendar to see if anything is changing, such as taking a new class or having recurring work meetings at different times than in the summer.

For extra help relieving stress, consider volunteering or donating. Research shows that helping out others is good for physical and mental health.

Take a Break

Sometimes, we expect summer to be laid-back and relaxing. Then we get busy and the whole summer seems to fly by without a chance to relax. If you never got your “down” time or if you are feeling as though you need some, take it. 

Here are some ways to “take a break.”

  • Take time off of work if you are eligible; research shows that it can improve productivity and reduce risk for depression.
  • Take a weekend or day trip to change your scenery and mindset. 
  • Have a “stay-cation” during which you don’t work or worry.
  • Ask for someone to help out with children or do another errand for you so you can relax.
  • Hire someone to clean your house.

Taking a break isn’t selfish, it’s necessary! 

Spend Time with Loved Ones

Socializing can be a quick way to de-stress. If you have a bit of a lull at the end of summer, consider whether you want to spend time with family or friends before things get busier. If you haven’t gotten to see your loved ones as much as you wanted this summer, spending just a few minutes with them can be a valuable experience. 

Have you been counting down the seconds until your kids are back in school? Think twice - maybe spending a few minutes of quality time may be what you need to feel less exasperated with them, and to lower stress. Make it quality time by putting phones away and being determined to enjoy the company.

Prioritize Health

Eating well and being active can be good ways to manage stress. As the season changes, it’s a great time to rethink your behaviors so you’re ready to make healthy choices this fall. Here are some possible reasons to reassess your plan now.

  • Schedules may change, which may mean you need to rework your exercise schedule and when and where you go grocery shopping or eat out.
  • The weather is changing, which may mean it’s time to choose different activities to get in your exercise.
  • It may be time to try different recipes as seasonal fruits and vegetables change.

If healthy habits have slipped, it’s a good time to recommit. 

How Lark Can Help

Changes in life can be stressful, and that’s true for the changing of the seasons. Staying aware of your situation and managing stress well can improve mental and physical health. Lark can be there 24/7 to cheer you on and support you as you make healthy choices that can make you feel good. With Lark, you can get motivation and coaching on building healthy habits around food, activity, and more. 

Click here to see if you may be eligible to join Lark today!

About Lark

Lark helps you eat better, move more, stress less, and improve your overall wellness. Lark’s digital coach is available 24/7 on your smartphone to give you personalized tips, recommendations, and motivation to lose weight and prevent chronic conditions like diabetes.

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