We have spent decades of our life associating summer with relaxation and with fall as a season of renewal. It’s ingrained in our brains. Yes, even though it has been years since backpacks, book covers and passing notes, our brains still think this way. I remember my first summer after graduating and starting a full-time job. It felt like something was off. I missed the finality of the beginning and ending of the seasons. Even long after we've left the school hallways, we still feel an ache for the closing of summer and beginning of fall.
This, my friends, is called Back-to-School Syndrome.
September is still a season of change. Maybe your big kids are heading back to school or you’re dropping off your toddler at preschool for the very first time. And don’t get me started on the downhill slide into the holiday season. Back-to-School Syndrome is alive and well in all of us. But there's a right and a wrong way to lean to into it.
Hold off on throwing out all of your summer clothes. We’re all very excited for cardigan season, trust me. But warm days will linger a bit longer so hold onto your shorts (literally). And before BTSS convinces you to buy a fake Christmas tree in “preparation” or quit your job to chase your dream of being a TikTok influencer, pause and take a breath.
I’m all for cleaning out your closet or incorporating new creative hobbies into your routine. Just consider holding off on anything you could potentially regret three weeks from now once the anticipation of fall has burned down a bit.
Here’s what you can do instead to maximize BTSS:
- Move your furniture around for a fresh perspective
- Start a Pinterest board for Halloween costumes (Sollyween, anyone?)
- Switch up your beauty routine with new fall products
- Buy a new planner to stay on top of your growing family's commitments
- Start training for your first 5K (when your care provider gives you the green light—this is not something you want to rush postpartum!)
- Sign up for a creative workshop. Think floral arranging, watercolors, macrame. Something new!
- Throw a fun fall brunch party with your girlfriends
- Get down with a new DIY project
- Learn how to cook or bake a seasonal dish you’ve never made before