Treatment for Those Late Summer Blues

This week I have been hearing about sadness about the end of summer sneaking up on us.  I look at the calendar and see that school starts in three weeks, and I know that in many parts of the country it starts sooner than that!  Meanwhile, dusk is arriving sooner.  Last week I wrote about back to school jitters.  This week I want to address the fact that it is still summer!  As I said to one young client, what do you want to do with this part of your summer?  There’s a wonderful poem by Mary Oliver, The Summer Day, that ends with the lines, “Tell me, what is it you want to do with your one wild and precious life?”

That might be too grand a thought, but maybe not.  Summer, leisure, pleasant times with our families, these are all things that we need to plan for and grasp when we can, just as we need to grasp the summer days while they are here.

So, is there something that you have wanted to do with your children (or without them) that you can still fit in?  What means summer pleasure and leisure to you?  What would you be sad to miss come October?  Can you manage to fit it or something like it into your life?

Here are some of the thoughts that come to my mind:

Going to the beach (ocean or lake)

Bike riding in the country or through a park

Canoeing or kayaking

Going to a summer release movie

Working on a jigsaw puzzle, or playing a family game

Spending an entire afternoon reading


Going to an amusement park or water park

A trip to a zoo

A trip to a museum (Many public libraries lend out membership cards to decrease the entrance fee)

Going to an outdoor concert, movie, or play

Camping out


Lying in the grass and watching clouds go by

A picnic

Swimming, playing in surf

A visit to a fine ice cream place

Fried clams (in my part of the US)

Lobsta dinna 🙂

Some of these take a day; some take much less time.  The point is to find enjoyment—on your own and with your family.  Make sure that you find a few times when you can say, I really wanted to do this, and I am doing it!  Living a healthy life involves balance and finding pleasure in the midst of busy-ness.

Good luck with this.  I would be happy to hear from you what you plan to do.  For myself, I’m going to the shore for a few days.  🙂


Click here to sign up for my newsletter, Parents’ Corner, and receive my free report, “Living With and Loving Your Disorganized, Impulsive, Forgetful, Yet Delightful, Funny Child”.


Photo credit:  Moose Mama on Flickr


10 Responses to “Treatment for Those Late Summer Blues”
  1. Love this! Funny I was thinking of doing the same theme as well! Making the most of what is here now! Nice post!

  2. Carolyn,

    My kids are already in their second week of school (yikes). But there are still a few summer things I’d like to fit in. Weather permitting, we’ll be back at the pool this weekend. And it’s been so hot here in the Midwest that we’re delaying our campouts until fall weekends.

    I’m also looking forward to fall activities: apple picking, leaf piles for jumping, planning Halloween costumes. 🙂


  3. JoAnn Jordan says:

    Like Ann, school has started here. Yet, I think weekends and holidays can still be filled with fun events. And, some activities such as museums can be enjoyed year round.

  4. This is a great reminder to stay grounded in the present (a great antidote to anxiety about the future) and not miss out on the sweetness of this time of year whether school has started or not. Thanks! Allison

  5. These are great ideas! Some of them are so simple that we often put them off until “later,” but then “later” never comes. In our house, we’ve been cherishing the opportunity to talk walks around the neighborhood now that it’s cooler but not dark too early, and the last few opportunities for our toddler daughter to play in the sprinkler! Oh, and I’ll be enjoying fresh okra in the next few days 🙂

  6. dr.cstone says:

    Thanks, Kathy. I agree–enjoy the late summer season and (for those of us still not in school) the ease of these days. Savor!

  7. dr.cstone says:

    Dear Ann,
    I love the thought of the good things that come with fall. I read yesterday that our apples in the Northeast are already ready for picking! And jumping in the leaves has always been a favorite of mine.

  8. dr.cstone says:

    Dear JoAnn,
    Thanks for your comment. It’s good to remember that fun doesn’t have to stop when school starts!

  9. dr.cstone says:

    Dear Allison,
    Thanks for your comment. Thanks for putting this in terms of “grounded in the present.” Enjoy what is now.

  10. dr.cstone says:

    Dear Rachelle,
    So glad you can get out for walks now. Being a northeasterner, I haven’t had a lot of experience with okra–is it a late summer vegetable? In any case, enjoy. We are trying to enjoy as many fresh, local veggies as possible–corn, tomatoes, yum.