Summertime Sadness and Stress

I hear Summertime Sadness in the background and I notice that I’ve been feeling some sadness today. I’ve been feeling a bit down since Labor Day weekend passed. Labor Day weekend,  while standing for recognition of the American work ethic and effort, unofficially signifies the end of summer. In some respects, the end of summer can be stressful, as cooler weather begins, the season changes, and other inevitable events occur (holidays, commitments, and back to a regular routine). But knowing  I won’t have another summer like the one that passed also makes me sad. It was a summer of firsts:  concerts, weekend trips, a Cubs game, tours and a variety of other new experiences.  The end of summer also reminds me how fast time seems to fly. A new year is just around the corner. I will turn a year older. Where does the time go?

While the warmer weather will linger for a while, things are not quite the same. The leaves will change, the sun comes and goes a little earlier, and my schedule isn’t as flexible as in the true summer months (I work at a university).   So I am sad that I’m losing what seems to be a really great summer. Yet, at the same time, it reminds me how things change and nothing really does stay the same.

While sadness is a normal reaction to losing something, it is important to grieve. How we grieve will depend on many factors, as the process of grief is emotional, physical, behavioral, mental, social, and spiritual. For some, grieving can be stressful, as it may put additional demands on a person.  So what can one  do to manage this stress and grieve?

  1. Feel what you feel. It’s normal.
  2. Find ways to remember the good times and keep these in memory. How can you incorporate some of what you experienced in the next day, week, or season.
  3. Recognize there is another summer coming soon.
  4. If there are extreme symptoms, seeking professional help is advisable. There are many competent professionals that understand the process of grief.

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