SIMPLE IDEAS TO MARK THE END OF SUMMER
When Summer draws to a close, here are 20 simple ideas to mark the end of summer and celebrate the last of what this season has to offer before we head into the Autumn. Meaningful little tips to bring the fading Summer into your home, heart and schedule.
MEANINGFUL WAYS TO MARK THE END OF SUMMER
Towards the start of September we get ready for a new term at school for my children and a return to our familiar daily routine for the rest of the family. I thought it might be nice to take a moment, before the busy Autumn season begins, to share some simple ideas to mark the end of Summer.
By the time you read this, your kids might be going back to school, your schedules might be busier and/or your work deadlines might be looming. Whatever your homes, calendars, hearts and minds are filled with, I hope these suggestions help you enjoy the last days of Summer…
Take a look through all the photos you’ve taken this Summer. Get rid of the fuzzy, out of focus, random duplicates that just clog up your phone and decide which ones you want to keep that capture your holiday. Back them up and file them so you can look back on them when you want.
2. Feel the grass
Go outside into your garden or the nearest park. Feel the grass beneath your toes, breathe in the smell of the last few mows of the grass, lie down and enjoy the last of the warm Summer sun. Grass doesn’t feel or smell the same in Winter.
3. Go for a picnic
It doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive. Make up a little packed lunch and eat it outside, on that grass (see above) or on a bench. Choose your favourite spot and a day when the weather is feeling kind. Take the kids and make it a special event, or take a proper lunch break from work and make it a special event.
4. Plan a daytrip
If you can plan a day out, take advantage of a break in your schedule to take a break for yourself. Go somewhere that you don’t normally go to and enjoy exploring somewhere new. Or, choose a place you love and enjoy just having a break from your normal routine and environment.
5. Assess your finances
Not the most exciting way to mark the end of Summer, but if your family is anything like mine, then the Summer holidays can take a toll on your finances! Get a grip on your money situation before we head towards Autumn and Christmas. Check receipts against bank statements, work out your monthly income and expenditure, save a little if you can, pay off debt as and when you can. Ditch unused subscriptions and excess credit and store cards. Save a little bit each month to put towards Christmas.
6. Plan for half-term
We may have just finished one long holiday but if you have children at school, you might already be thinking about the October half-term break. Plan for childcare, days in, days out and maybe a holiday away.
7. Go the seaside
Take a trip to the seaside and paddle in the waves. Eat chips on the beach and listen to the tide lap in and out.
8. Eat ice-cream
Give yourself permission, be present in the moment and enjoy…
Take out your notebook or journal and write down your thoughts about the Summer just gone. What did you do? What did you learn? What did you feel? What went well? What didn’t go well? What made this Summer special and how can you bring a little bit of those special moments into the rest of your year? Read more journaling tips for beginners.
10. Your clothes
Mark the transitioning seasons by decluttering your closet. Store away the out-of-season clothes and pull out the ones that you’re likely to need this Autumn. Choose the items that you love to wear right now, the shapes and styles that suit your body now and that you really look forward to wearing. If they fitted you last year, but not this year, don’t do yourself the dis-service of keeping them front and centre in your wardrobe right now. Your closet should be filled with pieces that deserve a place on your beautiful body as it is today.
11. Your schedule
Plan out your schedule for the coming month. Print out a blank calendar and fill it with all the things you need to do. Mark in everything including work, school, appointments, travel time, after-school activities. Block out plenty of free time. Say no to things you’re not able to do this season and don’t feel guilty for prioritising time for you and time for your family.
12. Favourite memory
Ask yourself (and your family too) what is their favourite memory about the Summer. Make a note of it somewhere and see if you can find ways to replicate this throughout the year. Your children might have said playing outside, so can you do more of this even in colder weather? You might have said having more flexibility in your schedule, so can you find a way to create more wiggle room in your normal schedule? A favourite memory is not only a sentimental reflection, it’s also helpful in understanding what makes us happy and contributes to a meaningful life. Ask your family for their favourite memories and really listen to the answers and what they mean.
13. Deep clean your home
During the Summer holidays I like to do a detailed clean of the parts of my home that get skimmed over during the rest of the year! I wash the curtains, carpets, rugs, windows and cushions. I also give my fridge and freezer a clear-out. I love to wash and air-dry as much as possible and throw open the windows to let in the fresh breeze.
Either bought from my local shop or picked from own garden, I love the end-of-Summer flowers. They’re often subtler in colour than the bright blooms of Spring and high Summer.
15. Eat outside
Not just that picnic we talked about earlier! If you can, cook your favourite meal and set up a table and chairs outside so you can enjoy the late Summer evening. Make it special and something to remember.
16. Check-in with yourself
The end of Summer can be filled with excitement at new opportunities opening up for us at the start of term. However, it can also bring up some challenging emotions that we’ve pushed aside over the Summer. Check-in with yourself to see how you feel. Are you worried about anything, frustrated? If you’re beginning something new, like a new job or a new place to study, it’s understandable to be anxious, but if you’re feeling more than this then perhaps it’s a signal that you need to slow down, be less busy, trying something new, change direction or revisit your priorities.
17. Seasonal fruit and vegetables
Go to your local supermarket or outdoor market and see what seasonal fruit and vegetables you can find. Create some simple, healthy and tasty recipes using these fresh ingredients to make the most of the textures, flavours and colours of Summer on your plate.
18. Take a photo
Get your family together and take a fun family photo and save it to your phone or as a background for your computer. When you’re taking the photo, set the photo to go off on timer so you have time to actually be in the photo instead of the one taking the photo. If your phone is anything like mine, it’s full of photos of my kids, husband and dog, but not many when I feature too. I’m usually behind the camera! When you’re stuck at work or waiting in the car to collect the kids from school, you can reminisce on your Summer by looking at that photo!
19. Wash the car
Always easier and more comfortable to wash your car and clean the inside when it’s mild outside, rather than freezing cold or scorching hot! Clear out the rubbish, make sure you’ve got loose change for the car park and anything else you like to keep for emergencies!
20. What’s next?
The Summer holidays seem to drift effortlessly in some ways but whizz by in others. Regardless of whether you’re juggling kids, work, both or neither, the end of Summer is a turning point as we head towards a new season. Take a moment to reflect on what you from this new season in your life. What would you like to happen, what would you like to do? Make a plan, a loose plan, for what you’d like to achieve and break it down into small action points, month-by-month, week-by-week. What’s next for you as Summer gives way to Autumn? Read more about how to refresh your goals and why it matters.
RESOURCES TO HELP YOU DECLUTTER AND LIVE INTENTIONALLY
Here are some other resources and articles which you might enjoy, particularly to mark the end of Summer and look forward to a new season: