The End-of-Summer Blues

The End-of-Summer Blues

7 September 2022

by Sally Freestone, MindSpace Volunteer

As the calendar nudges beyond August and into September, I always think it signals the end of summer, and the start of autumn. A friend said to me that this time of year is more synonymous, for her, with “new beginnings” than January, and, before I retired, my psychotherapy practice was always at its busiest – with new referrals – in September.

For whatever reason, September seems to signal lots of endings and beginnings; lots of change. And with change comes challenge.

Many of you will be contemplating the start of a new school year, either as a student yourself, or as a parent (or both!). Supporting young people, as they start school for the first time, or embark on a new stage of their educational journey can be demanding. Changing schools, starting new exam courses, and encountering new teachers can be tough for students and challenging for parents, carers and families.

For some, children returning to school can be a source of relief, offering structure and routine and a welcome break from juggling the demands of work, childcare, days out and the inevitable expense of holiday entertainment. For others it will bring sadness and loss, as children and grandchildren begin school for the first time or move away from home to begin a new adventure at college or university.

The much-anticipated holiday may have passed all too quickly, or perhaps it wasn’t what you’d hoped for. As well as being a chance to relax, unwind, and spend much-needed time together, holidays can also bring tensions and stress to the surface, making the discord in relationships more evident.

In the last week or so, I have noticed the evenings have begun to draw in and early mornings have a distinctly autumnal freshness. With so many reports of increasing energy bills and other costs, it’s not surprising that few of us are looking forward to wintry weather and cooler temperatures.

Whether you’re mourning (or celebrating) the end of summer or dreading the onset of winter, Mindspace offers lots of activities and support – and all of them are FREE (or by donation), so there’s no financial commitment to consider. If you’re feeling at a loss now that the holidays are over, or just ready to try something new, why not come and join in?

There are several daytime Tea & Chat sessions throughout the week. A great way to meet other people and connect over a cuppa and cake. The Night Light Cafe offers a similar format, but on Monday and Thursday evenings.

A NEW Mindspace for Women session will be starting this month, offering a safe, non-judgmental, unpressurised space for women to share and connect over coffee/tea and cake.

If a more “active” activity is more your thing, we have Group Walks (Wednesday or Thursday), Boxing (Tuesday and Thursday), and a Running Club on a Friday morning to help work off some of that stress and lift your spirits.

For a more contemplative approach, try Yoga (Monday or Thursday), Mindfulness, Shared Reading or get creative with our Sketching and Makers sessions.

Why not try Creative Journaling for Parents as a way to carve out some space to reflect on whatever this time of year means for you?

We know how gardening and having hands in the soil can be really “grounding” and good for being “in the moment”. The Mindspace Garden Open Sessions offer a great way to do just that, and connect with others in a beautiful, peaceful but accessible setting, and in our Herbal Wellbeing Sessions we learn about the beneficial and supportive properties of garden herbs.

If this time of year means that you find yourself with time on your hands, then perhaps you’ve considered volunteering? It can be a great way to meet new people, learn more about your community, and use your skills and experience. Research has shown that it helps the wellbeing of volunteers as well as resourcing the organisation they volunteer for. It really is a win-win situation!

However you feel about summer drawing to a close, we’d love to see you at some of our Mindspace Activities. For more details of all the activities mentioned, and to book, please click on the relevant activity link above or see our website