One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.- Henry David Thoreau

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is Labor Day in the US, which marks the unofficial end of summer. As a summer girl, I always get a little sad this weekend. I love everything about summer: long days, plentiful sun and heat, and the more relaxed pace of life. And even though I’ve been out of school for more decades than I care to admit, I still get that “back to school” feeling this time of year – and school, as a child and young adult, was not one of my favorite things. Allegra and Ruby are summer girls, too. Even though they don’t go outside, and know that sun puddles are plentiful throughout the year, they will miss the warm breezes wafting in through our screened windows.

Since I try to live in the moment as much as I can, I don’t want to get stuck in mourning the inevitable passing of a season. Every season has its unique gifts, and I’m going to do my best to embrace fall. If, however, you are like me, and hate to see summer go, I offer the following suggestions to soften those end of summer blues just a little bit:

Keep that relaxed feeling

We always have the best intentions of hanging on to the more relaxed pace of summer, and then end up breaking that promise as soon as we get back into our normal routine. Make it a point to find time to relax in your busy day. Even a five minute mini meditation can help you get through your day in a more relaxed fashion.

Savor your summer memories

Make your favorite photos of the summer into a slide show or wallpaper for your computer, or print out a few of your favorites and pin them up over your desk.

Maintain your healthy summer diet

During the summer, it’s easier for most of us to eat lots of vegetables and fruit and to drink lots of water. It’s most likely one of the reasons why most of us feel better. Continue to eat lots of brightly colored produce even after summer ends. It’s good for your health, and it will lift your mood, too.

Stimulate your brain

Even if your long past being a student, harness that “back to school” feeling and learn something new. Always wanted to learn a new language? Get a DVD, or take a class at a local community college.

Help your cats beat the end of summer blues

If your cats are bonded to your children, they may feel a little blue with the change of routine when the kids go back to school. Make sure that they get plenty of attention in the morning before everyone leaves for school and work, and again in the evenings. Structured playtime, 10-15 minutes twice a day, is a great way for everyone to bond, and helps prevent boredom and potential behavior problems.

The nice thing is that in this part of the world, we have at least another month of beautiful warm weather left. Allegra, Ruby and I plan to make the most of it.

Do you suffer from the end of summer blues? What helps you?

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6 Comments on Conscious Cat Sunday: Soften the End of Summer Blues

  1. I am definitely a summer person and at 81 can never get too hot. 🙂 Living 26 years in Florida was pure bliss. But now I’m back in Ohio with my children and get depressed every fall just thinking about winter. As long as I can get in my daily 2 mile walk outside, that really cheers me up. And every fall, I read the children’s book “The Fall of Freddy the Leaf”. It really helps! Gordon and Jasmine are fine no matter what the season, but they do get a lot more “snuggly” in the cold weather – just another way they cheer me up.

    • I have never heard of The Fall of Freddy the Leaf. I will have to look for it. I have to laugh when I see kitties getting more snuggly in the colder months. Several years ago Piper decided that summer would be the best time for snuggling across my neck. She never does that in the winter (when I need it the most), she prefers my arms. However when the hottest months hit, she insists at night to lay across my neck. 90 degree weather and I have a 12 year old cat laying across my neck. Go figure! At least she isn’t long haired. 🙂 Cats! I wouldn’t change a thing about them!

  2. Good morning,

    I always look forward to reading your posts Sunday morning. It’s a lovely way to start my day.

    Pipers & I are fall and winter girls. My apartment has southern exposures so we tend to get more light this time of year. Heat and humidity is not our best pal. Right now I am trying to figure out to make it snow in the apartment because here in the NE the humidity has not been kind the past several weeks.

    Fall is also a time for us when things slow down a bit. With the rescue, spring and summer are our busy months especially August. We have one more event to do in September and then we can catch our breath. This weekend I will be putting out the fall decorations and Pipers will be trying to help. Fall means more squirrels and chipmunks to watch. I won’t bring the patio furniture in until the first snow.

    I think you have to make the most out of every season. Each one has its own beauty and special moments. I try and take a few minutes each day and enjoy them, even when I am walking home from work in 90 degrees. I will stop and look at the neighbor’s garden (wishing I had a green instead of brown thumb), look up at the sky and how blue it is. For Pipers, I tend to switch out her toys. I like to keep things interesting for her. A friend of mine buys a few crickets for her cats and kitten fosters and lets them have fun.

    I love to listen to the sound of children getting on the school buses and watching the buses roll by. This time of year brings football back and often I will hike up to our park and watch the peewee football players have a great time.

    Pipers & I wish you, Ruby and Allegra a wonderful long weekend. <3

    • I’m so glad you enjoy my Sunday columns, Cindy! You are so right about appreciating every season for its gifts – thank you for this reminder, and a wonderful weekend to you and Pipers, too!

  3. Ingrid – I love your sensitivity. Your comment about cats being sad when the children go to school shows how much you understand these wonderful beings.

    I suffer from SAD and I have learnt over the years to put strategies in place to deal with the changing seasons. I have a light box which I will start using very soon. It doubles as a dalwn simulator alarm clock so light wakes me up instead of being jarred awake by a horrible blaring sound. I try to find things I enjoy about each season & savour these. Autumn: beautiful changing colours of leaves, auntumnal foods, bonfires. Winter: crisp & sunny winter days, Christmas festivities, coloured lights in the dark etc. it helps to know that each season has positives. Wishing you & your cats well, Sam 🙂

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