Typically, we associate January with feelings of gloom and anxiety. It makes sense – Christmas is over, the routine of work is back with a vengeance, it’s cold and dark, we have no money and another long year looms ahead. But it’s surprisingly September that has the biggest impact on our mood and outlook. The long, warm, bright days of summer are slipping away, everyone is back from their exotic holidays with fading tans, all the ‘let’s leave it until after the summer’ tasks are now demanding attention, we have to put the heating back on and, as Jon Snow knew only too well, winter is coming.
Whatever the reason, it’s this time of year that can be the most challenging for lots of us, especially in relation to our working lives. So, what can you do this September to help fight the blues and look ahead with optimism and excitement?
1. Turn the dark, cold days into opportunities
Whether it’s cosy nights in front of the TV with the fire on, Sunday roasts at the pub or wearing your favourite boots or big coat again, the run up to winter can be full of things that bring you joy. Try to find one thing you love to do when the weather turns that you can’t do in the summer, and you’re already on your way to loving September!
2. Pick a new hobby or challenge
One of the reasons we don’t like this time of year is because it feels like an ending – so why not try to find a new beginning? Starting a hobby, class or group could help you to feel more positive and give you a new focus. September is the start of term for lots of activities so it’s the perfect time to take the plunge and sign up!
3. Get organised
September is THE month for organisation! Sometimes our levels of anxiety and stress are linked to how overwhelmed we are feeling – if you’ve been putting things off until after the summer, taking control of how and when you’re going to tackle them can be the quick and easy solution. Write your ‘to do’ lists, make your plans (big or small) and set some deadlines – it will make the world of difference.
4. Re-arrange your space
There are three key things you can do to prepare your home or office for the autumn. Firstly, you want to flood your rooms with as much natural light as possible. (If your home or office are heavily dependent on artificial lights in the darker months, or you’re particularly susceptible to how light affects your mood, you might want to consider getting a light box.) Next – be bold with your colours and brighten up any dull or unlit areas with paint or artwork. Lastly, go green – real plants can provide a colour and mood boost in any space, and they improve the quality of the air too.
5. Find a new job
One of the biggest causes of September stress is our work. If you’re thinking of looking for something else, the three-month period between September and November is generally a pretty good time to do it. Companies that slow down on hiring during the summer will often compensate by ramping up during the months that immediately follow, especially if they need to fill key roles before the end of the year. Use it to your advantage that employers will attempt to recruit to open positions before the holiday season kicks into gear and year-end reviews start monopolising everyone's time. September is your perfect month to start looking for a new job – we’re here to help, so don’t forget to let us know how we can support your search.
We’re off to dig out our favourite winter coats and buy some more plants for the office – what are you going to do first to beat the September blues?