3 Tips to Beat the End-of-Summer Blues

by Susan Stilwell



                               

I love August. This month usually breezes past us, which is good since those fluttering calendar pages are about the only breeze many of us get. But along with the warm temperatures, August also gives us a glimpse of the fall.

summer grasses and sky

I can hear the marching band practicing at the local high school. The evenings turn cooler. The mountains here in Virginia are lush and green and the weedy undergrowth is fading into fall colors. I enjoy these simple pleasures, and then my mind wanders.

Autumn deadlines, family responsibilities, travel schedules, busy college football weekends, etc.

Like clouds before a summer thunderstorm, these concerns accumulate and darken my mind. Before long I’m fretting and dreading, longing for the beginning of summer when my schedule was lighter. Then I’m grumbling and complaining, and forgetting an important lesson from the Apostle Paul.

phil 4-11

He learned to be content—trained his mind to come back to a state of peacefulness—because it didn’t come naturally to him. And it doesn’t come naturally to us, especially with our frantic schedules and so many troubling world events.

As we say goodbye to the long, lazy days of August and we prepare for hectic schedules and new routines, let’s remember these three tips for weathering the end-of-summer blues.

Spot the storm clouds of discontent

We may not always see them coming, but we sure know when they settle over us. For me, it begins with my mind racing with more “to-do’s” than I can keep up with. Before long I’m forgetting things, snapping at people, feeling overwhelmed, etc.

When I feel my stress level rising, I give myself a quick time-out and

Rain down concerns to the Lord

I confess the stress I’m feeling and tell Him how life is overwhelming me right now. I then grab a notepad and begin writing down the things I need to do. The simple act of making a list somehow frees my brain from having to keep up with so many tasks. Because I’m a visual person, seeing a list of tasks makes them seem less ominous.

Then I pray, mentally releasing my to-do list and lifting up those who are suffering. I acknowledge that I need His guidance and His strength to make it through the day, and I

Let His promises shine on the situation

I remember promises from His Word that remind me that He’s the One who’s ultimately in control (Prov 19:21), that He will never leave me (Heb 13:5b), and that I can do all things through Him (Phil 4:13).

Speaking these promises aloud is not only a confession of my faith, but also an encouragement to my soul. So instead of grumbling and complaining, I speak words that bring life and perspective. Words that shine His light and bring a refreshing breeze of His Spirit.

Email Author    |    Website About Susan Stilwell

Susan Stilwell is a wife to Steve, mom to Scott and Sarah. After that, she writes, teaches, blogs and speaks. If you want to see her get really excited, ask her about her travels to Israel! One of Susan’s favorite things to do is to chat over coffee. And don’t forget your smartphone and laptop — this former programmer is full of helpful hints! You can connect with Susan on her websiteTwitterFacebook, Instagram, or Google+

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cathy Baker August 19, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Have you been reading my prayer journal again, Susan? I desperately needed to be reminded of Phil. 4:11 (Thank You, Lord) Way too many “storms of discontentment” have been settling over my heart lately.

Love this post! Thank you.

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2 Beth S. August 19, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Loved reading a post from you again, Susan. :) Wonderful encouragement as we move from summer to fall. God has revealed much to me on being content no matter the circumstances. I’m actually anxious for fall because fall brings my husband back home!! Blessings to you.

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3 Jean Dickerson August 20, 2014 at 8:29 am

Thank you, once again, Susan for sharing a word from our Lord that we all need to hear! Blessings to you on this wonderful day that our Lord has made!

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4 Dave Arnold August 20, 2014 at 9:57 am

Well said, Susan. I too love August, but the thought of fall is a bit frightening. But I love what you said… God is the One who is in control. Good reminder.

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5 Vonda Skelton August 20, 2014 at 7:54 pm

I had to do those very things several times this past week. And yes, the more I released it to Him, the more His peace enveloped me. When will we ever learn to just go there first?

Happy almost-end-of-August. :-)

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6 allie August 23, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Thank you Susan! Praise God He is in charge and not us!

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