September Anxiety

By: Clare Kavanagh 09/03/2020

As ridiculous as it sounds, September anxiety is in fact a real thing. Throughout our education years September means the start of a new year, the summer holidays are over and life gets more serious again. For some it can be hard not to carry this feeling into adulthood and working life that something new/challenging has to start in September or to put focus on it being the end of the Summer and the ‘fun’ period. Much like when we were children, September can bring a sense of trepidation and it is natural that we may feel unsettled.

The change of season from Summer to Autumn can also be a cause of anxiety for some people with the thought of less light in the evenings. It is not unusual for us to suspend our normal routine and have more free time in the summer, so adjusting back to a more set routine can be difficult. However, this doesn’t have to be the case and here are some helpful tips to help combat the September anxiety:

  • Don’t let the fun stop – keep busy, keep trying to do as many of the fun things you can do in the summer throughout the Autumn and Winter months
  • Get outside – make the most of the sunshine and being outside when you can and get some Vitamin D
  • Mindfulness – practicing mindfulness helps you come into the present moment and has been proven to reduce anxiety and evoke feelings of positivity
  • Gratitude – make a list of things in your life that you are grateful for and that will continue regardless of the month or time of year
  • Recognise what you’re dealing with – being able to give your anxiety a label (September anxiety) brings it to the rational part of your mind and makes you feel less overwhelmed
  • Reach out – know when you can’t manage yourself and you need to ask for help from family, friends or a medical professional.

I have personal experience with September anxiety, always putting pressure on myself that something new has to start. My birthday is also in September so I think sub-consciously I feel like this is the start of ‘my’ year. This year I am starting a Masters degree in September, which was a big decision and I have had self-doubt creep in about whether it is the right choice or just the September anxiety again. However, using tips like the ones above you start to learn what the right choices are and I am excited for the new challenge.