Getting Back into the Swing of Things

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“Summertime and the living is easy.”  As a high school teacher, I spend ten months of the year humming this Gershwin tune in anticipation of my summer vacation. This summer, more than any other, I took the time and space for “easy living,” as I’ve been more aware of the importance of leisure and recreation in order to make the rest of the year productive and fruitful. Inevitably though, it always seems that the summer takes an eternity to arrive, but it disappears in a blink.

The transition from the pace of a leisurely summer to jam-packed autumn can be a jarring one, no matter one’s profession.   In order to avoid professional whiplash, I’ve found several things to be helpful in making the switch for your mind and body. Perhaps a few of these might help you, too.

Start up a routine of going to bed at a reasonable hour and waking up a little earlier than you do on vacation a few weeks before your work picks up again.  Gradually getting yourself to bed and rising earlier will help you when you’re tempted to battle your alarm clock or hit that snooze button.

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Switch out your wardrobe and introduce fall colors and textures with your lighter wear.  There is something about the way that we dress that helps us get into the mindset of what we’re doing.  Since you’re likely sitting at a desk instead of on the beach, let go of those vestiges of summer and wrap yourself in something new.

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Make sure to give yourself a little taste of leisure everyday.  Give yourself a taste of “easy living” for twenty minutes in the morning or in the evening (or both!).  Rest and relaxation shouldn’t be regulated to two or three months of the year.  We need little tastes of “summer” all year long.  Build in activities or experiences each day, and the transition is bound to be easier.

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Photograph via Joe's-Photos on Flickr.

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Elise Italiano

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