Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.Full Bio
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I can't wait for summer to be over already.
Said hardly anyone, hardly ever. (Except those who hate the heat and can't wait to bring out their boots, leggings and heavy sweaters.)
Summer is my favorite season, and because of that, it always seems to speed by way too quickly. I love so many things about summer: the warmth of the sun; the longer and more relaxed days; dressing in cotton and linen; eating outdoors; the abundance of fresh, rich-flavored juicy fruits and veggies; eating frozen yogurt for lunch; digging my toes into the sand; the smell of fresh rain; and the sound of the surf.
Alas, time marches on, along with the seasons. But I must admit that it takes me a little work to avoid the pity party I'm tempted to hold. The solution? Look for things to shake me out of my resistance to loosen my grip on summer. I need to accept, once again, that my summer romance is over … until next year, that is.
If you, too, are finding it tough to move on, here are some ways to ease into the months ahead (and maybe even look forward to them!)
Declutter and clean out your closet. The term "spring cleaning" need not be relegated to that particular season. Now is a perfect opportunity to tackle your closet and begin to organize your clothing for the colder months ahead. It's always easier to rid yourself of extra stuff when you do it with fresh eyes. Ask yourself, "Did I wear this last year?" If the answer is no, chances are pretty strong that you won't this year, either. While you're doing that, keep some large empty bags nearby, so you can drop the unused, unworn and unwanted clothing into them before you're tempted to procrastinate (label them "donate," "trash" and "maybe"). It also helps to blast some upbeat music and keep plenty of water and healthy snacks on hand to keep your energy from lagging (the job usually takes way longer than you anticipate).
Plan ahead for some fun stuff. Many people are more social during the summer (I know I am). Planning ahead and putting some activities on the calendar will keep you from hibernating (like I'm often tempted to do) once the temperatures dip. The cooler temps can open up so many possibilities that were tough to do in the heat of the summer. You can still ride your bicycle outside and perhaps even more comfortably; same goes for walking or running outdoors (and the fall foliage season can be stunning!). Take advantage of the crisp air of the early evening by going out for a short walk before settling down to dinner. Book a walking tour of a nearby city or area of interest or an overnight in a cozy bed and breakfast. The traffic is usually lighter after the summertime, too—an added bonus.
Change your skin care routine. Summer air is typically more humid, and because of that, your skin doesn't need the heavy moisturizers and creams it needs in the colder, dryer months ahead. Consider replacing your cleanser and moisturizer with one that is heavier and creamier, and make sure to have plenty of lotion care for your legs and arms and soles of your feet, which can also become dry and itchy with colder temps. Learn about 5 Beautiful Ways to Prep for Winter.
Strengthen your immune system. You're more likely to catch a cold or viruses in the wintertime because you spend more time indoors with the windows shut, which makes it easier for germs to linger. Now is a good time to arm your body to fight those germs by exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, washing your hands frequently and revving up your intake of fruits and veggies. And remember, the flu makes its appearance starting as early as October. Since it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to take effect, get yours well before you hear about the outbreak of the flu. But if you miss getting vaccinated early in the season, it's still beneficial to get the vaccine later on, even as late as January or beyond. Find out what you need to know about the flu.
Keep summer going. Just because it's over, it doesn't have to be … over. Keep wearing your favorite summer dresses, just add a chunky sweater or boots or don some opaque tights with lace-up oxfords. Dress up your bed with a colorful, flowery throw; scatter vases filled with fresh flowers in your favorite rooms; garden indoors with herbs like thyme, basil, rosemary and mint; treat yourself to a homemade ice cream sundae. And don't put away the sunblock—you need to wear it year-round! Although the UVB rays are weaker in the winter, and you won't get burned as easily, the UVA rays that cause wrinkles and premature aging can still damage your skin. A moisturizer with a built-in SPF can do double-duty by protecting against the sun's rays and the drying effects of the colder weather all at once.