I always look forward to the summer with its less hectic pace and opportunities for relaxation. Usually, I can squeeze in a trip or two as well and get lots of quality time with my children and friends.

There is, however, a dark side to the relaxation and slower vibe of the summer. It’s one we don’t often think about at the beginning –it’s the hecticness and fast pace of getting ready to go back to school or back to our normal routine at the end.

For me, this is always a really stressful time. It’s probably heightened because I am a professor and have to get my Fall courses ready and the fact that one of my daughters has a birthday right at the end of August (just before back to school).

This year, it’s been particularly challenging as my oldest daughter went off to college for the first time as well. So, as you can see, I’ve been in a bit of a scramble mode. So, out of necessity, I’ve heightened my focus on efficiency and self-care.

Here are some of the things that I did (and you can too) to prepare for a smooth summer to fall transition:

  • Make lists. When I get overwhelmed, I make lists for all of the things that I need to accomplish. This can apply to different areas of your life, even shopping.
  • Focus on getting enough sleep and exercise. When you are feeling stressed, making sure that you are taking care of your body becomes even more important so don’t skip that exercise class just because you’re busy.
  • Prioritize. What do I need to complete today and what can wait until tomorrow? When you have a lot on your plate, tackling things in order of importance helps streamline them.
  • Coordinate schedules. Talk to your colleagues, family members, and other key stakeholders in your life to coordinate schedules so that you can grab hold of your calendar and ensure that you are on track to complete everything that you need to.
  • Have a night out here and there. When you are stressed, it’s critical that you take some time to get a break and blow off a little steam.
  • Go for walks in the evening. A long walk in the evening does so much to improve my mindset and reduce my stress. Make it a part of your end of summer routine.
  • Try to eliminate distractions. When you have a lot to do, you must focus. Remove or reduce anything that is keeping you from your tasks.
  • Be as productive as possible during your work hours. Choose two to three items that you have to accomplish each day, and work to ensure that you get them done.
  • Unwind at the end of the day. Give your brain some time off to relax, unwind, and to be distracted from all the many things going on! At the end of the day, you really need it.

You’ve probably had an amazing summer so use these strategies to keep things calm as you wind it down and move on to the next season. Fall is a beautiful time of year and you want to enjoy it, after all.


  • Charlene Walters, MBA, PhD

    Author, Corporate Trainer, Business Mentor, Consultant

    Charlene Walters, MBA, PhD, LLC

    Charlene Walters, MBA, PhD is business mentor, higher education and writing consultant, corporate trainer (Charlene Walters, MBA, PhD, LLC) and author of Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur (McGraw Hill). She is also the host of Launch, a TV show which streams on Amazon Fire, AppleTV and Roku (D B TV), and an expert on Quora's Business, Education and Society spaces. Additionally, Charlene teaches business and entrepreneurship courses at UCONN and the University of Alaska, was selected as one of 150 Marketers to Follow by Rubicly, and is featured among other CEOs, influencers and celebrities on the BAM Network.