“September stress”

After being thrust back into reality after the summer has abruptly come to an end most people are experiencing the “September stress”, commonly known to students and people who work in an academic setting as the beginning of a new school year. September is probably one of the most important months of the year because it is a true test of a person’s character. September will test your patience, it will make you fight fatigue, it will complicate your schedule, it may even cause you to loose your temper or have anxiety momentarily. Everyone has been involved in back to school festivities at one point in their lives and many people continue to work in an academic setting long after graduating from college so we can all relate to the shift in our lives when September comes around each year.

For me personally, the month of September is a blur. It goes by so quickly and it is so hectic that its gone before I know it started and I am so thankful for that. The main problem I have with September is that there is so much going on and so little time. Sometimes September causes me stress and I’m sure anyone else who is working in an academic setting can relate, even students going back to school can relate. Instead of looking at the stressful and negative aspects of school starting I am taking the time to find positive ways to deal with the stress.

Usually I find that I can accomplish so much more when I have a lot of things to do and little time to complete them. The busier I am the better off I am because I have to manage my time efficiently. I have to make sure that every minute is accounted for. If I slip and lose track of time I won’t get everything done. Right now I am working long hours on top of all of my other responsibilities. I have gone into what I call super hero mode. Super hero mode is defined as doing as many things as you can as efficiently as you can without becoming visibly overwhelmed; also referred to as overdrive or doing it all.
I embrace this time of the year. I may complain and I may not be happy all of the time but I embrace it because by the time things settle down and everyone settles into their new school year routine the rest of the year feels like a vacation. It’s a few weeks of stress for several months of solace.

I have to remind myself sometimes to embrace September because it is very easy to let the month swallow you up but another way I keep myself positive during this time is by looking at all that I have accomplished at the end of each day. The workload is increased and tasks seem daunting but when everything is complete I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I can breath a sigh of relief and I feel like I have achieved something. It’s nice to feel a sense I accomplishment on a daily basis 🙂

In a way September is like a whole new beginning. It allows us to set new goals and refocus on what we need to accomplish for the ‘new’ year. I am a big advocate for setting goals. I always have a goal. I find the start of september to be a great time to set goals because summer is ending and fall is beginning. Every season brings a new start and new changes–so why not make a fresh start and set some goals??

These are some of my fall goals
1. Don’t loose focus with my training. Do not skip workouts due to work. Find a way and get it done no matter what (I will be running at least 7-8 miles with 16 45second pickups as soon as I post this).
2. Don’t let my laundry piles get out of control!! I hate doing laundry and I need to work on this
3. Run a PR at the Newport Jersey City Liberty half marathon on 9/21. My current PR is 1:27:38 and I would love to run close to 1:25
4. Run a 5k PR
5. Have a good race at club xc nationals. Not only do I want to run well but I want to enjoy the experience.
6. Clean out my sock drawer–not a large goal but I need to do this
7. Get As in my classes. I’m starting grad school on October 6th!!
8. Be able to do 100 consecutive push-ups (this one my be a long shot)
9. Get more sleep. I need to sleep more. I always stay up way too late.
10. Start baking more. I enjoy baking and I don’t get to do it enough.

I encourage everyone to set fall goals and embrace the month of September. Surviving the “September stress” will make you stronger and push you to reach your goals. September gives us endurance and longevity to survive the rest of the year. Focus, relax, look ahead, don’t look back and remember September does end.

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