So it’s about that time to switch back to your bulky sweaters from your short sleeves and trade your iced Venti latte for a hot one again. Your playlist is going to stop featuring so many “road trip” songs and you’ll soon be more likely back to swearing at heart attack-inducing snowstorms than swatting disease-laden mosquitoes. 

Yup, summer is ending. And while your wardrobe and other seasonal choices are about to switch, it’s not quite as easy for your mind to turn off that “vacation mode” switch. It’s quite possible that the thing that needs sunscreen most now is what is behind your face. Keeping motivated after the hot summer months can be torture. But it’s an inevitable transition.

Let’s look at some things that can help keep your post-summer motivation humming — and not end up like a 2020 trainwreck.

Trick #1: Take frequent, small breaks to be outside.

The weather is still awesome today, for now. You just happen to have an inside job. So instead of going to the breakroom for another cup of coffee, maybe walk down to the corner coffee shop for a boost, both of vitamin D and caffeine. Feel free to put a tiny umbrella in it if it will help to set the mood.

Trick #2: Bring outside in.

So you don’t have a break in your schedule today to get outside. Bring it in – open the blinds and revel in the natural light. If you don’t work near a window, get a lamp for your desk with a daylight bulb that can get you to the next best thing. Plants, screen backgrounds, and pictures of sunshine and nature scenes can make a dent there as well.

Trick #3: Keep your eye on the prize.

Are you counting down to your next summer vacation? Show it on your calendar with a happy orange marker. But keep those deadlines that you have to reach underneath it so you can see that with each deadline box you check off, you’re that much closer to daiquiris on the beach.

Trick #4: Set small goals.

Your reward center has been on overdrive during the summer months. So if you set small, easily attainable goals and give yourself a small reward for achieving them you’ll help to return from that summer mental wanderlust when you actually have to be in a meeting this afternoon.

Trick #5: Work outside.

You’ve gotten used to working remotely. Untether your laptop, grab your phone and that iced latte and set up shop in a park, by a lake, alongside a river, anywhere that you can find a quiet place with a good wifi signal before the cold weather sets in again.

Trick #6: Re-engage your brain.

One of the best ways to revive is to learn something new. Taking an online course that relates to your job is a good start – LinkedIn has a ton of them. But don’t forget to recharge your outside self as well. There are still indoor golf lessons you can take; jogging can be year-round. Find some plans and learn to build the perfect igloo (and the perfect hot toddy for afterwards). Do something new.

Trick #7: Have some fun despite working.

So you need to be in the office. Loosen up as the dictates allow. Arrange for theme days (Hawaiian Shirt Fridays?), start organizing the office softball team for next Spring, throw a non-birthday vacation party in a conference room. Or better yet, take a lunch hour and start planning that long overdue holiday party with the event budget that’s been gathering dust over the past year. 

Keeping your post-summer engagement high is never easy, especially when things like quarantines and pandemics are fresh stressors. Pace yourself, keep up that hydration regime, and know that the sun will keep shining brighter for you when you allow yourself little rewards to keep you going. That’s how you spell seasonal success.

Don Seaman spends his professional life trying to put the alphabet into the right order to construct coherent thoughts that people can read. Now he does that for Surprise. You can find out more about this failed musician and retired superhero on LinkedIn and Twitter.