The transition from summer to fall can be a big ball of stress
for everyone involved. Kids go back to school, young adults are
college-bound (maybe for the first time) and adults, well,
everything just continues to be stressful (September doesn't change
that). Parents and guardians may lose the anxiety of finding a way
to entertain their children all summer during the school break, but
gain the new task of helping their loved ones manage homework,
chores, part-time jobs, and new environments.
For some, it may be simply the change in seasons that brings on
added stress. After many years in school (13 for most and more for
those who attended college and/or post-graduate school), fall means
"new" to many people. New school year, new challenges, new
opportunities. Despite being out of school for years, many of us
feel that pull, that pressure, to start September with renewed
determination. And that pressure can be stressful!
The best way to deal with stress varies greatly from person to
person since we all handle stress differently. Here are some things
to keep in mind:
- Perception is reality: Changing your perspective may be
difficult, but it may also ultimately be beneficial for your mental
health. The American
Institute of Stress says that stress is all about perception.
Challenges that cause stress can be both daunting, and positive.
One person's stressful move to a new apartment, is another's chance
to redecorate and unclutter.
- Relax your mind. What people really mean when they say "relax,"
which can often lead to more tension, is for you to
relax your mind, and relaxation exercise can be helpful. If you
don't have the time to break out a yoga mat, there are
quick relaxation exercises that you can do before sending the
kids off to school or going to work. Even if you have a
particularly hard decision to make, step back and try a relaxation
exercise: try placing your hand below your naval, breathing in
while counting to three and breathing out on the same
- Failure to plan…You've heard the saying "if you fail to plan,
you are planning to fail." Although you may find it trite, it's
also true. Transition into the fall, whether it be to a new school
year or just the new season, can be more manageable if you take the
steps to plan. One way to do that is to simply make a list of
things you need to do to prepare for fall, and then, wait for
it…set priorities.When everything's a top priority, nothing is a
priority. Once you've set your priorities, make a schedule. Make a
"fall resolution" to stick to the schedule for as long as you
The end of summer should be a time to unwind and enjoy warm
evenings when the days are still long. Don't let stress--or the
thought of future stress--keep you from enjoying this time!