Summer Ending is a Time of Transition
I am very aware of the poignancy of transitions, partly due to the fact that I, like many others, are prone to feeling gloomy in the darker months. For me, this sense of impending winter starts tickling at my psyche just after the summer solstice. I know that the longest day has now been and gone and the nights will be drawing in, little by little, minute by minute, the shortening of the day too minuscule to notice but I feel it!
I am a Summer Person!
I am a summer person. I love to be outside as much as possible and yes, as a dog owner I know that rain does not have to stop play…there is no such thing as bad weather just the wrong clothing…I know that! But still, I feel more confined, having to rush the dogs out before it gets dark just makes my evenings less sociable and then the evening spent in the confines of my home seems to stretch before me. I feel…bored at this prospect.
The shops, the clothes become sombre..
Summer sees a transition in other areas also. The shops become darker because it appears to be a rule that autumnal/winter clothes are dark and somber. Before I have even been on my holiday the retailers are telling me that the cold is coming, wrap up!I love colour and vibrancy but the colour palettes available at this time of year seem intent on denying me this pleasure. I feel that the world is telling me to wear funereal colours, dictating what I clothe myself in. I do not like being told what to do!The layers start becoming the norm, jumpers, coats, raincoats, covering me up and making me feel enclosed and less able to breathe.
Transition at School..
The summer term ends and invariably the thought of the Autumn term fills me with dread. My complex son invariably struggles with the transition from one academic year to another.This ia based in Attachment based behavioursAll that has been learnt over the last college year, about how to manage him, hold him in an attachment focused manner, seems to be lost over the 6 week holiday. Change for him is scary, scary means anxiety, anxiety means anger…we start again with a very challenging young man who is getting bigger, stronger and nearer to the age of becoming an adult Why We React, Rather Than Think… explains why triggers are unconscious.
The summer as a therapist is usually quieter. People do not feel the same need to seek counselling, maybe the better weather makes them feel more positive or they become consumed by the momentum that carries them from holiday to home to school, frantically seeking to entertain their young and mange their money, because a summer of fun is also an expensive one!
How to prepare for the Transiiotn into the Autumn..
Taking time to reflect and look at what you have achieved already is time well spent, especially if you find a little more down time where the focus shifts from work to relaxation ( in some cases!). To sit and to really celebrate successes, not matter how small, is a part of life that we can all too easily miss in the busy world that is our lives. Take time to write down or record all that this year to date has provided before you start planning for the next season.
This year I am also reflecting on my successes because all too often I lurch from one project to another, forgetting to see what I have accomplished already focusing on future plans. I am going to list what I am proud of:
- Anxiety Workbook published
- Activity on Social Media is increased in order to market myself more effectively
- Social Media is manageable, especially when I turn off all notifications!
- My middle daughter is off to University
- My eldest daughter has a full time job as a TA in a special needs school
- My aforementioned son is coming to personal training sessions with me! & learning to drive!!!
- I have autumn plans
- My health ( fingers crossed) is significantly improved
In order to safeguard against the autumnal slump there are some things that we can do in advance, rather than waiting for unhappiness or discontent to seep slowly into our bones. Prevention is better than cure & quicker!
Tool box for succeeding the Autumnal changes:
- Accept that Change is inevitable. Life is a cycle
- What do you need to help resource yourself? Plans, friends, partners, hobbies?
- Look for your support network
- Recognise that change is complex but that feeling loss is normal…running away is not the best option!
- This too will pass…think about other life changes and realise that this too you can cope with Grief: A complex Human Response to Loss.
My Autumn will see me spreading my wings into different areas, I am going into Coaching and also writing another book…all will be revealed! Some seeds may need attention and may change before coming into bloom but I think new directions begin with new intentions.