Go gen­tly into fall’s busy sched­ule

The McLeod River Post - - News - Gwen Ran­dall-Young Gwen Ran­dall-Young is an au­thor and award-win­ning Psy­chother­a­pist, visit www.gwen.ca .

We all know, in this part of the world any­way, that when sum­mer is over, there are many changes. What we may not be as aware about, is how these changes might af­fect us on many dif­fer­ent lev­els.

There are bi­o­log­i­cal shifts that re­late to a de­crease in the hours of sun­light, as well as to changes in tem­per­a­ture. Sleep pat­terns may have to change to ac­com­mo­date a change in sched­ule if you or your chil­dren are go­ing back to school. Stu­dents ex­pe­ri­ence a dras­tic change in en­vi­ron­ment, from un­struc­tured play time or work (if they’re older) to a more struc­tured en­vi­ron­ment with more rules and re­stric­tions. Where sum­mer gen­er­ally al­lows them to take each day as it comes, the aca­demic year de­mands some think­ing ahead and plan­ning.

The so­cial en­vi­ron­ment changes and the num­ber of so­cial in­ter­ac­tions each day can in­crease dra­mat­i­cally. What this means ul­ti­mately is ma­jor ad­just­ments for ev­ery­one, and that may trans­late into stress. Par­ents, par­tic­u­larly those at home, may ei­ther go into a state of ec­stasy when the chil­dren go back to school, or feel some sense of loss, as their off­spring en­ter a world of which the par­ent is not re­ally a part. In want­ing to con­nect, the par­ents may want to hear ev­ery de­tail of the child’s day; how­ever, the child may be quite con­tent to keep some parts of his or her life more sep­a­rate. Par­ents may feel hurt or left out when a child doesn’t seem to want to share, but it’s im­por­tant to give them the time to set­tle in and in­te­grate all that is new and dif­fer­ent.

Be­cause of all of the changes, fam­ily mem­bers may feel a sense of emo­tional over­load. In ad­di­tion to feel­ing more tired, there may be mood­i­ness or flares of tem­per. It’s easy to be­gin over­re­act­ing to one another. It can be very help­ful to talk about what’s hap­pen­ing, and to ac­knowl­edge that this is a time of tran­si­tion.

Do­ing lit­tle things to help one another can smooth the rough edges. Giv­ing sup­port and re­as­sur­ance that things will work out can have a calm­ing ef­fect. Even with­out all of the pres­sures of mod­ern life, we would still feel changes within our­selves in re­sponse to the chang­ing sea­sons. These changes are com­pounded by our lifestyle, and so we can easily for­get about the happy, play­ful side of our be­ing. So let’s go gen­tly into the fall, and try not to lose our bal­ance.

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