Seasonal Transitions

Another transition looms before us as we move later this month from the fullness of summer to early Autumn. The kids will be heading back to school and — for all of us, including those without school age kids at home — the pace of life changes. The longer slower days of summer yield to a faster pace; the fall always seems to go so fast as we head into the final months of the year.

And with this transition often comes some amount of anxiety. It can be a low level of anxiety; a kind of a disturbance beneath the surface, or a fuller, more significant palpable anxiety that can be disruptive.

Maybe this is about the change in pace and the increased demands as we move out of summer. There are lots of parts to juggle in the fall; schedules seem to fill up and the demands seems to increase.

This uptick in activity and demands, a fuller schedule and perhaps less rest can result in an imbalance in our system — particularly in our neurotransmitters and our cortisol. This can feel bad physically and emotionally, both for us and for our kids. We need to remember that sometimes our kids don’t know how to verbalize what they are feeling; they act it out in changed behavior instead.

So what can we do? How can we make ourselves and our children less vulnerable to this stress? We cannot change the calendar (!) but we can be mindful of what we schedule and how many times we say “yes” to requests for our time. We need to protect some time for ourselves for rest and restoration; both for ourselves and our kids. We don’t have to overschedule, despite the intense social pressure to do so. Getting adequate rest is critical for our health and wellbeing and what better way to teach that than to model it in our own behavior? We can try saying “yes” to ourselves and see how that feels.

And when we do feel anxious and stressed, remember the breath. Being mindful of our breath and remembering how to use the breath to help us focus is one of our best tools. We know, from so much research, of the benefits of deep breathing and how it can help calm an upregulated nervous system and decrease anxiety. Focusing on the breath — and being truly mindful in the present moment — is a well-known antidote to stress and anxiety, helps us sleep and feel better overall.

If you don’t already have a mindfulness practice, why don’t you consider joining us at Five Stones as we do a mindful meditation each week (Tuesdays at noon at Wednesday evenings)? It can be much easier to meditate in a group and we would welcome you to join us. It could change your life!!

You Might Also Enjoy...

Finding Balance in the New Year

Are you in balance in each of the Five Stones: Healthful Eating, Balance Movement, Integrative and Functional Healthcare, Mindful Stress Management, and Interconnected Living?