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September Stress

September Stress - Back to School

September is a common time of year for transitions.

Kids, parents and teachers are transitioning back to school, sports and activities. Since life is still anything but normal these days, the transitions right now are exponentially more stressful than a typical September.

My advice, hard as it may sound, is to be patient. Be patient with yourself, your children, their teachers and coaches. Hybrid or virtual learning, whatever your situation, will get easier.

This is a huge adjustment for all involved.

There are many kinks to work out, but as I’ve said before, one of the great things about humans is that we are adaptable. What feels overwhelming now will settle down into a routine in time.

It’s also important to acknowledge that transitions can be a little bumpy and uncomfortable, during regularly times. Remind yourself that this start of the school year is fraught with stress and tension on many levels. Even the build up to September was incredibly stressful as the towns decided on their plans for each school, causing varied strong responses by parents and staff.

Most of us haven’t experienced extended high stress levels of this magnitude before, which means you should give yourself extra time, patience and compassion!

In the midst of these transitions, if you can, try to carve out some time to do something you would normally do this time of year.

Maybe go apple picking, do some baking with fall flavors, go for a hike. Sometimes when we are stressed, we can have a hard time getting out of that state. Nature, fresh air and positive distractions can be a great antidote for stress and anxiety.

My last suggestion is to try to stay in this moment, don’t get ahead of yourself.

I’ve heard people already talking about the winter, the holidays, etc. Let’s just take this one step at a time. The only constant, especially this year, is change, we don’t know how things will evolve over the next few months. But always know that you can and will handle whatever you have to, and that we will adapt and overcome.

There is no set time table on how long it takes to transition and settle in, so please don’t compare yourself or your child(ren) to how you think others are doing. It will take what it takes. However, if you could use some support and strategies for managing your transitions and stress, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Be well.

Kathy Most
Therapist in Westfield, NJ
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