I once read that August and September are like the Thursday of the week. That is if our typical calendar year were compared to an average week. A pivotal moment, after the rising action, before the twist of Friday and the jubilance of the weekend. I find the metaphor to be surprisingly relatable. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised though, seeing as change is universal.
August and September are truly transitional time periods. Whether you are going into high school, college, or leaving the nest, these months can bring a lot of change. Change itself can be spectacularly beautiful and progressive, but if you’re anything like me, you detest it. Change means that your comfy and predictable life is going to be different, and you probably have little control over it. Times like these can make us feel powerless.
Right now, I’m sure you are stressing over something.
Transitional times tend to have a heaviness to them. Often the air can feel so thick with stress and tension that you could cut it with a knife. Despite this weighted feeling, you may be approaching an incredibly opportune time to make positive progress.
For me, facing August meant losing friends as they move away, starting a new job, and a new year of school. At first these things were terribly daunting. I disliked the idea that the perfect world I had set up for myself was going to be disturbed. Not to mention, seasonal depression and illnesses tend to pick up around autumn.
In case you hadn’t guessed it, I was not looking forward to the fall.
So, I decided that this autumn would be different. I find that after the season has settled into winter and you get back in the groove of things, you realize, all that disruption has changed you or your life for the better.
But how do I find my groove without falling into the summer’s-end-slump?
My first tip would be to keep a positive mind. I find that a fear of change can often be helped with a little acceptance. You must first learn to accept what you cannot change, before you can find the wisdom to change what you are in control of. As scary as it may seem, when you feel that transition coming on, lean in. Lean in with your full weight and trust.
Since learning to accept change in my life whether negative or positive, I have been happier and lighter. Typically, keeping a journal can help me feel in control. When it comes to my journal, I have a positive and safe outlet as well as a space to truly be and think. Journaling lead me into organization and planning. Keeping your life and environment tidy will help bring calm and control back into play.
My next secret weapon to get through the season would have to be feeling out your emotions. During times like these many people – including myself – tend to bottle up their feelings or shove them down inside. This results in added stress and tension, making the air even heavier. When this happens, it is best to ground yourself and partake in some self care.
Self care is incredibly important and often fun, but don’t forget the more serious aspects of it.
Taking care of your body when you are under stress is very important and may not be the most exciting. If you want to liven it up maybe bring bath bombs and face masks into play. Whatever you are into and whatever makes taking care of yourself easier.
However, self care also means taking care of your subconscious and your emotions. Remember that emotions are human and are there for a reason. Your body is helping you work through various life situations and if that means you have to cry then cry. You’re caring for yourself and acknowledging that your emotions are valid.
Transitional time periods can be very difficult, however they are also a prime opportunity for growth.
I often feel like every door around me is being slammed in my face during the end of summer and start of fall. I try all the locks and bang on the doors without even thinking to go through the big open window.
I’ve got a surprise for you though, there’s a big beautiful world you have yet to explore that is right outside of your open window.
I suppose my advice here could be summed up with the simple phrase “chin up”. After you have stressed, cried, or yelled, when you feel all of the weight of the world on your shoulders, put it down. Remember that you do not have to shoulder that burden.
Break it up into smaller pieces that you can carry more easily and after everything is more manageable, relax and take care of yourself. Once you’re there and taken care of, chin up, because with every door that slams there is a brand new shining window that opens to give you a breath of fresh air.
Also published on Medium.