Posted on July 30, 2012 by Dr. DeahNational Clown Week, followed by National Smile Week and culminating with American Dance Week (I am not making this up!) one may think the August Effect would be one of laughter, grins, and celebration. And for many it is. But August is also a month of transition. Depending on chronological age and developmental stage, some of us are finally feeling that summer has taken root and are allowing ourselves to relax and embrace the different pace that summer brings. For others, the clock of summer's end is ticking louder and louder. Labor Day used to mark the end of summer and returning to school came after that final holiday weekend. But now many schools re-open the second or third week of August. Depending on the individual, this may elicit a range of reactions including: excitement, anxiety, relief and or loss. One thing is true for everyone; however, at some point in August for yourself or someone you know, change is in the air!
A TIP FROM TURTLES AND SNAILSSchmooze-letter I offer a step by step description of how to make a “grown-up” transitional object when we feel as if we are losing our center or our “home” due to changes in our environment or routine. But you may already have something that you just haven’t identified. Is there a word or a phrase that keeps you centered when you feel you are losing your sense of self? Is there a photo, figurine, or piece of jewelry that reminds you to breathe, focus on the positive, and stay present when you are in stressful or unfamiliar situations? Of course human support systems are invaluable and having someone you can call or write to is a great way to manage overwhelming feelings; but having something that is not impacted by cell phone reception or internet connection is wonderful. The upcoming changes that late summer and early fall often bring does not have to mean an inevitable falling back on to old habits or re-introducing negative thought processes that you may have put aside during the summer months; especially if you have a strategy to address the situation. One plan that can be helpful is when you are making your check list for school supplies, or return to work task list, or dormitory linens, etc., is to take a moment and add these two items:
- · Predict potential challenges that may be triggered by upcoming transitions.
- · Identify your personal transitional object to bring with you.