Transitioning into a new season: Q&A with Jennifer
This time of year is full of change as we move from the lazy days of summer into the steadiness of fall. The days are getting shorter. Leaves are transforming. Kids are back to school. Work might be picking up pace. You could be headed back to the gym.
Here are common questions clients typically ask Jennifer as September kicks off – and the answers.
Q: I’m feeling anxious about getting into a routine again. Is that normal?
A: Absolutely. It’s a common experience. Any transition can leave us feeling a range of emotions – from excitement to fear. Many often feel uncomfortable or uncertain about what’s ahead.
While an adjustment, I personally like to think of September as a new beginning or reboot. It can be full of opportunities too. It’s all about your perspective.
Q: Do you have any suggestions for how I can manage my anxiety?
A: Here are a few. I encourage you to try one or two. Or, to book an appointment with me so we can make a plan that’s best for you:
- Acknowledge how you feel. Don’t ignore, judge or suppress your feelings.
- Focus on the now. Be fully present rather than fixated on the past or what’s to come.
- Be open to opportunities. Say yes to new experiences.
- Make self-care a priority. What brings you joy or comfort? Build more of it into your schedule.
- Focus on the positive. Seasons change but they always return. What wonderful memories of the summer will you carry with you? What can you do to make the most of fall?
- Tap into your support network. Spend time with close family and friends.
- Embrace routine. Consistency, especially during periods of transition or uncertainty, can be a good thing. Routines can anchor us and provide stability.
- Delight in cozy comforts. Fall is a good time to savour things that bring us warmth (like homemade soups, comfy sweaters, and indoor or outdoor fires).
- Get moving. Incorporate some kind of physical activity into your day, even if it’s a quick walk over your lunch hour.
Q: I tend to get into a slump in the fall and spend a lot of time watching TV. How can I get out of the funk?
A: A lot of us try to avoid discomfort or other feelings associated with transitions by engaging in numbing activities like watching TV or spending hours scrolling social media. Neither of those is a bad thing by the way – but in moderation. There’s a difference between getting true enjoyment out of something like watching a favourite show, versus mentally checking out or muting your feelings.
Try to focus on activities that energize you or bring you joy. Get outside and take in the crisp fall air. Book a date with friends. Give yourself something to look forward to. If you find you can’t shake it, there may be something more going on besides being in a funk. I’m always here to help.
Q: I want to try something new this fall but am overwhelmed by where to start. I’m worried I’ll end up doing nothing. Any advice?
A: Make an exhaustive list of things that interest you – everything you can think of. Maybe you’ve never had time for them or you’ve been too nervous to try them out. They can be big or small.
- Taking a new class
- Registering for a recreation activity or sport
- Experimenting with a new recipe
- Exploring a local trail or provincial park
- Signing up to volunteer
- Learning a new hobby
- Heading to a fall fair
- Reading a book you’ve been meaning to
- Learning a language
- Starting a side gig
- Writing a novel
- …the possibilities are endless
Now commit to picking two from the list to do. Choose one that’s somewhat easy and another that might be more challenging. Be sure to block time off in your calendar for them. Find a support person who can hold you accountable too.
Q: How can I bring the positive vibe of summer with me into September?
A: Find simple ways to enjoy the bits of summer you take the most pleasure in. Though it may be too cold to swim at the beach, that doesn’t mean you can’t take a walk along the waterfront. Or that it’s time to put away the barbecue. One easy thing to do is open up your windows and blinds as often as you can and let the sunshine in! That vitamin D can make all the difference.