I don’t know about you, but August is always a mixed month for me.
Bye Bye Summer
For me, summers represent time with my kids. Yes, I am a working mom but still … summers feel different. Not having homework is an absolute dream and time just feels slower in the summer. The kids stay up later, and we stay outside creating memories together. According to researchers, it is common for people to feel mopey around August. August is a transitional time, an in between time. It represents the end of summer. Lots of people get the August blues, similar to the “Sunday scaries.” On the contrary, some people get really excited in August for what is coming around the corner. For many, it is a mixture of all of these emotions.
New Teachers, New Work Assignments, Oh My!
August always gives me the back-to-school jitters. New teachers, new assignments, new friends and new rules. Lots of people feel stressed in August as new projects or assignments are coming up at work or school. We also can have “leftover” feelings about what school felt like when we were kids. I know I do! So, I guess it depends. If you were someone who loved school, you are more likely to have mostly positive feelings about the school year. However, if your experience was negative or mixed, the beginning of the school year is likely to bring those feelings back up for you. Even teachers who love the first day of school, often also have mixed feelings about the days of the summer ending.
August can also bring up grief as preschoolers become kindergarteners and high schoolers graduate and head off to college. August is a month where we see these nodal events. We celebrate them but we also can acknowledge our sadness about the changes. We may even have some grief as our 2nd graders become 3rd graders.
August can also bring excitement for what’s to come. Excitement about Halloween, school fairs, warm sweaters, and fall traditions around the corner. In August, some of us start to think about Christmas or holiday travel.
Have you heard of an emotional calendar?
Psychiatrist John Sharp wrote a book on understanding the emotional calendar. “These seasonal emotional shifts (such as longer days) are such a fixture in our lives that they become near invisible. We may realize that the onset of fall makes us anxious but have no idea whether those feelings stem from past pain or from decreasing sunlight.” It helps to notice what is influencing our moods so that we can make changes in areas where we want adjustments.
Things to Reflect on:
What do I want this school year to look like?
How do I want it to feel?
What is important to me as we enter this new school year?
What do I like about this time of year?