It's August. Do you know how I can tell? Oh it's not the heat or the wilting flowers and grass. It's the Back to School ads and first day of school pics on social media. (I love the pics btw :)
Are you feeling stressed? Overwhelmed?
Even if you aren't affected by the new school year, there's something about the transition that makes us feel done with the season we're in and longing for the next one.
As a future focused person I've spent the majority of my life not enjoying the moment I'm in because I'm busy planning for the next thing. At times it's a gift to see into the future and be able to make plans. Some would call that "having vision". But it's not super productive when you're sitting on the beach in August, ignoring those around you because you're busy looking for the perfect cabin for your trip in October.
I've noticed that a lot of my clients are "done" with the season they're in too. Perhaps they've been waiting for their dream job, looking for a partner or longing for a baby. Maybe they're ready to be done with the grief that has a grip on them.
Do any of us really like waiting? I remember longing for the day when I could just read a book on the beach by myself and guess what? I can do that all day long now but instead of appreciating the alone time I am missing my adult kids. Seriously - are we ever satisfied?
I've been through my own hard seasons and here are a few things I've learned. I think we can apply them to the normal change of seasons or the periods in life where we feel "stuck".
Learn to quiet yourself. Take up yoga or use a mindfulness app. My favorite is the Pause App.
Stop rolling your eyes. It really does work!
In the morning before you reach for your phone or your feet hit the floor, do some deep breathing. I force myself to take 5 deep breaths and ask "What is mine to do today?" (Stolen from Suzanne Stabile)
Slowing down can help us avoid the overwhelm and appreciate the space we are in.
I've been a little restless and when that happens I start thinking, "What's next?". Whether I'm tired of the physical season or longing for something new it's easy for me to rush ahead.
Today I took a long, hot, sweaty walk and cleaned some patio cushions and reminded myself that these are things I can do in August because I'm not stuck inside. I'll miss these warmer temps in December. Maybe you don't like the season you're in. Try slowing down.
Feel the Feelings
Perhaps this is a sweet season for your family. Enjoy it.
If your days are hard and emotional, take the time to feel it.
In our rush to be productive or just get through the hard season, we forget to process. Take up journaling or verbally process with a friend or therapist. If you don't take the time to feel the hard stuff now, it will come back to bite you in the butt later.
Ask, "What am I supposed to learn?"
If it's a difficult season you might feel stuck but honestly, some of the best growth comes in the hard. Identifying one or two things you want to work on can give this season some purpose.
Practice Self Care
It's easy to put ourselves on the back burner during times of transition. I've learned that keeping up with my self care keeps me healthy. You might even learn a new way to take care of yourself. I might not have learned to love the outdoors if I had not gone through a painful season following my divorce.
Break down tasks
When I sold the home I had lived in for more than 20 years I made a list of all that had to be done. There was something about having it out of my head and on paper that kept me sane. Then I broke it down into 3 hour tasks. That felt much more manageable and I could see and celebrate the progress as I completed them.
Reflect on the Season You've Been In
The Summer of 2022 seemed to fly by and as we were entering Fall I made some notes in my phone. It felt ridiculous to live on a river and only kayak one time all season. That reflection helped me set some goals and be intentional this summer.
The same happened when I was recovering from divorce and feeling lonely. The reflection I did during that hard season taught me what I want and don't want in life. It also helped to remind me of things that help others who are entering that season.
Prepare for the Upcoming Season
Seasons of waiting can be great times to learn new things. Try a new hobby or learn a new skill. If you're waiting for your next relationship do some work on yourself so you'll be healthy.
Make some plans, work on a schedule, do whatever helps you prepare but don't forget to slow down and enjoy the last days of the season you're in.
These are just a few of the things that have helped me through transition. I would love to hear what helps you!