Back to School- It can be Bittersweet

Back to school time is often a bittersweet time. For parents it can be a real relief to have the children back at school. But it is also sad that summer is ending and the relative freedom and relaxation of summer are being replaced by the structure, routine and responsibilities of the school year. It is a new beginning for many children and teens starting new grades, schools or even going off to college for the first time. Here are some ideas on how to handle the transition.

Back to School

  • Be with your feelings. Whatever they are is ok. Try to slow down, notice and accept your feelings. If you are happy, that’s great, focusing on the joy will help increase the joy. If you are sad, accept that its ok to be sad. Being with feelings has a way of helping them to pass.
  • Reflect.Fall is a great time to reflect on your past year and decide what changes if any you’d like to make in your life.  A good question to ask yourself is: How’s this working out for me? In other words, reflect without judgment and with curiosity and acceptance.
  • Allow yourself to have setbacks as well as advances. If you know that even as you are moving forward there will be bumps in the road, its much easier to give yourself the time and space to continue on the journey.
  • Be kind to yourself.As if you were your own best friend. Full stop.
  • Notice. Notice when you are not being kind to yourself. Notice the anxious “I don’t have enough” or “there’s something wrong with me” thoughts. Everyone has them from time to time and if you slow down and notice the thoughts they will lose power. Try to notice the feeling that lurks below the surface of the thought, like fear.
  • Gratitude. As you reflect on your life and take stock of what is going well and what’s not, take a moment to feel grateful for all the good that you have right here, right now.