Navigating Seasonal Transitions
Spring is the season of change! For school age kids and youth, the end of the school year is fast approaching, bringing with it, exams, graduation, travel, camp or work. Along with some excitement, there may also be anxiety and stress.
The anticipation of summer heralds for some a much-welcomed break from the usual stressors but can be overwhelming as well.
Here are 5 tips for making your way through this time:
Celebrate: Celebrate milestones! Some people are writing exams for the first time. Others may be finally having an in-person graduation! Acknowledge any achievement, no matter how small.
Create routine: The routine of summer will likely look different than during the school year, and this is ok. The structure has to work for the family as a whole. This routine will vary according to the needs of the family. For some, having a regular sleep wake cycle, and programs, will be necessary, and for others, having some flexibility may be more important. Whatever that is, discussing this in advance, especially with your teenagers, can be helpful so that everyone is aware of expectations. If you are finding that the lack of routine is too stressful, then you can pivot. Alternatively, if the structure is too rigid, then another plan may be more helpful.
Communicate: Transitions can be tough!. Losing the “distraction” of school may allow baseline anxiety to surface. If your child or youth seems anxious with the transition to summer, acknowledge this and offer support. You can ask “I notice that you seem stressed, is there anything I can do to help?” This may be temporary but if you are concerned, you can always consult the support of a mental health team member.
Curate ideas: When making summer plans, give your children age-appropriate opportunities to weigh in. This may be the perfect time to visit the museum, art gallery, local parks, splash pads, family, friends, the zoo, travel within your budget, local festivals, or restaurants. Whatever your budget, there is always something fun to do in the city!
Care: Be kind to yourself and your child/youth. The transition period may take some time to figure out. It is ok to not have everything figured out all the time or at once.
We wish you and your family a wonderful transition to the summer months.