Fall can bring many wonderful changes such as cooler weather, fall activities, wonderful food, and seasonal flavors such a pumpkin latte. While you may be ready to move into a new season, each season can bring its own stresses and for some that can be the expectations and work that is needed to create those wonderful gatherings and memories. The fall brings many opportunities to celebrate with family and friends such as:
- harvest festivals
- apple picking
- corn mazes
- hayrides and bonfires
- pumpkin patches
- Halloween parties
- Thanksgiving gatherings
- cookie exchange parties
- recitals and holiday concerts
- New Year’s celebrations
These can all be wonderful times to get together with family and friends but even thinking about all this can bring stress. Preparing for the upcoming season with its many events is the first step in reducing the stress that can come from the fall activities. Here are a few suggestions to manage the stress that can come with the fall season:
Take a little time to think back to a good fall season. What worked? What did you enjoy and wish you had done more of? What did not work? Could the planning or execution work a little different to make it more successful and without so much stress? What would you like to add to your fall season? Is there an event or activity that you would like to let go of this year?
What expectations do you have of what the fall season should include? What are the expectations of others that you will be spending the season with? If these expectations vary, it might be a good time to sit down and discuss together a plan that everyone can support and help execute.
Here are some things to think about as your decide on what important for you this season:
- What are your top 5 most important activities for this fall season?
- Which events do you want to focus more on?
- How do you want to celebrate them?
- Who do you want to celebrate them with?
- What resources do you have to use for the events? Resources will definitely include financial but also includes your time, energy, and existing schedule.
While the fall season can be one filled with excitement, joy, and fun it can also be one that can be hard, painful and you may need to place safe and healthy boundaries. This can be a good time to evaluate if a boundary is needed and determine what those boundaries will look like so when those events come or you know the unhealthy person will be attending, you have your plan and can make decisions that you need.
The fall season has so many wonderful opportunities and it can be hard to decide what to do and what you will need to pass on. When we try to do more than we can handle from a physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy place, even the more wanted activity can become very stressful. Knowing how much margin you need in your life is crucial to being able to enjoy and to participate in the activities you choose but also have the margin you need to exhale and breathe a little.
Taking the time early on in season, is a great way develop a plan that gives you more time to work on things a little at a time and that helps with our stress levels and can make the season more enjoyable. Here are some planning tips:
- Be sure your plan reflects your priorities?
- Be realistic with the resources you have available to you.
- Simplify wherever possible.
- Enlist help to execute your plan.
- Learn how to say no when needed.
- Plans can be adjusted remembering that something else may need to come off the plan.
- Make sure your plan includes maintaining the healthy habits and needed self-care.
- Include periods of margin into your plan at the beginning and protect those times.
Taking these steps can help you plan, execute, and enjoy the upcoming fall season. Will there still be some stress…of course but you can eliminate a lot of unnecessary stress by using these tips.
If you struggle with knowing how to understand and work on stress in your life, our therapists would love to help you better understand where the stress is coming from and how to make some changes that could possible lessen some of the stress. They can also provide tools that can help you manage the daily stresses. For more information, please visit https://upstaterestorativecounseling.com/anxiety/