Healthy Individuals, Couples and Families for All Seasons

As we enter the fall months and we are aware of the approach of winter, most of us experience a shift in feelings. Some individuals become sad, anxious or disappointed. Perhaps their perception of the shorter days, going back to school or night school, spending more time indoors and less outside in nature, getting back into more work oriented activities and routines, and watching the beauty of the flowers begin to wane, is experienced as a loss.

Others may experience autumn as the beginning of a new year, a time to shift gears, pull off the cobwebs, roll up their sleeves and get focused. They may look forward to a more scheduled set of routines and so they feel energized, enjoy their more formal clothes and the cooler temperatures, greeting the change with exuberance, and a happy sense of purpose.

Imagine the increase in stress as couples and families begin the transition from summer to fall and get back into the new routines, under the influence of their unique perceptions and feelings about the change. The tension may be more pronounced if couples experience the transition in an opposing manner. There may be an increase in bickering, resentments and misunderstandings. We know that it is natural for children to feel either anxious or excited about going back to school and getting them settled into new routines may stretch parents’ patience. The same dynamic occurs for adults, too, so there is ample opportunity to experience more confusion and conflict.

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