...so goes the song by Green Day. It's hectic over here.
School is back in session. Meetings are popping up on the calendar. Extracurriculars are at least a month in. We are figuring out schoolwork and new expectations and all of the things that go with the fall.
And I'm tired, y'all.
How are you holding up?
Figuring out your new normal.
I've heard lamenting from multiple folx, both personally and professionally, that they just felt like they were in a good summer groove and now summer is over.
Most people with a lot on their plate thrive when they have a consistent and predictable routine, and I'm no different. My family often figures out our new normal by trial and error (in our household this often looks like more tears, forgetting about some tasks, sleep disruption, increased anxiety and self-doubt. Oh yeah, and recovering from all of the germs that are passed around each fall).
Everyone is feeling this stress.
Over here we are in the process of figuring it out because you never know what is going to work until you are in the swing of things.
For us, that looks like a lot of preparation tasks (and revision to said tasks, since you can only know what works by doing it). This is what is currently going well for my family-
We've made an excel spreadsheet of drop-offs and pickups, since we have access to a latchkey program a few days a week. The sheet is laminated and attached to the fridge. The visual reminder is really helpful for me.
I've blocked off my schedule to give myself half an hour between school or latchkey drop off and when I start seeing clients.
We've made social story cards to help our oldest, which can be a huge help for any kid very sensitive to transition and change. (https://www.theschoolrun.com/what-social-story)
We've scrapped the dreams of homemade lunches that are Insta-worthy. We are fortunate to be in a space where buying lunch isn't a hardship.
Letting go of my determination to walk to school every day (we don't have school buses and it's a 10-minute walk) and driving sometimes instead.
Assessing for new "emotional labor" tasks https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-emotional-labor-5193184 and revising who does what as appropriate.
Actually using my Google Calendar and written planner (okay, this one is always a work in progress to me).
What happens when you add anxiety to the mix?
All of these things can be challenging enough to figure out if you are all functioning optimally, but folx struggling with anxiety have additional challenges.
If you are one of those folx, I see you. I empathize with you. If you are anything like the people I work with, you logically KNOW that it's going to be more challenging.
But I'm guessing there is a huge part of you that's not being understanding of those barriers and feels like you should be doing better.
I hear you.
A therapist specializing in anxiety therapy can help people struggling with the new normal (and heck, even the same normal). You deserve a space and place to have an hour just for you.
"Yes, but do you not get that this is completely overwhelming?" I often hear people say.
I do! My role as a therapist specializing in treating anxiety is to work with both the symptoms of anxiety as well as unpack its origin story. In my office, we co-create individualized strategies to assist you in managing anxiety triggers AND both identify and work through the events that make these triggers so powerful. It's absolutely an investment, and the hope is that it will be an efficient use of your precious time. If any of this sounds like something you need, reach out to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation. You deserve a place where there are no expectations for you to have it all together.
Do you feel like you have a consistent and predictable routine yet?