When Feelings Take a Summer Vacation

As the school year gets into full-swing, adults, children, and families are returning to their old routines. The time for rest, vacation, and fun has ended and replaced by schedules, homework, and responsibilities. For many practical reasons, the adjustment from summer vacation to the school year is very difficult; however, underlying these difficulties is an experience of being thrown back into a reality that was put aside while on summer vacation.

Summer vacation is a wonderful time to ‘unplug’ from one’s daily responsibilities and enjoy all the things that life has to offer. Rest and relaxation are essential and help us to face new challenges and responsibilities. A tricky aspect of summer break, however, is that this vacation can also serve as an escape from emotional and life challenges that we were dealing with prior to the summer. Children may have been dealing with difficulties in school, college students may have been struggling with relationships and friends on campus, and adults may have been overwhelmed by the amount of responsibility on their plates. When these stressors are removed, people feel better—the issue, though, is that these problems were never dealt with but just pushed to the future. Now that life has returned to its old routine, reality can be a painful and overwhelming experience as people find themselves, once again, facing the same struggles.

Unfortunately, feelings don’t take a summer vacation and we cannot escape the problems that we are facing. My perspective is that the only way to overcome a problem is to face it or else it finds us at some other time in the future. This is easier said than done and can be a frightening thought. Through a therapeutic relationship, however, you or your children will have an opportunity to work with someone who is interested in your well-being and skilled in helping you to overcome the challenges you face. Over time, life, which once seemed overwhelming, will be easier to navigate and summer vacation will be enjoyed rather than needed.

If you notice yourself sad, anxious, or overwhelmed with the start of the school year, I encourage you to contact me or visit my website to learn more about how I can help you.

Thanks for reading!

-Dr. Dan


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