Switching from summer holiday mode to our 'every day' life is not always a smooth transition. Instead of changing back into our routine, is it time to make other changes happen?
The end of the summer or any other extended holidays can fill us with apprehension, regret and fear of the post holiday blues. But is there a message in all this frustration?
Often when we talk about what we enjoyed during the break, it sounds like there was a much greater sense of freedom compared to life before or after the break:
Freedom to organise the day or not, freedom to dress, eat, sleep how we want; freedom to 'be' and freedom to have some (even small) adventures.
However, others may welcome the end of the holiday with great relief. There is the holiday blues, with financial, organisational, emotional and relational stresses contributing to summer depression.
But for those who regret or even fear the end of the summer holiday or any other break, it can be a real challenge to give up their sense of freedom.
Fitting back into a life of responsibilities can be a shock to the system: bills will have to be paid, important issues require attention and cause worry. Stressful routines start all over again.
And there is more change happening around us, with the seasons, the weather and as a consequence the environment around us also transitioning. Temperatures, colours, scenery and outdoor life are changing.
Is all going downhill from here?
The fact that the holiday freedom (even in small doses) gave us pleasure suggests, that there is something, which we do not sufficiently build into our daily lives; something which we are in danger of burying until the next extended break.
For some of us the clues of healthier life-style choices were there during the summer, yet we choose to ignore them.
Surely fitting them in would mean significant change and take time, time we do not have? Right? Really?
At what cost, do we choose to ignore what our intution tells is not really working well for us?
Just the thought of unpredictable change can cause stress in some. Surely freedom does not pay a mortgage or school fees or put food on the table?!
Another message of the summer break for many is that of loss; the recognition, that somehow our lives have taken turns away from our hopes and dreams, which we so briefly re-engaged with during the summer break.
For some, spending more time with partners, friends and families has also shown how much we may have changed. We may have become more or less compatible.
For some, leading a busy life away from home has become an essential way of coping with unhappiness, fears and dissatisfaction in relationships at home.
If we did spend just a little time holding on to some of the emotions we may have felt during the holiday - like freedom, joy, anxiety over going back, or relational difficulties with those close to us - and listened to the message that is trying to come through, then we may sense and engage with the opportunity for change.
Yes, the prospect of change can be frightening and might not be easy to achieve.
Ultimately, the price we pay for staying in soul destroying situations is higher than the cost of change.
We may need to be reminded that we have choices to make some positive change, however fast or slow, however large or small, however painful it may be initially.
There is a message in the post holiday blues about change that might be good for us.