End of Summer, Back to Work

For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, September signals the end of Summer and the transformation into the Fall season. Days are getting shorter. The temperatures will begin to drop. The rainy season (if you have one) may be starting to approach. In the U.S., children return to school and vacation time ends. Many people begin to gear up for the work push that starts now and continues until the mid-winter holidays.

At work, we have discussed the late Summer vacation trips and now prepare for the Fall Firestorm of Frantic Fanatics. In mental health, this means that people who have ignored their symptoms because of Summer time distractions will now charge the office and demand assistance in dealing with their depressions and anxieties. The world governments are gearing us up for the cataclysmic “Swine Flu Pandemic” that is about to hit. (Remember to “WASH Your Hands AND Cough Into Your Elbow (if you have a cough and a spare elbow.)) (This reminds me of the drop to your knees and cover your eyes if an Atomic Bomb explodes in your neighborhood advice that we were instructed to do in the 1950’s.) So craziness resumes in every sense imaginable.

In the Fall, we need to gather our resources to prepare for the short, darker days of Winter. Many of us will turn our focus to inward or indoor thinking. People will be more pressed together in school, at work, or in social activities. Communication will be tested and so our communication skill-set will benefit from improvement. Thank goodness we will have something relevant to discuss like the Baseball playoffs or the football season or who will win on “The Voice.”

In fact, I believe that it is time to take stock in what you require. What keeps you healthy? Do you need to make time to exercise? Do you need to pay attention to what you eat? Do you require a long term goal and plan for things that are fun, important, or financially beneficial (or all of these)? Do you need “Healthy Relationships” in your life and where do you go find these? And do not forget, make time to celebrate and participate in activities that truly feed your spirit and your soul!

Yes, the coming season of the Fall, can be a time of positive self-reflection. Take the opportunity to assess or to re-assess what you require for health and how to achieve it.

Please take good care of yourself.
Stress Education Center

It’s Springtime, Baseball is Back!

In the U.S., the “boys of Summer” refers to the people who engage in the Spring-Summer-Fall activity of watching or playing baseball, “the national pastime.” They are NOT all boys… The frustration and love for your favorite team always begin with HOPE. We hope that OUR team will play well, win games, and “make the playoffs.” Some cities/teams have long histories of success, like the New York Yankees, and some cities seem doomed to frustration and disappointment like Chicago. BUT, at the beginning of the “season” there is always the chance that the players and the managers and the owners will do their jobs and the team will win and the glory will be shared by all the fans.

 

I love baseball. I love watching baseball. I loved playing baseball. I loved my son taking up the sport and watching him play baseball. To many people, baseball is boring and too slow to watch. One of my favorite childhood memories was sitting with my father on a Sunday afternoon and watching a baseball game on television while he explained to me what was happening and what was going to happen. Playing “catch” with my father was a tradition whose memory still brings tears to my eyes as I recall those precious moments (not unique to my history.) Baseball is not for everyone. If you love the game you understand the rules and may have knowledge of the history of baseball which is often told in statistics. Statistics are unimportant numerical facts about baseball performance that, to the worshippers of the “game,” may mean something that you can argue about with other “believers.” There are a lot of numerical facts and understanding the game means you may remember these “facts” (stats) and cause you to expect something that will happen, based on these stats, in the game you are watching. In much of baseball history, players stayed with “their teams” for long periods of time and lived in their team’s city so the fans could know and love their local “heroes.” Loyalty to team and the sport was based on love for the local “boys of Summer.” Today, the “game” (of baseball) is more a money making business so players, even teams, will move around and loyalty and “tradition” are not honored in the same way.

 

A stress management expert would have you notice that “hope,” “loyalty,” and sitting in the sunshine on a warm Spring/Summer/Fall day, involved in the game, is a stress management experience that has positive effects on many fans, especially when the “home team” wins. Losing ourselves in sporting competition gets us away from other life stressors and allows a release of pent up emotions and stress. Enjoy the mental (and physical) vacation from your life. Celebrate the majesty of the Summer and the “world’s greatest game.”

 

And, before your team gets too far into the season, feel the HOPE for a season of success. Enjoy every victory and the very best that your team’s players can achieve. For the love of the game, “be in the moment” and relish the experience!