For as long as I can remember, the Labour Day long weekend has been my least favourite, most stressful time of the year for me. Why is this? It triggers memories for me as a child and as a teenager that this is the time when our nice, relaxing, warm summers abruptly end…and now it’s back to routine. My dad used to tease us by singing Don Meredith’s (Monday Night Football) version of ‘Turn Out the Lights, The Party’s Over’.

Remember ‘we’ as humans are ‘wired’ to become anxious. Our fight, flight and freeze responses were designed to help us to get through the extreme and severe dangers that enter our lives. When it becomes an issue is when the anxiety alarm bells kick in when the situation doesn’t really need to. Now when my dad would sing, all kinds of alarm bells would go off for me, but it is understandable why I might be on edge even though it has been years since I went to school.

As newspapers tend to do, a great, timely article appeared in the Vancouver Province this morning, it is titled, “Back-to-school stress busters” and was written by Helen Branswell from the Canadian Press. She said that “Teens may be worried about fitting in, at a time of life when fitting in can be all-important”. That reality alone can be enough to trigger me about that Labour Day feeling even as I am well into my 40s?! This article gives some good advice around preparing our children and teens by shopping for school supplies and transitioning back to a more regular sleep schedule. The later is a great idea for parents as well. Maybe as parents we are more anxious than our children because we have the childhood experience combined with our parental responsibilities.

Remember during week one, don’t forget to breathe…relax. The second and third weeks we begin into the swing of things and are often less stressed.

If you would like to discuss this topic further in a private counselling session or a free consultation please contact Shawn McNabb, Surrey Counsellor today.