Härlig vår, underbar sommar och barnsemester?

Lovely spring, wonderful summer and children's holiday?

Children's holiday! Spring and summer mean a lot of pressure for many families with children! Catching up with everything that's happening, taking on all the summer planning and being happy at the same time is not a simple equation.

Summer approaches and with it - summer planning

As spring feels like it has decided to stop, summer approaches, stress before the holidays (children's holidays!) and everything suddenly goes a little faster. Easter has been over for a while and beautiful May has made its entrance.

Perhaps we will look at May and everything to come with joy and hope. Feeling a certain stress and pressure that everything should be perfect is probably not entirely unusual, however. But what is "perfect"? Does the recipe we are looking for exist and is it really where we should put the energy? Let's start by talking a little about this time of year. What does spring bring and what is expected of us?

If I myself look back on May/June of previous years (with children), a few thoughts come to mind: planned children's activities such as picnics, school events, spring parties, parties, graduations and displays, gifts for teachers (and more), barbecues, more work than usual so that it will be easier to be a little free during the summer, and more and more.. In addition, the summer planning should be done and the mood should be at its best. In both children and adults..

Not much of this actually sounds boring, but there is a lot to talk about here. Above all: what competition are we trying to win? And: even though "partying" and the like may sound very nice to most people, it (and everything else) actually comes with quite difficult feelings for many. It can be due to stress before the holiday (not getting everything done and thus only feeling that you have to "tick off" things that might actually be fun), social anxiety (is probably more common than we think - it's not automatically great fun to go on party three days a week for everyone - many get anxiety from just that), and of course - finances (who can afford all the festivities and debauchery, all the presents and everything else, when the summer is also on the horizon and not directly usually the cheapest part of the year...)

Spring depression – stress and holidays

Another factor that affects many is nursing depression. Around 15 percent of the population is negatively affected by the seasonal changes around spring and autumn. "When you talk colloquially about spring depression, you mean this large group who get tired, feel mushy and a little depressed during spring and autumn. It is a somewhat diffuse disorder and there are no clear diagnostic criteria," says Torbjörn Åkerstedt, senior professor of clinical neuroscience at Karolinska Institute. (source: wellness.se)

Summer depression has also become a concept and there are a few different reasons why we can be affected:

  1. A feeling that one should be happy

You don't allow yourself to feel down, empty or sad in the summer. You think you should be fine and happy all the time.

It can make you start thinking about reasons why you don't feel happy. "What exactly is wrong with me?" Focus shifts inward on negative emotions, and you may notice that the world feels a little distant. Ruminating and turning attention inward towards yourself and your mood creates a feeling of emptiness and meaninglessness. You are not present in what is happening around you. It makes it hard to feel good. These feelings create fertile ground for even more brooding and a vicious circle has been set in motion.

  1. Summer provides space and room for rumination

For many who suffer from anxiety, obsessive thoughts and depression, summer is difficult. One of the reasons for this is that most people have significantly more time to think, and there is not as much as around one to distract one from their thoughts.

Worry, compulsive brooding and negative thoughts get a chance to take over. You have every opportunity in the world to stay inside and let life pass you by even if it's not what you really want or desire. Overthinking and rumination is one of the biggest causes of depression, and can lead you into vicious circles that can be difficult to reverse on your own.

  1. FOMO

Summer must be fully utilized! This is an attitude many have. "How can I make the most of this bright time?" "How can I optimize the holiday?" This type of thinking creates a feeling of stress and irritability: "I should be somewhere else" "Maybe I should be doing something other than what I am doing right now". You get the feeling that the summer is rushing by without you having made the most of it for enjoyment and relaxation. We call this summer FOMO, It means that you cannot enjoy life where you actually are but feel stressed and absent mentally.

  1. You compare yourself to others

In the summer, there are many opportunities to compare yourself to others. You compare yourself to all the smiling people you see on the street, in the newspapers and on TV. They seem to be doing much better than you.. With the help of social media, you can engage in comparing yourself to others without even having to leave your home. You bring other people's perfect lives and bodies into the living room. Maybe even in bed before you even got up in the morning. You see colleagues, friends, acquaintances and strangers enjoying the summer on the beach and in the mountains, while your summer may be characterized by everyday warmth. Even if you have an active holiday with leisure activities and beach life, there are still people who are on a nicer beach and are even more active. If you compare yourself to others, you will automatically feel worse. Comparison is one of the surest ways to induce dissatisfaction and a feeling of not being good enough.

  1. You're dreading summer

If you previously felt unwell in the summer, it can be easy to start worrying about it as it approaches. "I'm dreading the summer," say many of the people we talk to. If you expect the summer to be rough, you will be more aware of difficult and heavy feelings. Maybe you start to feel more how you feel inside. When you turn your attention inward, it is also easier to notice negative emotions. When you notice them, expectations are fulfilled. It can create a vicious cycle of inner focus, withdrawing socially and brooding over reasons why you are not happy and well. (source: https://www.metakognitiv-terapi.se/)

Feeling a pressure to "do everything" and "get everything done" is not so strange, a lot is expected of us. But whose are the expectations and can we practice saying no when we feel it is the wise choice at the time? And perhaps the worst conscience: do the children get sad if they can't (for various reasons) be at everything? Is a children's holiday a must or can it be good (better?) without all the hysterical summer planning and stress before the holidays?

It is so very easy to think that it will be different this year. Often we just go along! I want to link back to point one in the list above. Pushing away what we feel, because "everyone else..." or "I should be happy!" etc., is probably what takes away the present and the real feelings the most! Allowing yourself and daring to feel the feelings that come is (I think!) one of the most important and biggest investments we can make in ourselves. I warmly recommend you to look at our nice emotion cards. click here and become a more emotionally smart family!