Archive for challenges

Adulting

The term Adulting has been thrown around on social media for the past few years and many of the definitions are often ladened with their own inference and judgement. One definition defines Adulting (v): to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups. Used in a sentence: Jane is Adulting quite well today as she is on time for work and appears well groomed. The Oxford Dictionary defines Adulting as the Practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks: As Modifier: I finished all my Adulting requirements for the week.

‘Adulting’ over social media, for instance, seems to be at the heart of most people’s irritation with the young, fuelling their contempt, adding to the argument that the young are unable to cope with discomfort and struggle with the challenges life throws at them. I admit that I bought into this narrative for years. However, I have recently revised my opinion. Now I see willingness by this generation to admit their struggles and take steps to address the situation in a way that best makes sense to them: seeking help. This is important; going to a therapist translates, to some, as “not being able to cope” or more scathingly, “weak and pathetic”. It misses the point that the Millennials have different way of seeing things and a very different experience growing up from that of their parents. These differences, in themselves, are not the problem; it’s the acceptance of these differences. Parents don’t want to be judged by their children and neither do the young.

It’s easy to be disparaging about Millennials and ridicule them as they struggle to cope with the realities of being an adult. But this approach quickly becomes a cliche; isn’t it far more useful to take time to understand what is going on? I sometimes wonder if much of the cynicism directed at the young has more to do with the fact that they actually voice the feelings of how challenging being an adult can sometimes be because the reality is that most young people are hardworking and responsible adults. Perhaps it is the older generation’s need for the young to struggle in the same way they did. It might be more useful for that generation to take into account that the challenges of the young are very different from their own experiences.

The couples I see in my practice are hard working and responsible. Do they struggle? Yes, but what I walk away with is a sense that their struggles can be known, not hidden and ignored. They don’t feel as though they need to ‘suck it up’ and suffer in silence perhaps the way their parents did. Do they sometimes go on about it too much? Absolutely. But like all change, the swing of the pendulum sometimes sounds extreme. The secret might be to look at the grumblings as part of the process the young are going through. As most adults (finally) learn, acceptance is at the heart of being fully grown up!

Shirlee Kay

Post holiday blues

September is often seen as a month of nostalgia. The clocks are about to go back, there’s a shiver of winter in the wind and then comes the dreaded return to real life after a welcome break from normality.
Those Post-Holiday Blues can really hit at this time of the year. Here are some tips to get you back on track

CHANGE
One of the depressing factors on returning is that we pick up all the untidy threads we had left behind. We face the same niggles and worries that we avoided for a short time.
Take a look at what can be easily sorted and what might need more consideration. Some small tweaks can really help. Never make drastic alterations straight after a holiday, but give some thought to those areas that seem wearying after a break. What can be altered to reshape some of the issues that feel overwhelming.

NEW CHALLENGES
A fresh location on vacation gives a look at new habits. Are you spending too much time attached to smartphones or watching soporific TV programmes? Think of a challenge that can add to self-esteem instead. Learn a language, take up bread making, buy a sketchbook and some pencils. Remember the excitement of the new autumn term – get cracking. Do something new.

SELF CARE
Many of us sleep more on holiday and eat more fresh and interesting food. Keep these habits where possible. More sunlight makes us feel healthier. Get outside and soak up the last of the vitamin D before winter. Think of adding some healthier ingredients to normal foods. Recreate some of the meals you enjoyed and change the usual repetitive dinner or breakfast rota.

DE-CLUTTER
It’s likely you managed to survive from a suitcase (or two) and getting home can make us aware of the excess of belongings we so easily acquire. Give the local charity shop a treat and blitz those unnecessary possessions and clothes.  We need a tiny proportion of what most of us own. Purging is very cathartic. Space in drawers and cupboards is amazingly restorative.

CONNECT
Without work, routines, and domestic pressure, we are likely to have to make more effort to communicate with each other. Relaxing, sightseeing, or getting involved with sport and exercise gives us new reasons to connect with each other. Doing something different with our time can give topics to exchange as well as the time and energy to enjoy just talking and sharing. Keep up this good habit. Spend some couple and family time, without wifi to distract.

EXPECT A TOUCH OF THE BLUES
Often, a lot of time and hope goes into planning a holiday. If it disappoints in any way, don’t be too hard on yourself or others. Make those problems a signal for a very different trip next time.
If it goes well, it’s hard to have a painless re-entry to everyday life.
Expect those first days back at work to be a tad wearying at first.
Download some photos, change the screensaver and start planning your next break.

 

Christina Fraser