It's that time of year again, the end of holidays and return to the daily routine of school and work. A mixture of emotions accompany this marker. Boredom was probably about to set in so getting back to a place away from home where tasks and social contact become the focus is good. This is balanced though with the reluctance to leave the comfort of the warm be in the mornings, particularly when it's cold and dark outside. There's also the lack of control that comes with having to be at school or work - you can't just do what you want to do when you want to. It's much more fun to be lazing around at home and relaxing, doing things when I wanted to.
The time leading up to the return to school and work can also be accompanied by a sense of dread, a count down of days and then hours left before the holidays are over. For some this can also be accompanied by increasing fear and anxiety. Worrying about the uncertainties that lie beyond the home is very real for many people, children and adults alike. The work tasks and the people you have to connect with in various ways during your day can be pretty scary at times, particularly if the tasks are difficult and the people not pleasant. Finding ways to manage this fear and anxiety is crucial so that school and work can be not just endured but also endured.
Recent research has looked at the workplace and experiences of mental health related to that environment. For many people their mental health is adversely affected by their work experience and organisations are now on notice about how they need to be aware and respond to ensure that their workplace is supportive and not damaging employees' mental health. Schools have also been recognised as places where children and young people's mental health can be enhanced or damaged.
So as we return to school and work tomorrow let's hope that our peers, colleagues and leaders are ready for us - ready to support us, be there for us and open to our contributions. Let's hope we have the coping skills to effectively tolerate and harness our feelings of worry so that they can be managed and become useful to us.