It’s not you, it’s summer…

My son has his best friend over (we’ll call him Andy). We adore Andy and love how much both he and my son share with us. I was talking to my husband about transition. Andy overheard the conversation and said, “it makes you sad.” He’s right!   But, how did this child know?

Every year, thousands, millions, actually billions, of people go through the same major transition. All at the same time. All with varying degrees of ease or difficulty. Every Fall children and teachers start the academic year.  Every Spring, they end it. And many of them (and some parents) experience mild depression during this transition.

According to research, a change in our calendar or rhythm of our day can cause depression. In fact, Dr. Norman Rosenthal (the author of Winter Blues and the man who identified Seasonal Affective Disorder) treats patients with Summer SAD.

While the cause of Summer SAD is varied, teachers talk about the transition from a regularly scheduled workweek to open days as causing emotional disequilibrium. When Andy said that transition is “sad”, he didn’t realize he was picking up on research that has been done since 1984. Andy was just thinking about leaving the carefree fun days of summer and returning to the demanding, exhausting days of school.

I will often describe my kids as having jet lag the first month of school. The rhythm of their day has changed so dramatically.

Every human being on the face of this earth experiences this type of transition. We do it every year as the seasons fade into each other, light changes, holidays arise. Think of how you feel when you go back to work after a vacation. I refer to it as “work re-entry.” It’s not easy.

In the world of transition management, we understand how transitions affect the mood and production level of human beings. We understand how the psychology of an organization is effected by these changes; often leading to dysfunction and conflict. And we know how to ease this transition so it does not hurt a company, religious institution or community.

If these small transitions cause mood changes, just imagine what a new CEO, merger, change in health care laws, restructure, or change in physical space will do to your organization.

If you have questions about what a transition manager can do for your community or business, please feel free to reach out to Berlin Consulting, LLC.

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