My boy only turned one in August, but it’s amazing how much the school summer holidays have already affected our lives. Add into that a bout of illness for us both, making us housebound for almost two weeks, and I have found my anxiety has suffered.
1. Most of the baby groups stop for the summer.
Keeping up with groups that I’m familiar with has helped me to feel more confident and in control of my anxiety. Once I have walked in somewhere for the first time, and got through the suffocating panic of doing it, I find feeling part of a group each week a real boost.
During the school holidays most of the baby and toddler groups aren’t running. I understand this is because they are mostly run by volunteers who need and deserve a break too, but it has made me more insular and dread having to walk back in again when they restart. I almost feel like I will be starting from scratch.
2. The activities that are running are very busy.
I find it very difficult to feel part of a large, busy group. When it’s noisy and bustling it can be quite overwhelming and hard to make a connection with anyone which makes me feel small, invisible and like I shouldn’t be there.
3. Everywhere is very busy.
One of the main reasons I realised I needed help with my anxiety was when I found myself taking a detour rather than walking down a street with someone coming the other way. During the holidays, there are so many more people wherever you go that, although I’ve been working on controlling these feelings, I have avoided certain places I know will be particularly busy because it’s still a bit too overwhelming. Now the schools are back I’m trying to get back out again.
4. The weather hasn’t been great.
It’s really easy to not bother going out when you can use the weather as an excuse. No one wants to go out in the rain, especially when there are limited indoor activities that you know will be full of people you don’t know. At least when it’s sunny you can find a quiet walk that isn’t as overwhelming.
Don’t even get me started on the idea of soft play during the holidays…
5. Chickenpox and tonsillitis aren’t our friends.
Not exactly summer holiday related, but when you put it together with everything else, both the boy and I being ill for a couple of weeks has really taken its toll. I got into the habit of not being able to go out because we were contagious and now feel like I’m starting from scratch again trying to force myself out the door. It was a welcome excuse to be rather insular for a while, but I’m suffering for it now.
Hopefully the baby groups restarting next week will help to drag me out of the house and get the boy and I socialising again.