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The June Effect (Watch out!) - Dilbert Blog

The June Effect (Watch out!)

In America, June is the worst month for relationships, at least for adults in the 25-50 range. June is also the worst month for stress and mental health in general.

I’m basing that opinion on observation, not science. But ask yourself how things are going with the adults around you this month. Are they unusually stressed-out and angry with loved ones? I’ll bet many are. I’ll explain why.

Adults in America tend to operate at 100% capacity, filling every minute with either work or family stuff. We’re good at being busy, and we can survive that high level of stimulation and challenge.

Until June.

In America, June is when all hell breaks loose. Kids are off from school. Graduations happen. Marriages happen. Vacations are planned. People exercise frantically to get tanned and into swimsuits. For a variety of reasons, June is a big month for change. And that change is on top of the 100% capacity at which most of us are already operating. Result: Stress. Big-time stress. 

In June, if you and I agree to go to lunch on a certain day, there is a high likelihood you will contact me later to change the date because you forgot about some other thing you had to do that day. You might remember a nephew has a graduation, or it is someone’s birthday, or there is a wedding, or you forgot your kids are out of school, and so on to infinity. When you book something in June, expect an email follow-up asking you to rebook it.

In the past week, about half of my meetings and appointments got rescheduled because of June chaos. Some got rescheduled up to five times. If you haven’t noticed the June effect in the past, it can make you think you are experiencing a weird unlucky spell that is polluting all of your relationships. But it isn’t bad luck. It is the June effect.

I tell you this so you can reframe your June experience. This is a self-persuasion trick. Compare:

1. You are stressed out because you believe life is sending you an overdose of angry loved ones, scheduling conflicts, problems, and stress for no good reason.

or…

2. You realize that the June Effect is both inevitable and temporary. Take a breath, do your best, and wait for the July calm.

If you’re fighting with a spouse or loved one this month, remind yourself of the June Effect. It will help keep things in perspective. You can get through this month. 

Oh, and watch out for December. Same problem.

If you like April more than June, you might like my book.