As we grow and enter new chapters of our lives our priorities, desires and attitudes change. Influenced by relationships, finances, health, confidence, morals and the desire for happiness, change is often the start of an exciting transition that brings with it a bevy of new opportunities.
However, for some change can also be cringe-worthily confronting – particularly if we let it get the better of us!
When we’re younger we think we know who we are and who we want to become. But, as we learn more about life and managing the curve-balls that are sent our way, we adapt, shifting our attitudes and beliefs. This is how we learn to love new foods, attributes, places and ways of expressing ourselves. This is of course a lesson that we never stop learning.
Invariably we never stay exactly the same (who would want to?!) and while some changes may scare or confuse us at first, it’s important to accept that change is usually for the better and that it’s OK.
I write this as overcoming change has been a big personal hurdle for me recently. Over the past year my interests have shifted significantly from late nights and sugary cocktails, to 5.30am starts, clean eating and holistic health education. As a result, how I enjoy spending my time and money is completely different. Today I go crazy on organic fruit and veg which eats up the majority of my partying budget (and sees me up bright and early to seek out my weekly food bounty).
But the shift was pulling me down. I was constantly worrying about trying to be everything to everyone, and it was leaving me stressed-out and upset.
Fortunately I have a few close friends who could sense my anxiousness and they told me to just relax and breathe out the anxieties that I was harbouring. I realised that I needed to accept the goodness that I’d built up around me, instead of stressing about what had changed. For someone who prides herself on good self-care, this was an incredibly obvious and simple message to hear.
The tricky part of change is that we often have to say farewell to a part of us that we once loved in order to make room for the new. This can be exceptionally hard, particularly if it results in distance to a place, person or practice that we hold close.
If you’re feeling like you’re leaving a part of you behind as you grow into a different phase of your life, you need to stop letting the change rule you and start making better friends with self-acceptance.
Learning to love ourselves and our lives no matter what change is taking place is a strength that we should all work on. Sometimes we’re tested with exceptionally hard circumstances and making time to reaffirm ourselves in the height of darkness isn’t something that comes easily. But of course these practices shouldn’t just be saved for the really gloomy days – most of us need to work on letting go of little things everyday as well.
Having the skills to remain chill in the face of daily change will help you maintain a positive mindset and better determine what’s really worthy of your attention. Change is natural and exciting and we should openly relish what it brings to our lives.
If change has got the better of you, here are a couple simple tips to help you refocus your energy and attention:
Know what grounds you and what you stand for
Someone recently asked me what it is I stand for and I struggled to answer them! While I know what’s important to me, what I stand for is a completely different question. If you’ve never considered this, it’s an exceptionally hard one to answer but something we should all know if we’re to be our best selves.
The more I considered the question, the more I realised how little it is I refer to what I believe in and what it is that grounds me – to both others and to myself.
If you don’t already know what you stand for, I recommend you do some soul searching. When you do discover this purpose, it’s easier to affirm yourself in challenging situations and to put your change into perspective.
Ask yourself what it is you want, and act on it
When change confronts you abruptly sometimes it can be easy to lose track of who you are and what you’re working towards. If you’re struggling with accepting change and can do something about it, do so! Just remember to always be a person that you’re proud to be.
Meditate or create me time
Take a deep breath in, concentrate on the negativity in your life that’s creating stress, and breathe it out. Repeat five times, each time focusing on releasing any built up anxiety or concern.
Taking a little ‘me time’ to reset your focus can pay endless dividends. It’s also an easy, cheap and enjoyable way to rediscover your happiness.
Accept that change comes with good and bad, and that’s OK – because you’ll be OK.
When bad change is thrust upon you, it takes time to heal and it can be incredibly hard to see any good. Don’t force the recovery process. Take each day as it comes and know that you have time to learn to be OK.
It might not be today, it might not be a year from today, in fact you might not ever be the same again, but eventually you will be OK.
Surround your self with good
It sounds simple, but surround yourself with the things that make you feel good. Whether this is friends, family, food, the outdoors, puppies, or something else that floats your boat – good things make the bad times better.