August and September are times of typical transition. Whether you’re wrapping up your summertime fun, the kids are going back to school, or perhaps returning to work yourself, change is inevitable. It’s how we respond to it that can help or hurt us. Some life events are expected, enabling us to prepare for them, while others can be unforeseen, which can result in feelings of intense vulnerability. Each adjustment requires us to objectively look at the situation and problem-solve how to get through it. Following are some tips to help your transitions go smoothly and empower you to embrace change rather than react with fear and trepidation.
To be resilient through all of life’s transitions, we need to see change as an opportunity. It can be difficult to withstand some of the curve balls thrown our way throughout our lifetime, but with the help of loved ones and a proactive game plan for self-care, combined with an open mind, we can learn to overcome, thrive, and be the very best version of ourselves.
- Change is Good – Switch your mindset from dread to appreciation. Brain science has shown that change stimulates our nervous system and allows us to grow new neural pathways. In other words, our brain is capable of changing…growing, so that we can become even more resilient and successful. which serve to connect areas of the brain to enable signals to be sent from one region of the nervous system to another. Once you prove to yourself that you can get through difficult things, change makes you smarter, more skilled at adapting, and more empowered to take new risks!
- Seek Support – Find people going through similar experiences. Reach out and connect with friends and family – they will give you that emotional boost and, perhaps, some wisdom as to how they have navigated similar transitions.
- Good Grief – Even if we are moving ahead and the change is positive, it still means the loss of something old, comfortable, and safe. Allow yourself to be sad when saying “goodbye,” but also look for the hopeful signs showing how the change has promise for self-improvement. It’s a new beginning, not the end.
- Fear Can Be Your Friend – Fight or Flight? If we get stuck in our feelings of fear, we don’t allow ourselves to see the opportunity in the changes we have to face. Let the fear motivate you to take action. I’ve used the metaphor of falling in a rain puddle: would you just sit there, muddy and drenched, or would you pick yourself up, dry off, change your clothes and keep going in the direction you were headed? I’d rather not show up dirty and wet, but dry and presentable.
- Love Yourself – Self-care/self-love is essential all the time, but especially during times of change. This is the time to prioritize yourself by eating well, getting good sleep, and finding time to move your body to release those feel-good endorphins. Develop a schedule that allows for some relaxation as well as opportunities to connect with others. Isolation and pushing yourself to the limit will only increase your despair.
- Maintain a Present Perspective – Stay present-focused. If you find yourself on that catastrophizing bullet train, get off. Take a breath and challenge those self-defeating thoughts. Zoom your focus out to see the bigger picture. Find balance and learn how you can accept the change you’re facing; it’s not all bad nor all good. Create realistic expectations for yourself. Change is hard enough without the pressure to be “perfect” through it.
- Seek Mental Health Services
- Why do it alone?
- Seeking help is paradoxical strength.
- Mental health requires us to know when we cannot do it ourselves and need someone to help us.
- Find a specialist whose personality resonates with your own, who feels right, and has the background and experience to help you overcome your obstacles.
- Consider Illuminate Therapy and Wellness and their expert clinicians to support you on your mental health journey.
When obstacles seem too insurmountable and growth and change seem too difficult, you are not alone. Contact Illuminate Therapy and Wellness at 847-908-8700. We will assist you in the development of the skills and attitude necessary for your new resilient and accomplished self.
Wishing you the best as you approach each impending change that the coming months may bring you!