As I started out on my walk yesterday, I noticed beautiful red, yellow, and orange leaves floating down from the trees. Although it was a beautiful day, it was a bit chillier than it had been earlier in the week. Change is definitely in the air with cooler weather heading our way, here in the Northeast.
Seeing these fall leaves started me thinking about all the changes that were thrust upon us 19 months ago. At the beginning of the pandemic, we had no idea how gigantic this change would be for most of us. As we have traversed the changes and still continue to do so, it can feel monumental to move forward with confidence, with the concern that more changes are, just like the cooler weather, heading our way.
Most people I’ve worked with who want to make changes, like to do this in small bites; not huge overhauls like we’ve had to navigate recently. What can you do when you’re constantly faced with change after change? Here are three things you can experiment with to make change less stressful:
Take extra-special care of yourself
When you’re eating healthy, sleeping well, and exercising, your physical body will support you as your mental state is challenged by the changes you are facing. If your physical being is not well taken care of, it can feel like nothing is working well
at all, and it can magnify the negative effect. For example, if you haven’t been sleeping well and you must navigate a new process, it may be more difficult to do and you may become frustrated, anxious, or ready to give up much more quickly than if you were well rested.
Take a deep breath
Deep breaths are one of the best ways to clear your head and get oxygen through your body (including your brain). It also can help you to feel calmer, almost instantaneously. When you’re preparing for something new and different, taking two or three deep breathes before your start, can really help make things go smoother.
Break the change into smaller pieces or chunks
This is one of my favorite ways to reduce overwhelm, especially when you are implementing a change. Tackling a small step (a chunk) that moves you closer to completing the big change can feel much more manageable than thinking about the whole change all at once.
Learning how to adapt to change, especially when it isn’t something you wanted/planned for yourself, can feel like it is impacting almost every cell of your being. However, many times there are still things that have remained unchanged. Sometimes it can be beneficial to take a little time to consider and write down the things that have not changed. Doing this may alter your perspective and allow you to see that although some things are changing, there are still many things that have remained constant. Discovering how many things have not changed, may help the changes to feel less dramatic and less challenging because you now see that the changes are coupled with things that are also familiar.
Changes in your life will continue. Some will be changes you have purposefully implemented, and others may be thrust upon you, such as the pandemic. Learning what works best for you as you make a change will help to reduce your stress and keep you moving the important things in your life forward.